Shawn Respert Rumors

Officially announced Monday, Joerger will lean on his coaching mentor (famed minor league coach Duane Ticknor), a longtime and well-respected NBA assistant (Elston Turner), a holdover from the Lionel Hollins regime (Bob Thornton) and an up-and-coming young coach (Shawn Respert). The Griz also announced the addition of Chattin Hill as athletic performance coach and hired Mark Sanford as assistant video coordinator/player development. Jason March, video coordinator for several seasons, was promoted to advance scout. March’s former assistant Steve Jones moves in to the role as video coordinator/player development.
How far away do you think you are from getting an opportunity to be a head coach? Shawn Respert: You know what? Not far away. I don’t think any young coach could ask for a better coaching staff that I came into. All of them are former NBA players: Adelman, Terry Porter, TR Dunn, Jack Sikma and then in Houston we had Elston Turner. All I had to do was just sit back and keep my mouth shut, listen and learn. After almost six years of working with a staff like that in the NBA, I’m sure I’m ready for a head coaching job for a college level or maybe a D-League opportunity. The NBA? Let’s say maybe five years. Then I’ll be ready to do something in the NBA and lead a team.
Do you think Derrick Williams can become an efficient post player? Shawn Respert: I think he can be very effective. He’s not going to be a traditional post player like the ones you and I grew up watching. In the 80’s and the 90’s there were a lot of great post players who played with their backs to the basket. Derrick is kind of a new way of a post player who uses more face-up game, that posts up off the block, attacks with one or two dribbles… He does have to develop some type of a back-to-the-basket comfort level and gain confidence. What’s most remarklable about Ricky Rubio, even at his age, is how he plays like an aggressive, confident, veteran ball player. When Derrick Williams learns that, we’ll see a lot of improvement. He has all the physical tools.
The Wolves assigned Respert to work with Williams every day after practice, both in the film room and on the court. But the most important challenge for Respert was reaching Williams on an emotional level to spur the kind of growth in his mental toughness that the team saw as the primary problem getting in the way of his development. ”Even watching him in timeouts, he was so frustrated, like a young man who was insecure about ‘Is this where he is supposed to be?”’ Respert said. ”I saw him get so frustrated where he started to tear up and his eyes started to water because he has no answer to fix this problem that he has.”
The Minnesota Timberwolves chose Derrick Williams No. 2 before last season. In December, the coaching staff told him he had a choice to make. He could throw himself into extra work with assistant Shawn Respert and the rest of the staff to try and establish himself in the NBA. Or he could keep doing what he was doing and join that long list of ”Terrible Twos” who never panned out in this league. ”I don’t want to say any names, but there have been a lot who haven’t worked out,” Williams said. ”A couple have sky-rocketed and a couple have been pretty decent. My whole life I never wanted to be a decent player.”
Soon thereafter, the NBDL was rebranded as the NBA Development League or, simply, the D-League. Stern moved the D-League’s offices to New York and streamlined the operations between the two circuits. Before long, the D-League became a version of the proving ground long envisioned by Stern, with the number of call-ups increasing on an annual basis. “It’s been good for me to see guys like [Lou Amundson and Mike Harris] to find their way into the NBA,” says Timberwolves player development assistant Shawn Respert, who spent two years working in D-League offices. “I can say their success has come from some of the things we tried to incorporate in the D-League.” Last season, a record 44 players found their way from the D-League onto an NBA roster.
But on Thursday, Respert will get the best kind of reminder of that past, the one that’s so present in everything he does yet that most have forgotten. He’ll grin and fend off compliments, but his successes of nearly two decades ago will be foisted back at him en masse. On Thursday, Respert will be inducted into the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame. On Thursday, we’ll remember. Jud Heathcote called Shawn Respert in February to wish him a happy 40th birthday. It’s been 18 years since the two started their final season at Michigan State together, Heathcote as the beloved coach and Respert as the shooting guard bound for bigger things. It’s been 18 years, but get Heathcote talking, and it’s 1995 again.
And so Respert runs up and down the court. He listens. He high-fives. Again, he has a clear role, a home. He’s needed and appreciated. He’s comfortable, and this time, he doesn’t take it for granted. So maybe he wants to be something more than a player development coach. Maybe he wants a higher-profile job someday. But right now, this is enough. “The most success I’ve had as an individual person is me showing patience and diligence to be consistent, consistently good at what I do,” Respert said. “Whatever happens will happen.”
So in Minnesota he tries to be a buffer between coaches and the players. When players struggle, they go to Respert. He invests time and compassion into these young men. He’s been in their position as a top draft pick who struggled, and he wants their paths to be different than his. He’s getting a sort of second chance, and yet there’s no resentment that this new generation of players has the resources he never did. “He doesn’t have a jealous bone in his body or feel like he’s getting the short end of the stick,” Timberwolves assistant Jack Sikma said. “He’s just real positive. He wants people to succeed . . . I just think he’s got a great grasp of reality and can accentuate the positive and acknowledge all the blessings and good things that he has.”