CHRIS TERRELL – INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL COACH – EPISODE 343

Chris Terrell

Website – https://d1stars.pro/

Email – coach@d1stars.pro

Twitter – @jacks3s

Chris Terrell is one of the only American basketball coaches to lead professional teams in the top league on the continents of North America, Europe, and Asia. Terrell has coached overseas for a decade in leagues such as CBA China, FIBA Europe, Latin America, Canada, and several of the more well-known minor leagues in the States.  This past season he was the head coach for the Dallas Skyline in The Basketball League.

Terrell also works with D1 Stars. Their Tournament of the Americas is globally connected with clubs and agencies featuring the top pro talent.

Don’t miss our Hoop Heads Pod Webinar Series with some of the top minds in the game across all levels, from grassroots to the NBA.  If you’re focused on improving your coaching and your team, we’ve got you covered! Visit hoopheadspod.com/webinars to get registered.  Make sure you check out our new Hoop Heads Pod Network of shows including Thrive with Trevor Huffman , Beyond the Ball, The CoachMays.com Podcast and Cavaliers Central with Justin Matcham, our first podcast dedicated to covering the ins and outs of an NBA team. We’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team.  Reach out to me at mike@hoopheadspod.com if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.

Be prepared to take some notes as you listen to this episode with Chris Terrell, international  professional basketball coach.

What We Discuss with Chris Terrell

  • Learning the game in the schoolyards and growing up a Magic Johnson fan
  • Basketball’s advantage: You can work on it on your own
  • Finding physical players who are willing to do the dirty is becoming more difficult
  • How being a multi-sport athlete when they were younger even helps pro players
  • Looking for the little things that players do that help teams when he’s scouting
  • The first step in his scouting process: video highlights to see if it’s worth looking further, then zeroing in on the player’s defense
  • Why he likes zig-zags as a way to evaluate player’s toughness
  • How learning players’ personalities helps him get more from each player
  • Making practices harder than games
  • How his approach has changed since early in his career
  • A coach’s role is to get more out of the players than they would get out of themselves on their own
  • Developing a big goal first and then working backwards
  • How he got his start coaching younger kids when he was a kid
  • Why he’s always loved x’s & o’s
  • How watching film has evolved throughout his coaching career
  • Breaking down film into smaller clips to help players remember and not feel overloaded
  • How he would use film at different levels from high school to the pros
  • Balancing the positive and negative plays while sharing film with players
  • How he got started in pro basketball and his first coaching opportunity outside the US in Mexico
  • His aspirations to coach in the NBA and where that dream came from
  • Why he had such a blast coaching in Mexico
  • Why coaching in China felt like a different planet
  • How the long term development of players is different in China
  • The possibility of the NBA eventually developing the “academy” model that is common overseas
  • Balancing winning and development at younger levels
  • Teaching positionless basketball
  • Giving up overseas coaching in order to be home more with his family
  • His involvement with The Basketball League
  • Helping players take that next step in their career as pro players
  • Why money is the biggest challenge coaching in minor league pro basketball here in the US
  • How building relationships helps coaches get that next job

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THANKS, CHRIS TERRELL

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TRANSCRIPT FOR CHRIS TERRELL – INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL COACH – EPISODE 343

 [00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here with my co-host, Jason Sunkle. Tonight, we are pleased to welcome to the podcast coach Chris Terrell. Chris, welcome.

Chris Terrell: [00:00:08]Hey, thanks for having me guys.

Mike Klinzing: [00:00:12] We are excited to have you on, you have such a diverse background in coaching and the places that you’ve been all over the world.

Can’t wait to hear more about that and how you ended up going to these various places and what some of your experiences were when you were there. Want to start out by going back in time to when you were a kid. Tell us a little bit about your first experiences with the game of basketball.

Chris Terrell: [00:00:33] Yeah. Yeah. I think, elementary school yards, right?

It was recesses, it was lunchtimes. It was every chance we could get. And, you know, kids were kind of all going in their own directions. We had kickball and tetherball and some kids actually ate lunch and, you know, all kinds of different things, but I was interested in the basketball court and so I headed in that direction and, Yeah, I just remember falling in love with it and dribbling all day.

And, [00:01:00] you know, just looking forward to getting better at basketball.

Mike Klinzing: [00:01:03] Was there anybody that was an inspiration to you, whether it was somebody in your immediate family or maybe somebody that you saw on TV, was there a role model, somebody that you looked up to when you were getting into the game at first?

Chris Terrell: [00:01:17] Yeah, for sure. So I grew up in the eighties and Los Angeles and, Magic Johnson, 1980 started at all five positions. And, you know, he was the, an unbelievable player that kind of broke out right at, I was eight. so my early childhood on in my teenage years was those Lakers runs and that was definitely a big inspiration for me.

Mike Klinzing: [00:01:40] So are you a Larry Bird fan or are you, are Larry Bird hater during that time?

Chris Terrell: [00:01:45] I think I always respected, his ability and his skill, great rivalry. you know, the games wouldn’t have been as interesting if you didn’t have a terrific team that you’re playing against every year and yeah. Between, you know, Bird and, and you look [00:02:00] at those Pistons teams, the bad boys, and then the Bulls came in, you know, around the end of the decade.

A lot of good basketball, the Sixers in the eighties were terrific. The Rockets. So, yeah, I love the, as a kid and grew up jumping up and down on my couch rooting for Magic and Lakers.

Mike Klinzing: [00:02:21] It’s funny how you remember when you’re a kid, the teams and the players that resonate you with you. And certainly during that time, I think you were, if you were a kid during the eighties, you had, you’re either a Magic guy or you were a Bird guy.

I don’t think there was anybody that. Sort of was neutral on that. And so I was always a Magic guy, loved the Lakers and just had a lot of distaste for the Celtics and Larry Bird. Didn’t like him at all when I was a kid. And then obviously as I’ve matured into an adult, you look back at what Bird was able to accomplish, what the Celtics were able to accomplish and how good and talented everything that you would want a basketball player to be.

Larry Bird was that thing. But in [00:03:00] the moment, I was definitely, definitely a magic guy. I love watching the Lakers and always root for the Lakers in that rivalry. For sure. So you think about your time as a young kid coming up? What was it besides just the guys that you looked up to and that, what, what was it about the game that maybe had you gravitate towards it?

As opposed to maybe another sport?

Chris Terrell: [00:03:23] Just the ability to, to be able to work on it, on my own, you know, all I really needed was a basketball and I got one of those and I played in my driveway, you know, I’d work on my handles. I would go to the park, I’d ride the bus to. You know, go, you know, meet some other kids and play, you know, the eighties was a different thing.

So I was, kind of off, you know, adventuring the city and finding games. It was just more accessible. you know, I liked baseball, I played other sports. But it was much more structured in the sense that, you know, you need this giant field and you need all this equipment. You need [00:04:00] coaches, you need X number of players and basketball.

