On Wednesday, March 25, tulsa66ers.com sat down with Assistant Coach Greg Minor. In four seasons, from 1994-99 and 277 games, playing for the Boston Celtics, Minor averaged 6.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He was drafted 25th overall in the 1994 NBA Draft. This is his first season with the 66ers on the bench.
posted by Tulsa66ers.com | March 25 @ 4:45 pm
Tulsa66ers.com: So, your alma mater Louisville. What do you think their chances are of winning it all this year?
Greg Minor: I think that they have an excellent opportunity. When you are a number one seed, you have a target on your back. I like that they have good guard play, they have good size on the inside and they’re long and athletic. They like to pressure the ball, and when you have good guard you have a pretty good chance.
What do think the biggest difference is between the college game and professional game from a players perspective?
GM: Money is a big factor and difference from a player standpoint, because in college you have aspirations of making it professionally. You will do all of the things necessary and listen to your coaches to obtain your goals, whereas professionally, you’re dealing with a lot of distractions, you’re constantly on the road and alone, you’re not around family and friends. And sometimes it takes some time before you can eliminate those distractions and learn the discipline to help you handle yourself as a professional basketball player.
Do you ever get a chance to go back home to Georgia?
GM: As I get older, I don’t get to spend a lot of time back home. But when I do, I like to just hang out with friends and family.
What was it like to hear your name called on Draft Day?
GM: I was sitting around in my apartment with my friends, and it was surreal to hear your name called. All of a sudden you know that all of your aspirations and dreams have come true. It was 14 years ago but it seems like it was just yesterday.
What was it like playing for such a storied franchise in Boston?
GM: I really had no idea what it was truly like to be a Celtic, but sitting in a room with Bill Russell, Tommy Heinsohn, John Havlicek and Bob Cousy…it was the place to be in all of basketball. I’m grateful for that opportunity to play there. And I think that we are working hard here in Tulsa and Oklahoma City to help create that family-type atmosphere within the entire organization.
What is the biggest difference between D-League players and NBA players?
GM: Discipline and focus. An NBA player will utilize their time both during practice and prior to or after practice, to work on things that help them get better. They take really good care of their bodies on the road, by eating well and getting rest, and I think that sometimes takes some time for guys to learn the focus and discipline needed to be professionals.
How was your experience in the Dunk Contest during NBA All-Star Weekend in 1996?
GM: I was extremely nervous, because I knew that millions of people were watching. I saw a number of guys that tried dunks that they couldn’t finish, and all I wanted to do was go in there and finish the dunk.
Did you have any pre-game superstitions/rituals as a player?
GM: Not really. I didn’t really look at anyone, I would just stare into my locker and tried to be focused on the task at hand. So I guess that if you want to say that not talking to my teammates pre-game is a “ritual”, then that was probably my one thing.
What are your long-term and short-term goals?
GM: I want to be a coach in the NBA one day, and I think short-term I need to be the best coach I can be to prepare myself for that.
Are you involved with any charitable organizations?
GM: Not at the moment, but I would like to get involved in more, because I think that it is important to give back. I really want to do something that is involved with benefitting kids, they are our future.
What lessons can the team take from this season so far that can be applied to the remaining games and into next year?
GM: I think that when we look at this season as a whole, we will see that when we were focused, we did really well. We shouldn’t take the game lightly, and when things are not going our way…we shouldn’t try to place blame on anyone…we are a team, and we have a responsibility as a team to work to get better together.
Who is your inspiration?
GM: Hmmm, Derrick Smith comes to mind…he was my mentor growing up. He really encouraged me, but also gave it to me straight when I did something wrong. Some other people are my high school coach, Otis Birdsong, and my wife in so many ways, as she is the backbone of our family. There are really a core group of people that have helped me along the way through the years.
What’s on your IPOD playlist right now?
GM: Ziggy Marley, when most people think of him, they think of just reggae but he speaks on so many subjects that are apart of today’s society. I have a lot of reggae, a little bit of rap, and a lot of lounge music and jazz.
What are your favorite movies, all-time and more recent?
GM: I am a big fan of Usual Suspects, with Kevin Spacey. And more recently I’d have to say 300.
If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would be the topic of conversation?
GM: I would have to say Nelson Mandella. I would really want to know how he stayed so humble and passionate about what he believed in while being imprisoned, when anyone could have given up.
PREVIOUS tulsa66ers.com Q&A SESSIONS:
Q&A with Derrick Dial
Q&A with Keith Clark
Q&A with Ryan Humphrey