SI Vault
 
This Is The Life
JACK McCALLUM
October 31, 2005
In eight splendid days as an assistant coach for the PHOENIX SUNS, the author took a hit from Shawn Marion, lost a bet on Amar� Stoudemire and learned to love the game in a whole new way
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 31, 2005

This Is The Life

In eight splendid days as an assistant coach for the PHOENIX SUNS, the author took a hit from Shawn Marion, lost a bet on Amar� Stoudemire and learned to love the game in a whole new way

View CoverRead All Articles
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

At lunch Mike goes over Three-on-Three Convert, an exhausting fast-break drill he wants to use in the evening session for his regulars. The coaches are told to keep the bottom three players in the pecking order-forward Lucas Tischer, swingman Dijon Thompson and guard Anthony Lever-Pedroza, all rookies-from getting too many reps.

"We'll put Jack in charge of them," says Dan.

"Take them off to the side and play around with the heavy ball," says Mike. "That'll screw 'em up good."

That night, though, the three participate as much as anyone else. "We didn't have the heart to keep them out," Iavaroni tells me. "That's what you were supposed to do."

We gorge at a pizza joint, and everyone just wants to go to bed. But it's back to Mike's room for one more meeting.

After the usual wisecracks the mood turns somber.

"Amar� was a little out of it today," says Weber.

Mike nods. "Yeah, he was hurting a little. The knee."

The left knee. He began complaining about it during summer workouts but, when pressed by the staff, insisted it was O.K. But the intensity of two-a-days has clearly made it worse. This won't be the last we hear about the knee.

OCTOBER 6

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15