It literally should just be, you know, me and a ball in the driveway dribbling for a couple of hours. And I just loved it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:04:10] I think that’s something that when you talk to people who play different sports when they were younger and they gravitate towards basketball. I think one of the things that you want and here is the fact that I can do it on my own, and I didn’t need somebody else.

If I wanted to go out and shoot for an hour or two hours, and I wanted to shovel snow, or I wanted to shoot late at night, you could do that. Whereas as you said, with baseball or football, You need some other people to be able to throw you the ball or play catch with or whatever the case might be. And I think basketball has a unique advantage there, and that you can really improve your game by yourself.

And I think to a lot of kids who asphalt’s important to them, when they’re younger, they can put a lot of time in that it would be very difficult to put that same amount of time in, in a different sport. I want to ask you a little bit about [00:05:00] multi-sport athletes. When you think about that from a coaching perspective today.

And you look back on your experiences as a kid. How do you think being a multi-sport athlete impacts kids today? Because we know there’s a lot of pressure on kids to specialize. So what do you see as a coach at the professional level? Do you look back that far at some of your players, who was a multi sport athlete and maybe how that impacts their performance down the road?

When they do decide to specialize in basketball?

Chris Terrell: [00:05:29] Yeah. I mean, you know, one of the things that I always kind of look for a professional level, is guys that, you know, everyone is skilled to a certain extent, but guys that have that physicality  or bring the effort or willing to do the dirty work or kind of things that the guys that are good.

You know, role players, the guys, a little rebound and defend and being physical and bumps, screeners, and all those types of things where I’m leading with that is other sports contact, sports, football, namely, [00:06:00] but. You know, some others, hockey, et cetera. There’s an element to the sport of basketball that as we’re transitioning more and more into a single sport type of athlete, I’m seeing less and less of the certain things that you would be more likely to find players that were more diverse.

Mike Klinzing: [00:06:23] So what are some of those things, physicality? What else are you seeing that maybe a basketball only athlete is lacking that maybe somebody who played multiple sports might have?

Chris Terrell: [00:06:32] Yeah. So an example like, you know, you pick and roll away from a wing.

And so that defender’s responsible for dropping bump on the big that’s rolling so that the big, this defending the ball screen can kind of help stop the ball until the guy that’s getting screened gets back in front of it. And so it’s teamwork guys defending multiple positions it’s gets harder and harder as I’ve gotten later on in my career to find.

You know, six [00:07:00] foot  three, six foot four guys that will, you know, get physical with a seven footer or in the middle of the lane just long enough so that his man can, can help. And, you know, so that help the helper stuff is important. rebounding, you know, just, you know, close outs, different things like that.

I think there’s a physicality that comes with other sports that when players are focused on basketball only they might have the skill to play at higher levels, but. They’re just not, interpositional in a way that multi-sport athletes are more apt to be,

Mike Klinzing: [00:07:33] that makes complete sense. I think one of the things that I always find as a coach, and it’s interesting because a lot of what I do as a coach or what I’ve done as a coach, I still tend to.

Look back on myself as a player, even though I’m 50 years old, for some reason in my head, I still tend to think of myself more as a player, which I don’t know what that says about me and my mental state. But regardless when I think [00:08:00] about coaching, one of the most difficult things that I’ve always struggled with is what you just mentioned in terms of being able to get players to.

Play more physically and not shy away from contact. So I think of a specific idea where just a simple concept, like in a lot of the coaching that I’ve done in the last 10 years has been with, let’s say eighth grade players and younger, but just a simple drill or simple skill would be. Or if it’s a player, pass the ball to the wing defender, guarding the player who passed it has to jump to the ball and then bump the cutter.

As the cutter goes down the lane and try to make the cutter go behind the defender. And I’ll demonstrate time after time after time. And I’ll take my forearm and I’ll bang the cutter. Who’s coming down the lane and then I’ll put a kid in there. And the kid will not, the defender will not touch the cutter for whatever reason.

They just want to touch them. And I do think that there’s something to be said for [00:09:00] kids who played backyard tackle football, that they’re not afraid of the physical. I do think that that’s something that we don’t see as much in today’s game. I find that more difficult to teach. And it sounds like you’re seeing some of those same things.

Chris Terrell: [00:09:12] Yeah, it’s a constant struggle. And every year it gets a little bit harder. And, you know, a lot of I’ve gotten to the point where a lot of my scouting and, you know, just finding players and talking to agents and going through videos and trying to figure out. It becomes more, about the innate qualities to winning teams that I’m looking for.

Then, when I first started, it was really more, okay, how many points per game, what did he go to? You know, it was more than that type of scouting where these days I’m thinking more along the lines of, you know, I can teach them an offense. They’re all going to be able to shoot. Let me find the guys that do the other stuff.

Mike Klinzing: [00:09:55] So, how do you go about determining that? Is that just you [00:10:00] having a feel for watching tape on them, watching them play live and actually seeing those things. Are there questions, things that you can ask when you talk to the players? Are there things you can ask their prior coaching staffs about them, how you go about evaluating some of those less.

This is all things. Obviously we can all look at a score sheet and see, Oh, this kid averaged 18 points a game. We can see what they shot from the field and what they shot for the line. But some of the things that we’re talking about the physicality, or maybe the mentality to be a good teammate or a little bit more intangible.

Well, so how do you go about evaluating those things in a player that you’re looking at?

Chris Terrell: [00:10:35] Yeah, I think it starts with the video. You know, I like to watch a highlights just to kind of make sure that the player that I’m looking at is someone that’s worth watching a full game video on and kind of once they’ve past that stage, then I’ll watch full game video.

And I just really focused in on him throughout the entire play on both sides. Defense is really important to me. And I think defense is the easiest [00:11:00] way to find out whether or not they’re going to do those things. Right. Do they, do they bump the cutters? Do they fight through ball screens?

You know, do they, do they lay down when they get screened and get taken out of the play too easily? Do they continue to make those second and third efforts, do they rebound? Are, do they get on the floor or, you know, loose ball situations. And so, you know, if I see enough in the full game video, then.

Typically, it goes on to the interview process. And within sometimes it’s a little tricky to get guys to come out of their shell. I mean, most of these guys are, you know, young adults, maybe 22 to 30 years old is maybe kind of the, the range. And it’s hard to always kind of get what you want out of them immediately, but you learn the personality type and then, you know, continue to kind of ratchet up your, your questions to evoke a response?

Mike Klinzing: [00:11:53] Yeah, I would think that it’s difficult to always bat a hundred percent. We know clearly scouting. Isn’t an exact [00:12:00] science. So let’s say that you end up with a player who maybe is struggling in some of those areas that we talked about. Let’s just take physicality as an example.

And so you have a guy that maybe you thought was going to bring that to them stable, but doesn’t, or maybe you knew that that was going to be an area yeah. Struggle with, but he has some skills in another area. How do you go about helping a player improve some of those intangible skills? You know, we’re not talking to you about the ability to dribble the ball or pass the ball or shoot the ball, but just for those physicality and tangibles being a teammate, how do you teach that as a coach?

