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Friday, July 24, 2009

A made up story about Shaquille O'Neal

Coach: Hey Shaq, thanks for coming into my office for your performance review.

Shaq: No problem.

Coach: Well, I wanted to tell you that you're not quite up to our standards, and we're going to put you on a performance improvement plan.

Shaq: Really? What do I need to improve?

Coach: Well, the main thing is we really need to see more basketball mastery out of you. You tend to miss a lot of shots, and you pass the ball on to others a lot instead of taking it up the court yourself. That's not what we're looking for in a point guard.

Shaq: I'm not sure what I can do, I've been trying really hard and it seems like nothing I do really works. I've been working on my dribbling skills, and I pass the ball to other people because they can do a better job of it than I can.

Coach: But to be on this team, you need to demonstrate basketball mastery. And unfortunately I haven't seen that out of you yet. So I'm going to schedule weekly one on ones with you and have you work with our ball-handling coach on Tuesdays, and our jump shot coach on Fridays. Then in 6 months, we'll schedule a time to meet up and I'm confident you'll improve. But if we don't see any improvement, we might have to release you.

Shaq: Coach, I've been thinking, maybe point guard isn't the right position for me to play.

Coach: Really, why do you say that?

Shaq: First of all, I'm 7 feet tall and I weigh 325 pounds. I think if you let me play center, I'd be able to dunk over anyone who'd be guarding me.

Coach: I definitely see that you're tall, and you are pretty muscular. But in order to be successful on this team, you need to demonstrate basketball mastery in the role you are in right now. After you do that, you can consider a change to center. So I want you to concentrate on your ball handling skills and your jump shots, and I want to see you bring the ball up the court instead of passing it on to the shorter and quicker players.

Shaq: Coach, I will do my best, but I really think if you gave me a chance to play center, I could demonstrate my basketball mastery skills by rebounding and scoring near the rim.

Coach: Basketball mastery skills are fundamental and they are the same in any role. So you need to demonstrate them in your current role as a point guard. After you've proven yourself, then someone in the center department might be willing to take you on.

Shaq: Um, OK...

Follow up

So Shaq goes out and tries to demonstrate his basketball mastery skills by taking the ball up the court and working on his jump shot. But he struggles, turning the ball over a lot and missing a lot of shots. He ends up being put on the bench, where he sits there today as a 3rd string point guard, never getting a chance to play center, and the world will never know how good of a center he could have been...


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