Mike Fratello Rumors

We witnessed the developments in Ukraine with Fratello and Volkov’s departure in the foreground. The first question that comes to mind is whether he will compete in the upcoming Eurobasket with the national team of Ukraine. Pooh Jeter: “I’m not going to play with the national team this summer. One reason is that Fratello and Volkov are not on the team. The last two summers were great. It was a great chance for me to help a team that hadn’t achieved something major to play well in a Eurobasket and qualify to a World Cup. I have a history with the team since 2008 and I’ve been through a lot with all the guys there. I remember that most people had predicted that we would be last in the rankings.
“Look at their record, the standings, the streak that they’ve put together and how many players are going to wind up on the all-star team and it answers what a great coaching job the staff has done and what a great job the players have done in playing unselfishly and playing both ends of the floor,” Fratello said. “The way you talk about the way teams play – meaning defensively cover for each other, making the sacrifice of making the next rotation and blocking out, doing the dirty work on the glass, keeping the ball in front of you and challenging shots when they go over the top. Offensively, just look at the assist column every night. It kind of jumps out at you how well they move the ball, how well the shoot the ball, the distribution in scoring for them. What it all leads to is the record that they have. It’s magnificent.”
The cautious Fratello will not be drawn into predictions or thoughts about Ukraine’s chances in this group so soon before the draw for the tournament was made clear, and especially before he has a good idea on the composition of his team’s roster. “If you ask how many games can we win in this group, I think the preparation is going to be very important, for any of these teams,” he said. “If I could tell you right now who is going to show up and play for us in the summer, it would make it easier to talk about my team.”
Fratello called NBA players an especially “funny breed” in that sense, craving routine. “So when you are coaching an NBA player, if he knows what to expect, he knows when he’s going in, he gets himself mentally into it,” Fratello said. “But when you’re jerking him in, jerking him out, the majority of them don’t take that as well.” It’s better, Fratello believes, to “eliminate an excuse” by offering a steady plan. “But it’s tough to do that if you don’t know what it is that you’re trying to get to,” he said.
“I don’t pay attention to Spain,” U.S. forward Kenneth Faried said this week. But those who do see a team that easily handled medal contender Brazil and European champion France in the first round, with chemistry from playing years together and an international stalwart in Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol, the MVP of Spain’s 2006 world title run who is having another strong tournament. “Spain is a very, very good team. They’re very good,” said Ukraine coach Mike Fratello, whose team lost to the U.S. on Thursday. “They’re big, they’ve played together for so long, the majority of the team, and they do things that you have to do. They pass well, they’re skilled. To play the U.S. you have to be skilled, otherwise you have too many turnovers from not being able to pass and catch. Small things. They don’t do that.
James Harden scored 17 points, Stephen Curry added 14 and the unbeaten U.S. national team wrapped up pool play with a 95-71 victory over Ukraine on Thursday at the Basketball World Cup. Anthony Davis finished with 12 points for the Americans, who were still waiting out the final results from Group D in the Canary Islands to determine who they would play Saturday night in Barcelona. They would draw the fourth-place finisher in the round of 16. The Americans were never in any danger of losing in the second half after seizing control just before halftime against a methodical Ukraine team coached by former NBA coach Mike Fratello.
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Kevin Love is the 6-foot-10, 243-pound elephant in any room where the next Timberwolves coach is being discussed. Coaching the Wolves is a “terrific opportunity,” former NBA coach Mike Fratello said this week, “but so much hinges on what Kevin is going to do.” A coaching search coinciding with the uncertain future of the franchise’s best player is the kind of bad timing that Rick Adelman said he was trying to help the Wolves avoid by stepping down as coach five weeks ago.
Were you aware about this situation, about this divide in Ukraine between the Russian-speaking people and the rest of the country? Pooh Jeter: I had no clue until I saw it on the news and read about it. Then I was asking people what’s going on and then they told me. With individuals like Sasha Volvov and the other people at the Ukraine Basketball Federation, I know everything will work out [basketball-wise]. I just hope nobody dies anymore because of this situation. I’ve been in touch with coach Mike Fratello and my teammates and they keep me updated. Also my friends in Kiev. I care because I’m part of them now. It’s not like I took advantage of an opportunity and then I leave it alone… I have friendships with this people and I speak with them all the time. Once you join a team, you gotta ride with your team.
