A little NBA Lakers help
JUST about the only thing that football and basketball have in common is that both make use of a net. However, West Ham manager Avram Grant still believes his team can learn a thing or two from their hoop-loving contemporaries across the pond.
Grant has invested in the help of one of the NBA’s most successful coaches, Phil Jackson, of the LA Lakers, in the hope that his advice can help lift the Hammers out of their current predicament.
“I had a good dinner with Phil Jackson when he came to London,” said Grant. “He’s a friend of mine and we share a lot of ideas.
“Phil is a big football fan, probably the only coach in the NBA who likes football. I always go to the NBA finals to watch his team and he came here and enjoyed it.
“The dinner was good but, more importantly, the ideas were good. I think you can take a lot, and I spoke with the players about what we can take from basketball. The spirit side is good and he says he takes ideas from football, too.
“It is how to manage people, how to do the right training, how to deal with people. I remember when we (Chelsea) lost the Champions League final in Moscow he asked me a lot of questions about tactics, about winning, about behaviour, about what happened before that. I went there and when they were 3-2 down (in the NBA finals to the Boston Celtics) and they won 4-3. I think as a coach you always push yourself to take from other sports.”
Grant was speaking after West Ham had played out a 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday, the point keeping the team bottom of the Premier League table.