Chris Terrell: [00:12:34] So I do it with drills. you know, the, one of my favorites is a zigzag and we basically just, you’re probably familiar lined up on the base line, you know, offensive players, offense, defense off is kind of the rotation. And so a defensive player steps in front of the offensive player underneath the basket, you know, staring out of bounds on the baseline and the offensive player could pick a direction, but I like the defense to kind of try and influence [00:13:00] that.

And then you’re just trying to get your chest on the lead shoulder and slide your feet and stay in front of the ball, knowing that he cannot change directions until it gets to the sideline. And so you normally get two or three hard dribbles of the sideline, and then he’s either got to go between his legs around his back or reverse pivot, dribble to get off the sideline and start heading in the other direction.

And it’s at that moment where all teach them. I’m already. Can’t keep going that way. You know, he’s going to do one of these three things, so. Take away the crossover. don’t let them dribble between his legs, if he goes around his back, steal it. And that’s really only gonna leave him with the reverse pivot.

And what I want you to do is load up on that off leg and jumped in the direction that you know, he’s got to pivot towards and trying again, get your chest on that lead shoulder. If the defensive player can turn the offensive player. Five times before he gets to half court with the basketball, all blow the whistle, the offensive player has to run [00:14:00] suicides defensive player.

Then it gets on the ball and I’m screaming and hollering and yelling and raising hell. And it really kind of ramps the guys up to get ultra competitive with it. it improves their ability to be able to respond to ball pressure, which helps us offensively, but I’m really more than anything to your question, trying to pull that intensity out of them and get them to really compete.

And if you make that a daily part of practice I’ve found, it translates to the game.

Mike Klinzing: [00:14:32] Yeah. I always wonder about toughness. You think about it from a coaching perspective, then you just, there are some players on your team that you can just quickly identify within the first. Hours days of you knowing them or having them be a part of your team that this is just a tough kid.

And then there are other kids that, you know, they’re a little softer or they just maybe don’t have the same level of intensity or work ethic or whatever it is. So [00:15:00] as a coach, I think that one of the things that we all try to do is figure out how can we get the most out of each player. So just maybe describe for us what your process is for.

Getting to know your players over the course of the season, and then trying to figure out what each one of them needs to be able to get the best out of them. How do you go about doing that?

Chris Terrell: [00:15:22] Yeah, so I, I I’ve read a lot about it and I’ve gotten better at it over the years. You know, I really used to be early in my career, kind of almost confrontational where I was like, You know that Bobby Knight kind of coach all the time with everyone.

And you know, what I found out was is that some guys really respond to that and play harder and compete and just love it. And then other guys just shut down. They can’t take the pressure. It’s too much. They go into a shell and they don’t play as well. And so as I I’ve read, as I’ve gotten older, it’s learning the personality types and what they respond to.

And I forget what book it is, but [00:16:00] there was something that I could, I kept a hold of that. They talked about that, you know, you, you could just reach out to someone and, you know, touch them on their shoulder or you could, “poke the bear” is an expression and, and  some guys need, you know, more than others and it’s just learning what people respond to.

But, yeah, I’ve learned to have fun. It’s a very that, because you know, sometimes it’s just too much for certain guys. They didn’t get that at home. They’re not used to it and they don’t respond well to it, but other players are super receptive to a more aggressive approach. I try and get the guys to play hard.

Like I want the most difficult thing in their lives to be my practice so that by the time that they get into the game and they’re just playing against some of their kids, that’s their age. Oh my God, this is easy. You know, I don’t have coach screaming at me the whole time. Like I can just have fun and, It’s something that I’ve just [00:17:00] kind of evolved into over the years.

Mike Klinzing: [00:17:02] How long, or how many years do you think it took into your career before you started to. Evolve and think about the fact that there might be more than just one particular way. Like your style, the way you feel comfortable. Coaching may not work for everybody. So I think that’s something that all coaches deal with.

Obviously you have to be yourself. When you’re coaching cause players, we all know can look through and see if you’re a, a quiet, mild mannered coach. And suddenly one day you’re screaming, yelling, it’s going to come across, maybe not as genuine. And I think the reverse is true too. If you’re someone who’s always kind of loud and boisterous and coaching in that manner. And then suddenly one day you show up and you’re super quiet and put your arm around everybody. I think that kids look at that sometimes a little bit skew as well. So just talk a little bit about how you, how long it took you to start to see that maybe you had to have a slightly different approach within your own [00:18:00] personality type a when it comes to coaching.

Chris Terrell: [00:18:03] I’m still learning, , I think coaching at any level, it’s just a constant process and it takes time and I’ve come a long way, but it’s hard. What you want them to do is more energy than they would on their own, right.

It’s to be more competitive than they would without you it’s to the dive on the floor it’s to get those loose balls, it’ to make that those competitive, things throughout the game. And so. You know, I think that what I’ve learned and gotten better at doing is developing relationships, you gotta love them a little bit.

You, you know, you can’t, you can’t just, you know, be the bad guy. they have to see both sides of you and, and that’ll make, I think players respond to a coach being who he is, [00:19:00] as long as they know that you have their best interests at heart. And, that you’re trying to do right by them. And. So it’s, it’s a little bit of bolts, but, but you’re right.

It has to be. You know, genuine, it has to be from you.

Mike Klinzing: [00:19:12] How do you establish those kinds of relationships with players, where you get them to buy in? And they do understand that you care about them as more than just a basketball player who can help them to win games. What are some of the strategies, techniques, things that you do to help you build relationships with your players,

Chris Terrell: [00:19:32] Develop a big goal, and then work your way backwards. I’ve always found that, you know, you find a common ground that, that, that the player is committed to, whether that’s playing in the NBA or that’s making his high school basketball team, or, you know, getting a scholarship or whatever it is, but you find it that big goal.

And then. Once you have that goal, then you kind of try, and what I try and do is work all the little steps [00:20:00] back to where we are now to get there and to talk through those things. And once the player sees that you’re trying to help them accomplish their goal. And you’re simply trying to, from your experience, help them outline the thousands of little steps between.

You know, a and B they’re going to be more receptive to some of the things that it takes in order to get them where they want to go.

Mike Klinzing: [00:20:26] That’s a great way to look at it. I think that I had a conversation with JP Nerbun who is a consultant with coaches all over the world about helping them to build winning cultures and championship teams.

And I remember one of the things that he said that relates to what you were just talking about in terms of starting with this larger goal in mind. And what he said is that he. Tries to get his coaches to have those same conversations with players and then ask them. Okay, well, if that’s what your goal is, let’s take a [00:21:00] look at what you’re actually doing to try to reach that goal.

Let’s see if your actions match up with. The goal that you’re trying to accomplish. And oftentimes he would say that coach has led those conversations and the player will, I have a goal, but they’re actually, it’s, aren’t necessarily leading them towards accomplishing that goal. And so then his recommendation to coaches is then at that point, this is basically what you said is on, how can I help you?

To reach your goal. What can I do to put you in a position to reach that goal? How can I help give you actual action steps that you can take in order to reach that goal? And I think that’s gotta be something powerful for players to hear their coach say to them, Hey, if you want to get here, these are the things that you have to do.