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But in an interview on the Michael Kay Show, centered on the Nets coaching situation, Mike Fratello says don’t dismiss Frank’s daily reports as a joke. No surprise, he says, Frank is taking the job seriously. Lawrence Frank is not taking his position, from I gather, what I’ve heard lightly. That’s not who he’s about. He treats it with a great amount of respect. He knows what his responsibilities are, what his duties are and he sends in IN-DEPTH reports, whether they be pre-game reports going into the game or the post-game write-ups after the game. Maybe we should look it that he’s done a pretty good job. It’s a team thing. Maybe the part that he’s been doing is very good. Whatever happened with Lawrence, Lawrence is still a contributor. He’s just not there on the bench every night.
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According to Fratello, when he was there, the violence was centered in a concentrated area near Independence Square in downtown. Opponents of President Viktor Yanukovych are upset over corruption and the economy and want him to step down. He reportedly fled the country Saturday insisting he will not resign in spite of the fact that parliament voted to dismiss him. “They were in an area of about three blocks,” Fratello said of the protesters, ”and it was ringed with old tires that they set on fire. The smoke was awful. They poured black ink over the heads of their opponents. The traffic and the congestion in that area was terrible. We had to change hotels.”
Fratello has been talking to his associates in the Ukraine every day. His players are scattered around the country, playing in various pro leagues. At this point, he has no plans to return until July, when the national team will hold its training camp in Yuzhne, a city located about an hour from Odessa. But his thoughts remain with his friends and colleagues struggling through the unrest in Kiev. “I just hope and pray they reach a settlement by then,” he said.
But the coach said he wasn’t afraid and that he was able to move about other parts of the city freely. That wasn’t the case last week as violence spread and things became much more dangerous. “Obviously, it has escalated in the last five days,” said Fratello, who briefly interrupted a telephone interview on Friday in order to listen to a television news update on the situation. “Things have gotten much worse. They closed the basketball federation offices last week. I think that was the smart thing to do. A bullet doesn’t know where it’s going when it leaves the gun.”
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From Spain, Fratello went on to the Ukraine, although his visit in early February came before the violent protests escalated last week, when more than 100 people were killed in clashes in Kiev, according to The Associated Press. The AP reported that protesters advanced on police lines last week, prompting government snipers to open fire. A settlement reportedly was reached Friday, but no one is sure it will hold. According to Fratello, when he was there, the violence was centered in a concentrated area near Independence Square in downtown. Opponents of President Viktor Yanukovych are upset over corruption and the economy and want him to step down. He reportedly fled the country Saturday insisting he will not resign in spite of the fact that parliament voted to dismiss him. “They were in an area of about three blocks,” Fratello said of the protesters, ”and it was ringed with old tires that they set on fire. The smoke was awful. They poured black ink over the heads of their opponents. The traffic and the congestion in that area was terrible. We had to change hotels.”
“It will take a G.M. from somewhere who has a very understanding owner, a G.M. believing and trusting in the person that he’s going to select and convincing his owner to trust that this guy can coach,” he said. “Obviously it would have to be a coach who speaks English right now to make the transition smooth, otherwise you’ve have to have an interpreter next to him every time. I’m not sure how well that could work for him, if he could get across everything he wanted to, quickly enough. “Because the NBA season moves, you only get 28 days of practice and you’re in it. Twenty-eight days is nothing if you put seven or eight exhibitions in. Then you have travel days, and you give them a day off somewhere in there. Then you’re down to 16, 17 days of practice. And then the season comes and there’s not a lot of practice. It’s hard when you’re playing 82 games.”
But since his appointment with the Ukrainians in 2011, he’s gotten a first-hand insight into the abilities of his European counterparts. And it is, he claims, only a matter of time before the door is kicked open for them to pursue job openings in the NBA. “It’s coming,” he told ESPN.com “We’ve had more people from other European countries moving into positions of prominence in the NBA in front offices. We now have people from other countries who own teams in the NBA, presidents, general managers. Assistant coaches, scouts, who represent many countries.”