Dishin' With Delany

A long-time member of the Miami Heat organization, Pat Delany was named head coach of the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Monday. Delany started as a video coordinator for four seasons before spending the past six seasons as a full-time advanced scout. This year marks the first season that Miami and Sioux Falls have entered into a single-affiliate relationship. caught up with Delany to talk about his new gig and his new goals. Talk about your new opportunity. Obviously on the NBA level the goals are simple: win as many games as you can and win titles. In the NBA D-League, itís a little more complicated because youíre developing while also trying to win games. Talk a little about what the Miami front office has tasked you with when you took over this position.
Sioux Falls Head Coach Pat Delany: I think more of it comes from being in Miami and knowing the culture and knowing our philosophy. In Miami weíve always been about winning, but also teaching at the same time, even at the NBA level. They can go hand in hand and itís going to be my job to make sure we find the balance of developing our roster and continuing to win games night in and night out. How much do you expect the program youíre going to run in Sioux Falls will reflect the one that they run in Miami?
Delany: I think thatís our goal. I plan on using a mirror image in what you see with our Heat team Ö over the course of the season weíll be extremely aggressive on and off the ball defensively and thatís where we have to hang our hat like we do in Miami. Obviously things donít go extremely well for any individual or any team every night offensively. (Miami is) the best team in the NBA. They play a variety of styles. They can play big, they can play small. They can play fast or slow tempo and that is ultimately what, over the course of the season, myself and my staff will be able to incorporate with our guys and hopefully at the end of the season have a diverse offense and defense. Your background is interesting since itís very close to coach Spoelstraís. Can you talk about that unique connection?
Delany: Obviously Erik (Spoelstra) has been my mentor really since day one, giving me my start in Miami when he was an assistant coach. So the path Iíve been fortunate enough to take from doing video work to working closely with coach Riley, coach Van Gundy and coach Spoelstra has been great and I would do it all over again the exact same way. Iíve learned so many things, from listening, teaching, being organized and having that same approach of being a tireless worker. I plan on carrying all that stuff with me to Sioux Falls. I see you graduated college with a degree in Business Administration. Was a career in coaching always on your agenda?
Delany: It was only something from playing in college and stuff. I got the business degree. At the time, I was a little unsure of which way I wanted to head. It wasnít until my senior year in college when I got an internship with the Celtics when Jim OíBrien was the head coach and Frank Vogel was an assistant and also John Carroll. Thatís kind of what got me. That really got my blood flowing with the coaching stuff. I never really thought I would be fortunate enough to get this opportunity, but they helped me get into Miami and obviously Erik and the organization gave me a start in the video room and itís been great ever since. One of the good opportunities you received came this summer when you were an assistant coach during Summer League. Talk about how that opportunity helped you?
Delany: Our head coach was Dan Craig. Dan and I have been working together for a while in Miami and that hand-on experience is experience that is only going to benefit me, you know, working with the players on a daily basis and kind of being Danís right-hand man and helping him prepare game-by-game in strategy, ideas and plans. It was something I really enjoyed and love doing.

Courtesy of Sioux Falls Skyforce Obviously this is a unique season for Sioux Falls being that itís the first year of single affiliation with Miami. How exciting is it for you, with the role that youíre in, to have a chance to help set the tone for what that relationship is going to be like?
Delany: Itís obviously a great start for me and the Sioux Falls organization. The Heineman family and everyone I met with over the weekend were wonderful people, total workaholics. Weíre about doing things right and being a first class organization in Miami and I know they have the same feelings here. In terms of my opportunity, Iím excited about all of it. Youíve been able to see this over the summer and also over the past few season, so you can talk about how committed the Miami organization is to the NBA D-League?
Delany: I think you see it a little bit the past few years from sending players down and getting experience and coach (Octavio) De La Grana, whoís going to be joining me full time in Sioux Falls, heís been with us in Miami for seven years and heís probably the one guy Iíve related to the most since Iíve started this because heís been there, heís been in Sioux Falls, heís been to a lot of the games. So Iím looking forward to it. Anything I can do to help the organization, help the players that are there and obviously the Skyforce is a great opportunity. This has been a good summer for the NBA D-League as many coaches and front office personnel have moved up to the NBA. Do you realize the opportunity that you and everyone else in the NBA D-League have since this league is not just for the players to advance their careers?
Delany: You can always take notice of the guys that have had success. I know coaches, especially in Sioux Falls like Mo McHone, Dave Joerger, Nate Tibbetts and those guys, theyíve had a lot of success there, but you see it around the league. My only goal right now, and the only thing Iím focusing on, is coaching the Skyforce and getting ready for the season. Thatís where my complete focus is, but obviously I look at it as an opportunity to continue to grow and learn myself.