And that’s sort of the coach in that. Facilitator role in terms of helping their individual players improve. And then you also, obviously at the same time, half the balance between the [00:22:00] team goals and the individual goals of a player. So how do you do that as a coach? How do you balance the team goals with the individual goals of your players?

Chris Terrell: [00:22:08] Yeah. So it’s, it’s different at different levels, right? So when, when I was coaching high school or junior college or something like that, AAU ball, a lot of times the players that you have, or are the kids that live in your district and the ones that come to your tryout. And, so you kind of have to work with what you’ve got, more often than not.

One of the advantages at the professional level is, more and more, I’m able to pick guys that have specific skill sets who currently want to do the things that the team needs for them to do to win.

Mike Klinzing: [00:22:48] Yeah, that makes total sense. I think that as you get into a coach and obviously you have your philosophy and you have the things that you’re trying to accomplish at a team, and then you look at each individual’s skill set [00:23:00] and what they can bring to the table and then how that can impact you completely as a team, what individual things that they bring to the table.

Let’s go back in time to. When you first got into coaching, when did you know that you wanted to make coaching your life’s work? Was it something that you always knew from the time you were young or was it something that came to you once you were kind of done playing, you started looking around and saying, Hey, I want to still stay involved in the game.

At what point did you realize you wanted to be a coach?

Chris Terrell: [00:23:32] I can think of two points probably. So one when I was, I don’t know, eight, nine years old. My mom was working two jobs. I lived with her. They had gotten divorced when I was much younger, when I was two. And, she’d come home late from her second job.

So ran for school latchkey kid. I jumped on the bus and go to the park and I play basketball, you know, until dark. And then, you know, after dark come home, the way that I was able to [00:24:00] play in those leagues often, registration wise. I was volunteering to coach a younger age group. So when I was eight or nine years old, I was coaching the six year olds.

when I was 10, I was coaching the seven year olds. And so that was always kind of a part of what I did in order to continue to be able to play in all those leagues. And then, I think, it was, you know, much later in life, early twenties. I was coaching, 13 and under, AAU team. And, I would literally this park and recreation center and, you know, Northern Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley.

I would literally go to the games in a suit. I wouldn’t have like structured practices where, you know, like people would literally laugh, laugh at me and say, You know, who do you think you are? Are you Phil Jackson or something? You know, these are 13 year old kids and, you know, I was driven yeah, Immediately. [00:25:00] And mocked for it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:25:02] What was it about coaching that you love so much? Was there one particular part of it that stood out? Was it the challenge of competing? Was it the X’s and O’s, what was it? The players. Was it something else? What was it that you really liked about it?

Chris Terrell: [00:25:15] Yeah, this sounds funny.

I really don’t know how to articulate it, but when I was a little kid, you know, all my friends played the Atari or Intellivision or whatever the video games of the day were. Right. Well, my video game was coaching the kids that were three years younger than me and. Like that was me playing. It was, Hey, you go over here and you do this and we’re going to score and I’m kind of pressing the buttons a little bit.

Right. And that’s why I’m using the video game analogy. I don’t know the competitive aspect of it and the teamwork and the comraderie and winning. And, I loved it. I just loved it immediately.

Mike Klinzing: [00:25:58] What’s something that you [00:26:00] feel like even from those early days when you were coaching and maybe not so much when you were coaching, when you were 10 coach and seven-year-olds, but when you were in your mid twenties, you were coaching AAU basketball.

What’s something that you feel like you had a natural affinity for some part of coaching that you were pretty good at, right? From the very beginning.

Chris Terrell: [00:26:19]  I used to just sit for hours and just diagram plays, if they show you slip, if they trail you curl, if they cheat you flare, if they trap then, you slip and mid post and like all those read counter options, is what I saw. Well, you know, kind of times space on the court, bunches of X’s and O’s, I would just spend hours and hours on it

Mike Klinzing: [00:26:47] At that point in your life. Did you get an opportunity to watch, were you watching any film to break down whether it was film of your own team or just what you watching.

And the NBA games and trying to break stuff down, or was that not really what you were doing [00:27:00] at that point? It was a lot more difficult to watch some then than it is now.

Chris Terrell: [00:27:02] Yeah. So I was going to say, I mean, this is pre YouTube pre-Facebook pre-internet it was watching the NBA on NBC and, you know, we had a VCR, I would tape games and then I would play back plays and I would later in the game seeing the same play, but the defense defended it slightly differently. And so the offense was able to counter and it didn’t happen all at once, obviously, but over the years I got better and better that with, you know, the internet and YouTube and lots of other things that, you know, jumped by leaps and bounds.

But, yeah, that’s kinda The bottom line of it.

Jason Sunkle: [00:27:44] You’re you’re way better than me because I was just replaying John Tesh, his intro over and over again. Back then. Yeah. It’s a good song. It’s catchy. It’s very catchy. It’s very catchy.

Mike Klinzing:  Well, I think when you think about [00:28:00] film and Jason’s a little bit younger than you and I, but I, my recollection of film that I got out of high school coaching.

It’s probably been 10 years now. So I got out right before sort of the revolution in film work. And so when I, when I think of film, I still think of both as a player and in my coaching career of having. The VCR

Mike Klinzing: [00:28:26] and hitting the rewind button and having it go a minute past the play that I wanted to see, and then trying to jump ahead and then having to watch two extra minutes of the play to get back to the play I wanted to see and just how brutal it was to be able to watch any film.

And obviously now it’s so much easier. So when you’re watching film with one of your teams, How much time do you spend watching your own team play? Let’s say during the season, how much, what percentage of the time you spend watching your own team’s film and trying to analyze what you’re doing [00:29:00] versus how much time you spend watching opponents film, trying to prepare for them or prepare for your next game?

Chris Terrell: [00:29:07] Good question. I say probably 75, 25, next game. I’m always kind of looking ahead, but that percentage will change based on result too. Right? Like, I hate to say that you work harder or you study more when you lose, but it’s true. It’s just human nature. It’s something really is bugging ya.

It’s getting on your nerves and you’re like, God, we got out rebounded. And how are we going to fix this? Or the, you know, the health side isn’t coming quick enough. And where’s my drop defender. And you know, in your mind that you didn’t make something happen like you should have as a team in the game.

And so you played back the video to try and learn what those lessons are that you carry with you to practice the next day.

Mike Klinzing: [00:29:53] How much film do you share with your players during a typical [00:30:00] game week or preparation. So in other words, if you’re going to watch film you as a coach, how much do you watch compared with how much tape do you show to your players that doesn’t count them watching on their own or having access to the video, but how much are you actually sitting down together as a team or maybe with one individual player and showing them the film compared to how much you’re watching.

Chris Terrell: [00:30:19] That’s something that I’ve got better at over the years. I think in the beginning I was just overboard. You know, I would go morning, shoot around and then we’d go to the weight room and then we’d come back to the facility and we’d watch our full game video. Keep stopping it and comment and teaching points and draw things on the boards.

