Lakers Q&A: Quin Snyder explains importance of pick and roll
This continues a series of Q&As with members of Mike Brown's coaching staff.
Below is an email exchange with Lakers assistant coach Quin Snyder, former head coach with the University of Missouri. This is the first of a three-part Q&A with Snyder.
During your interview with Brown, what points did you emphasize?
I wanted to show him that I could fill any need on the staff, whether it’s on the side of player development, scouting, game preparation or execution in practice. An assistant coach has to wear a lot of hats, but our primary job is to support the head coach and the players. You have to be prepared to do that in any given situation.
How did sell yourself in the job interview?
I brought plenty of examples of things that I have done, everything from scouting reports, game preparation and hundreds of practice plans that I made when I was a head coach. I also showed him my pick and roll analysis. I think pick and roll offense and defense are fundamentally important in the NBA. It’s something I wrote an article on a while ago in FIBA Assist Magazine. I wanted to show him that and emphasize it, because of the high percentage of possessions that have pick and roll in them.
I also had examples of philosophical things that I felt both about offense and defense. The fact that I have opinions was something that I wanted him to know, and that I would be willing to offer my opinion and defend it even when there was disagreement. To do that in the right kind of way will hopefully add value. I wanted him to know that I was serious and really wanted the job and maybe that was the biggest thing.
What role does Brown want you to take on his coaching staff?
Both players' roles and coaches' roles evolve. As Coach Brown learns where certain coaches have strengths, what they gravitate toward, or what the needs of the team are, those roles will evolve. So many things can influence one’s role for both players and coaches, such as off-season signings, injuries or different match-ups. I think I’m prepared for any role. Coach Brown will decide which ones make more sense.
You first worked with Brown when you were his assistant for the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2006. What did you notice about him as a coach?
I was there the day before he got there so I was responsible for drafting our team and I coached the team the first day. The first thing he told me when he got there was, ‘Hey, I let my assistants coach.’ I really remember that statement and it’s neat that I can look back at that seeing where we are now.
Talking with Danny Ferry and John Kuester about their time together in Cleveland, I know that [Brown] gives guys responsibility and demands things from them. As an assistant coach, that’s something you really appreciate.
The Lakers have a talented and veteran-laden roster with championship experience. How do you earn their trust and get them to buy into your philosophies?
Trust takes time. If you think you are going to show up the first day and have their trust, you’re wrong. There has to be a willingness to trust and sometimes you have to take a jump first; the basis for that is respect. If players see that you are respectful of them, appreciate who they are and have respect for knowledge of the game, then those things can evolve into trust. As far as them buying into philosophies, it’s really about winning. Philosophies change based on the players and how a team evolves. So I think that’s a challenge for any coaching staff and for any team.
-- Mark Medina
Email the Lakers blog at firstname.lastname@example.org
Top photo: Quin Snyder, then-head coach at the University of Missouri, instructs his team during a game against Ohio State in Round 2 of the NCAA Division I West Regional in March 2002. Credit: Adrees Latif / Reuters
Middle photo: Lakers coach Mike Brown during his introductory news conference in El Segundo in May. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.