And now we’re going to watch the next team’s full game video. Like I was just too much and they couldn’t retain it all. It was, I was overboard. So over the years, I’ve realized that I need to pare it down, down into teachable moment moments that they can carry [00:31:00] with them to the next game. And so if I’m making a point about our game, that I’ve got my entire message broken out in four or five plays, that kind of stuff, speak to the things that we’re going to work on in practice.

Does that address those issues moving from, and then for the next opponent it’s. Similar, four or five sets typically, maybe one defensive possession to give you kind of their overall shell is to, is how they defend as a team, but maybe four or offensive plays that we want to try and break counters that we want to force them to go to.

So I’ve heard it way back. if I can get both done in an hour, that’s awesome. Early in the week, it depends on the league or the country or whatever. If it’s a, if it’s a Friday Saturday game schedule and you’ve got all week to practice, then that first day back from the rest day, if there’s travel and then a rest day, then maybe we’re in practice on a Tuesday.

That first hour of practice on Tuesday is getting ready for the week. And that’s when I [00:32:00] go over those things.

Mike Klinzing: [00:32:02] So you’ve obviously coached in a lot of different places and a lot of different levels. And we’ll get into that a little bit, but just when it comes to film work, does it, does it matter in terms of obviously pro guys who that’s their only job, they have more time to be able to look at film than a high school team does.

But if you were just in general, let’s say that it’s the year 2020 here, and you’re coaching a team at the college level, the professional level, the high school level. Is there an ideal amount of film that you would want each of those different levels to see? Could the pros, in other words, handle watching more video and retaining more of it than the high school players.  Just what might be your philosophy for those different levels in terms of the amount of film that you’d share with players?

Chris Terrell: [00:32:46]  Yeah. Great question. So, I think like school, right? Like it, it gets harder as you go. The math that you’re going over in third grade is very different than the math that you’re doing, et cetera.

And [00:33:00] so, the way that they, a lot of players learn the game, and how much information you’re able to give them, the deeper meaning of plays, breaking down options, reads, encounters, those types of things. I think the older that they get, late in their careers, you know, 30 to 35 years old, the guys that are able to say, hang on that long.

You know, some of these guys are future coaches. You can really go into a lot of detail. so, you know, to answer your question, I think. at the high school level, I find it. I want to pair it back. I don’t want to overload the guys. I don’t have anywhere near as much time. I need to be on the court as much it’s possible.

So I would probably break it down to a couple things. He didn’t the game that I want to try and correct. And maybe a teachable moment that I’m really proud of that we’ve been working on and that we’re getting better at and we’ll end it with the positive moment. just the side point, the younger guys need the encouragement, you know, it, after a while you get kind of a thicker skin when, when you’re a pro basketball player, but [00:34:00] younger players really need the power on the backpack too.

So I’d always try. And it was something that, you know, I’m really proud of them, you know, for doing, you know, something that we’ve been working on as a team that they’ve accomplished now. And that we’re. We’re improved at. but pare it down, I guess, is my message. And then, same thing with the future opponent, maybe two plays that they run a lot that, you know, okay, they’re going to run the ball screen to the right and he’s going to roll the basket.

And then this guy’s going to replace the top of the key ball, reversal and side screen and roll. And so I want you guys to. You know, black on this false screen. And then I want you to ice on this one and just kind of little mini things to carry with you then on the court to the, to the practice, to get ready for the next bone.

Mike Klinzing: [00:34:46] Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. I wanted to ask you, you kind of touched on it a little bit. What would you say would be your ratio for lack of a better way of saying it of positive to negative things, things that you’re showing your team. So if you’re watching your own cell and you’re [00:35:00] analyzing your own performance, How much are you showing in players a play where you say, Hey, this is how we’re going to defend the screen roll.

This is exactly how we want it done versus all man, looking out player X got caught up in the screen and didn’t get around. You know, that the guy didn’t step out of the edge, control the ball handler. How much of you, how much of what you’re showing positive plays that you want your players to emulate and how much of it is mistakes that you’ve made that you want them to correct.

Chris Terrell: [00:35:28] Yeah, again, I’m kind of probably a little overboard on everything. I’m confrontational and aggressive. And if I’m upset, they know it like, you know, I’ll be upset in a video session. and I’ll put rules in place and I’ll make demands, you know, Hey, you guys, everybody knows.

Is there anybody in this room raise your hand that does not know that when they set a ball screen at the top of the floor, that the big defending the screener is going to jump out and hedge, [00:36:00] and then he’s going to roll back to the basket with his hands above his head. Like we all know to do that. Right.

And I’ve just shown you three times in the video where we’re not doing that. So here’s the deal. Everybody wants to play. If you don’t do your job. Are we clear?

Mike Klinzing: [00:36:15] Yeah. I don’t think there’s any way that you can be a player and not get that message, although it’s amazing. We all know as coaches and even if you’re still a player, you know, you have teammates that there’s things that are abundantly clear or certainly seem abundantly clear, and yet players don’t always get that message.

And that always has been something that is kind of amazing to me. And yet we all know that. There’s all different kinds of players in terms of their ability to listen and their ability to be disciplined and to do things that coaches are asking. And as a coach, again, like we talked about earlier, it’s your job to be able to figure out how do you go about getting to be sure that all your players are going to do things.

That you want them to do in order for your team to be successful. Let’s talk a little bit about these, the start of your [00:37:00] coaching career and what you thought your career path was going to be in coaching when you first started and then give us an idea of your first coaching job and what that first real experience was like going beyond just coaching, you know, younger kids at a rec league or at the level.

Chris Terrell: [00:37:20] Yeah, so, I coached high school and junior college just kind of one year of each. and then I started doing a semi-pro travel ball. we got an opportunity to play, a USBL team they’re defunct now, but United States Basketball League back in the, I think this was early 2000’s. It was semi-pro, you know, guys making $500 a week or that type of  money to play basketball.

And, we traveled across the country. I took a team from Dallas to Melbourne, Florida to play the Bravard blue ducks. And we got DVDs of two games. We [00:38:00] played them back to back and I loaded the videos online on YouTube, and then put them on a website and then started pasting all over social media.

I think it was MySpace at the time or whatever, but, that’s kind of when I really felt like, Oh my God, I could go to the NBA. I really started thinking bigger. You know, I’d coached in high school, I’d coached in college. I’d kinda gotten my feet wet. I thought I was pretty good at it. you know, we won at those two levels and I was moving up quickly and now I was starting to get guys that were former division one athletes, you know, true size two, you know, I think, that team that we took to Florida, my small Ford was six, 10.

you know, I had a couple big body guys at, at, at four and five. I had a, a shooter at six three that. you know, played the point and, I just, you know, I started getting excited about the possibility and, came, started [00:39:00] reaching out to me from, you know, social media and, and just, you know, kind of pasting, you know, Length all over the place.

And I started getting phone calls and, my very first job, I think, which was a part of your question. a team in Mexico in Lee called Siva Copa. It’s the circuit of professional basketball on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It’s I dunno, 12 team league or something. It’s not big money. Two $3,000 a month type jobs for players at that time in that league.

It’s more now, but, they contacted me. They wanted two of the guys that they saw playing for me and for me to come coach. And, I think it was 2005 was my first pro job. And it was with, Marin narrows.

Mike Klinzing: [00:39:52] All right. So I got two questions related to that. So the first one is how did you get the [00:40:00] opportunity to put together that team that you took? Becausause if you had been coaching at the high school level and coaching at the Juco level, how does the connection come to pass? That gives you the opportunity to go and do that.

Let’s answer that part first. And then I’ll jump to my second question after you answer that.

Chris Terrell: [00:40:18] Yeah, you’re right. I skipped the whole step and an important one too. guy by the name of Willie McCray, a Christ based organization called the Dallas Diesel. they were a semi-pro organization and one of my players, this guy named Kelvin Williams was a six foot eight, 270 pound, post player. And, he was starting to practice with the Dallas Diesel. And, I decided to go down there. I started talking to Coach McCray and kind of one thing led to another, but he already had three or four guys that were coming to practice and I started working with them and once I got involved, you know, I [00:41:00] I’ve always been real active on social media, whether it was MySpace or Facebook, or now with Twitter, Instagram, not as much as I’m getting older, but earlier in my career, I was super active with that. I was always posting videos and liking videos and making comments, with players, pretty heavily involved in the local Pro-Am circuit, where I got to know, players that had just graduated college and, or were still in college and building my contact base.

And I was always good at recruiting. Like, once I got someone on the phone and talks about. You know, Hey, you know, we’re going to do this and we’re working on that. And, you know, I always had big aspirations and talked a good game and, you know, players came out and supported the program and, the rest is history.

Mike Klinzing: [00:41:48] So did you realize at that point, as you started having these conversations and getting these opportunities prior to that, were you even aware of sort of this minor league level of [00:42:00] basketball? Was that something that you knew about, and then when you ended up getting the opportunity to go and coach in Mexico, did you also think about the fact that you’re, did you ever see yourself coaching in a foreign country?

So one, were you aware of the minor league basketball circuit, so to speak and then two, did you ever see yourself as you started your coaching career coaching in another country?

Chris Terrell: [00:42:26] Yeah, it’s not black or white, it kind of a gray answer. So when I was a little kid back in LA, they would always have runs at UCLA or at Pierce college or other places.

I live in California where a lot of players would come, whether it was, you know, there’s a lot of good players from LA Paul Pierce, Gilbert Arenas, you know, Magic and several of the Lakers would go to UCLA all the time and play Reggie Miller, Adonis Jordan, Stuart Gray. There were so many guys, and so I always looked up to those guys. I wanted to be [00:43:00] involved and go hang out where they were in the summers. And so. I remember in long beach should the pyramid, you know, 25, 30 years ago where I started seeing more and more of that, they would have the, then goes and the Adidas and and the different, type of pro summer league type events.

And so it’s kind of always been in the back of my mind that that was the next logical step after, you know, high school and college to make my journey to the NBA. And that was kind of my goal.

Mike Klinzing: [00:43:30] So you get an opportunity to go and coach in Mexico. What was that like? What was it like your first experience being in a foreign country, coaching in a foreign league?

What did you like about it? What were some of the challenges that you faced?

Chris Terrell: [00:43:45] Oh, wow. I mean, Mexico is, it’s crazy. I mean, so much fun. The people are wonderful people. I love the food. I love the culture. I love everything about Mexico. [00:44:00] the fans, they call them fanatics that they are, they’re just.

You know, beer sponsors were always the big money producer for the team. And, it just the whole atmosphere of the game there, the spectacle is they call it, it’s exciting, you know, dancers and, and loud music and, and beer and, you know, parties after you win. And it was crazy.

Mike Klinzing: [00:44:29] Language barrier a factor or no?

Chris Terrell: [00:44:32] No, so I took Spanish for two years. I think it was seventh and eighth grade if I remember correctly. And so I, I had some broken Spanish and I was quick to pick it up. I’m bilingual.

Mike Klinzing: [00:44:47] That’s awesome. I’m sure as you got into it, it’s a tremendous advantage to be able to speak the language, to be able to communicate with all your players.

What was the best part of that first year coaching at the pro level? [00:45:00]

Chris Terrell: [00:45:00] Benny West is a guy that’s from here in Dallas and Brandon Lee is also, they were two of the guys that played for the Dallas Diesel for me on the, in that Melbourne game. Just seeing those guys succeed, they were both all stars.

Benny, led the league in scoring and was the slam dunk champion. we had a good season, great guys and. I don’t know, the whole thing was a blast. It’s really hard being away from home. but, it was a blast. 

Mike Klinzing: [00:45:29] All right. So let’s kind of walk through each of the stops that you’ve had along the way.

Cause you’ve been in a lot of different places, a lot of different countries. And I’m going to let you kind of walk us through the timeline. Maybe just give us a detail or two at each spot. And then if I have something I want to jump in on. I’m going to do that, but I want you to be able to just kind of take us through some of the highlights of some of the places you’ve been, things you’ve been able to do.

And I’ll hop in with questions

Chris Terrell: [00:45:54] Okay. yeah, so it started in CIBA, Copa and Mexico. [00:46:00] And then I came back to the Dallas area and I coached a team called the Texas Tycoons. We went to the ABA championship game against, the Vermont frost teams. we’ll void was their head coach. He coached in the G league and I think he’s now in China, but their team was run by sports illustrated, a great season, 25 and five went to the ABA championship game.

And then I went to the L and BP in Mexico. That’s legal. Nasional that’s rather than just the coastal league of Mexico. That’s the big mainland, league for Mexico. And then, I went, to China. I got an opportunity to be an assistant coach in the CBA, Chinese Basketball Association.

That’s their top league. That was a wacky experience. I’ll just kind of hit on that one real quick, to, NBA imports, both first round draft picks. I had Javaris Crittendon famous for the gun incident with Gilbert arenas. He was one and done at Georgia Tech first round draft pick of the Lakers. I, he played three [00:47:00] years.

The NBA, his very first overseas team he played for was with me. And then I had a PJ Ramos, seven foot five first round draft pick Puerto Rican guy for, the Washington wizards. Same story, three years in the NBA. First job after his NBA, stint was in China with me. Both guys were making 60 grand a month.

So I had gone from, you know, semi-pro going to Florida, a bunch of guys getting in a bus with pizza money. To, in three, four or five years, pretty quickly had gotten to a pretty decent level in the game. And then, two years FIBA Europe, I was in Romania. And, really enjoyed that time. I’m going all over the place, guys.

Mike Klinzing: [00:47:50] No, you’re good. Go ahead. Go ahead and go through it and just anytime jump a comment. I got, I have, I have a question, but I’ll let you finish kind of what you’re, what you’re talking about. Yeah. Anything you want to throw in the [00:48:00] experiences that you’ve already talked about?

Chris Terrell: [00:48:02] Yeah, I was just going to say China was not a different country.

Like that’s literally a different planet. I had these grandiose ideas that it was nothing but, you know, Panda express, and yeah, everything from the food to the culture, to the people just it’s foreign. Isn’t the word? It’s it’s alien. I mean, great people. I love the Chinese people, but very different than Western society in so many ways that people wouldn’t understand unless they spent months there to really get a feel for it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:48:33] What’s one or two things in China that that stood out for you that you’re like, wow, this is just completely different to the way of life that I’m used to.

Chris Terrell: [00:48:41] Just normal everyday life, Just massive humanity, like people and cars and motor scooters and bicycles and chickens and all intersecting it’s wacko.

People. Oh my God. A lot of people, we thought, you know, America was a big [00:49:00] country. China’s got us be different, right? Like Americans are known to be, you know, boisterous and outgoing and you know, Chinese are, and I don’t mean to stereotype, but just kind of overall speaking about cultural differences between countries and not, you know, individuals, but, Very reserved.

w look down when they’re walking, I’m not as quick to say hello to strangers. the interactions and the interpersonal, is, is, is very different. and then food, I, I said it wasn’t Panda express and not even close it’s it isn’t anything that I’ve ever eaten before. And some great things and some really weird things that, you know, I just, I wouldn’t do again.

But, I mean, it was an experience. I’m glad that I did it. It was an awesome experience. Great level of basketball. It, I would say other than Navy Euro league that the CBA and China has, you know, probably more NBA [00:50:00] players than any league in the world other than the NBA.

Mike Klinzing: [00:50:03] What was the language barrier like there?

because obviously you don’t speak Mandarin Chinese. So how did you overcome that?

Chris Terrell: [00:50:08] Money solves all problems. Every import player on the team had his own translator and the coaches had their own translators. We had our own driver. We had our own cook, money.

Mike Klinzing: [00:50:24] So just for people who might be hearing without putting a dollar figure on it, what does the salary of a head coach in the CBA look like the salary of an assistant coach look like, what might that be comparable to in terms of levels here in the United States? Just so people can have a feel for what that looks like.

Chris Terrell: [00:50:47] Monetarily, it’s not the NBA, but it’s not G league either. It’s somewhere in between a top level head coach in Euro league, or China could make a million dollars a [00:51:00] year. And, you know, someone that’s maybe less proven, an assistant, but, but still an import, you know, someone that they’re flying in and getting the visa and, you know, value pretty highly in order to bring them to their, their country and the expenses involved with doing that on the low end, 50 grand, I realized that’s a huge range, but I’m going everywhere from assistant new guy to proven championship level head coach.

Mike Klinzing: [00:51:27] Oh, it makes a ton of sense. When you think about your experience in China, Mexico, Europe, some of the coaches that you may have been exposed to either when you’re an assistant looking at them as head coaches, or when you were a head coach, I’m assuming that maybe you had an assistant or two that were from their native countries.Were there things that you learned from a basketball standpoint in each of those places? Maybe it could just be as simple as some training methods or drills or just something that was done differently than maybe what you were used to [00:52:00] here in the United States. Is there one or two things that you can point to that you picked up along the way from those experiences?

Chris Terrell: [00:52:06] Yeah, I think we were just talking about China. They’re great with the video. I really got a lot better with, breaking down video, breaking down sets, drawing things up. I think they spent more time on that, than anywhere I, I had been prior to that. and so that was fun. I also think that the younger group, a youth group, and not to bring politics into this, but it plays a factor.

They’re actually able to pull kids out of school that are 13, 14, 15 years old, and put, come in to, school and another part of the country that that’s primarily basketball base. and so when clubs are able to develop kids at a younger age within their own program, And kind of have a little bit of overseeing their development.

It’s different than in the United States [00:53:00] where the AAU, like they don’t even practice some of the, you know, it’s different, the coaches and I’m not picking on AAU coaches out there. There’s a lot of really good ones, but there’s also some that are kinda more glorified agents helping kids get into college and working angles that’s different in China, where it was really about developing the basketball player for their longterm. because that kid, I was going to grow up and someday play on that CBA team in China.

Mike Klinzing: [00:53:34] I think it’s interesting that a lot of the rest of the world has that Academy model for lack of a better way of saying it.

I know that that’s something that at least Mark Cuban I know from the Mavericks has talked a little bit about the fact that the NBA, I think, would like to see that model in some way, shape or form come here to the United States. Do you think that that’s something that is at all feasible here in the United States?

At some point, obviously it’s not going to happen overnight, but do you see a [00:54:00] day when. The NBA teams are sort of running their own Academy, their own schools for that 12 to 18 year old top prospect type of player.

Chris Terrell: [00:54:10] I do see it coming. So there’s a team in the, in the TBL, the basketball league, which I consider to be, you know, maybe the third, highest level of professional basketball in the United States after the NBA and the G league.

they’ve got a organization, called creating young minds. CYPM they played in the TBL is the Lewis full yellow jackets. And they pride themselves in bringing kind of that, that European development aspect to their organization. They, they began as, an organization that, helped, high school players, finish up, their high school education.

And then help them get in line for college scholarship opportunity. And then they just, this past season as that group of kids, I think they’ve been around since 2011 or [00:55:00] 2012, something like that. But as those kids have become young men and matured in their program over the years, they’ve now added the minor league basketball team to their, to their business model.

And, I think it’s neat, the thing that’s intrinsic about it, that, that I really am supportive of is it’s not. A one and done mindset of, Hey, I just want to win this one game. I just want to get them into this college. I just want to, you know, do this one thing. It’s not about this one tournament.

It’s the thought that no, I want to do what makes the most sense for this kid and his career over the long term, because you know, I want him to develop them from 13 to 25 and. That that longer view at the, at the athlete, and, and, and what they want to accomplish, along with it often brings, a certain type of, of thoughtfulness about [00:56:00] them and their career that would be different than someone that’s just their coach for that summer. As an example.

Mike Klinzing: [00:56:07] That’s a hundred percent true. What do you think of when you say focusing on the long-term development of the athlete over the course of 10 to 15 years, depending on how long the kid stays in the program and when they get there, what are some things that in your mind would be examples of a longterm focus that a club that’s structured that way might do compared to.

A normal, typical a program where the kids plan from the time they’re whatever, you can take it down to elementary school, but up through to your high, high school, whatever, just talk about what the difference would be in terms of short term versus long term development of a player in the Academy model.

Chris Terrell: [00:56:52] So I’m almost reticent to answer this question. Cause I’m a win guy. Like I value winning over almost anything else. [00:57:00] But to answer your question, the real advantage of the Academy model is that it isn’t just about this one game, right? So, I’ll elaborate, if it is just about the short term and you’re just focused on winning now, will there’s one player on the team that’s probably better than everyone else and let’s just get him the ball, right.

And everybody else, you just kinda play off of that and minutes and opportunities and the threats that you run and everything that you do as a team it’s focused on winning is going to center around one or two kids. And the thing that I think is really harmful, Is that if a player, as an example, he’s six foot three at 13 years old knees, you know, 180 pounds.

And yeah, a lot of other kids haven’t hit their growth for yet. And he’s a pretty big kid. You can get them a ball down the block and he’s strong at that age and he can [00:58:00] score. And there might be other players on that team that if they had a little bit more opportunity, that they were featured in the system, if they ran off offensive sets and had structured practices and, you know, had certain things throughout their offense that.

Taught varying skill sets for players that, you know, multi positions or positionless basketball, that would bring out the abilities of many players on the team, including that kid. I mean, that kid may only grow another two inches in his whole life. And he’s gonna realize real quick that when he’s a senior in high school and he’s six, five that he’s done, like, you know, he could play with his back to the basket, but you know, you’re six, four and a half you’re you’re you’re done.

The idea that you’re developing for the long-term, is different than that for all those reasons I discussed. So it’s, the player that, you know, needs to work on his ball handling or the kids that need to get up more shots or, you know, everyone in this [00:59:00] system being able to get a chance to.

Come off screens and to, you know, get shots and play and make reads and counters and do different things and show what they can do. Practices that give everyone an opportunity to do things, but even going back to that best player on the team, that was the focus of the short term model. He, maybe he, because it’s not just about winning is also putting opportunities where he can step out on the floor and maybe put the ball on the floor a little bit.

Maybe he can play a little wing, maybe, you know, he works in a motion offense where it comes up, you know, to the top of the key and ball reversals and does different things out on the floor instead of what wins the game today is no, just put them on the block and give him the ball 25 times a game, everyone just cut and get open and we’re going to win.

Mike Klinzing: [00:59:45] Yeah, I think that’s really. An interesting way of approaching basketball development, because I think that one of the problems that we have today, and it’s not just is a [01:00:00] basketball problem, but I think it’s just a problem with how it impacts the kids’ lives, who are playing basketball. And a lot of times this comes from parents, families, people who are around the kids is that everything in youth basketball is really geared towards.

One thing. And that’s the opportunity to earn a college scholarship. And you see many kids who are focused only on that one thing, and they’re not focused on their development as players. They’re not focused on getting more out of the game than just try to get that scholarship. And so often what I’ll see is that kids are playing and they’re not, they’re not enjoying or taking the time to really appreciate.

What they have in the moment that there’s so many kids who they’re just their high school career is all about trying to get a scholarship. And we all know that there’s many, many kids who would love to have a scholarship that fall short of that goal. And then they miss [01:01:00] out on what could be a really good experience playing high school basketball, which, you know, you can talk to a lot of players, coaches, people who are of different ages.

Many of them, even if they achieved at a very high level, look back on their time as a high school players being more of a most enjoyable that they’ve had. And I think in a lot of we use our system the way it’s set up. Now kids have that ability to just enjoy what they’re doing. I think the Academy model could kind of bring that back.

Whereas you said, if we’re not focused on winning every single game every single day, and trying to pigeonhole people into winning where they are, but instead we’re focused on that long-term development. I could see that not only could that develop better basketball players, but I think it can develop potentially if it was done right.

It could also develop healthier human beings that are more focused on enjoying the process of being a part of it. Instead of always focused on. What’s at the end, which is what I see way [01:02:00] too often. And youth basketball today.

Chris Terrell: [01:02:03] Amen. Yes, sir. Yeah, no, I agree with you a thousand percent and I’m playing devil’s advocate.

I’m talking about the other side of my mouth now, but when I was that coach at AAU, remember I was the guy in the suit and tie that thought he was Phil Jackson. I, I wanted to win every game that I could and take every advantage that I possibly could to move up in my career. And, and without winning. I wouldn’t have done that.

Mike Klinzing: [01:02:33] You have to work within the system that you’re in. I think that’s where coaches are. And I think that’s where players are too. And rightfully so you can’t, we can argue about whether the system that we have set up is the right one we can argue about the NCAA one and done rule, whether it’s a good rule or it’s not a good rule for coaches, for players, for the NBA, whatever. Now this new thing with the G League which is going to give guys an opportunity, [01:03:00] instead of going to college, they can go to the G League. All those things are things that players, coaches, parents, families have to navigate the system that they’re in.

And I think that’s a hundred percent true. So if you’re a coach, you’re right. If you’re coaching AAU basketball and you never win. You’re not going to move up from those positions because you developed great human beings. And yet at the same time, I’m a huge proponent in use basketball as a vehicle to make kids’ lives better.

But yet winning, we all know at whatever level it is, especially for those of us who were competitive as players, as coaches, when it becomes important, it always is going to be important to us. It’s just a matter of, I think there’s different ways. To go about winning and there’s different ways to, I don’t want to say define winning, but I think you can win on the scoreboard and at the same time pour into development of your players as human beings.

Chris Terrell: [01:03:57] Yeah. And you hit the nail on the head, right? [01:04:00] Like it all has to do with the system, the system that’s in place. And if, if my opportunity at younger youth levels was within an organization that had a model to develop players for the longterm and really kind of took more of that Academy approach.

Then within that system, I would have adapted and what our goals were and what we were trying to accomplish, you know, adapt with it. And so you’re right. As coaches, we just, you know, we’re given the job to do, and we do it to the best of our abilities, but the, the organizers, the, the, the managers, the people that sponsor and get involved with these organizations that are setting the framework and the rules of the organization and how it’s based and the way that it works, if those people come together and put something in place that does take all those things into account that we were talking about for their development longterm, I think it helps the kids. [01:05:00] It helps the sport. It helps our country come Olympic time.

The gap is not as wide as it used to be, with us and other countries. And I think that the Academy, and the way that they’re developed, abroad, it has a lot to do with that. Yeah. And I think you’re,

Mike Klinzing: [01:05:18] Yeah. And I think you’re starting to see some momentum for that. Like I said, I’ve, I’ve read, I’ve read articles where the MBA, it definitely is.

I’m sure. Studying and looking at it and trying to determine whether or not it’s a model that they think can be feasible here in the United States and USA basketball. And a lot of ways is trying to take the lead and reforming and revamping youth basketball across the country. And it’s. It’s going to be a long, difficult effort to try to be able to do that simply because of all the adult business interests that are a part of our youth basketball system today.

But I do think that there, if you have the NBA and you have USA basketball behind those efforts, that there may be a time [01:06:00] where we do see. More of that Academy model developing some of the best players in the world. And then we also have conversely, there’s a lot of people who, a lot of kids who play basketball, not because again, they’re going to be ended up being NBA players, just because same reason you and I fell in love with it.

Cause it’s a great game that you can play and practice by yourself and have fun. And so you have to provide those opportunities in the right setting and the right system for people. So it’s just interesting to see. And for you, who’s been all over the world to see how different countries and different basketball systems go about developing players and putting together their pro leagues and the ages.

You can do all those things so on and so forth. So let’s keep moving. That was a great tangent. So let’s keep moving through your coaching career. Let’s keep moving through and let’s get to some of your next stops.

Chris Terrell: [01:06:49] Okay. So I think after trying to remember, yeah, after Romania for two years, I coached in, in Mexico again and then I [01:07:00] was in Canada and, it was six years ago now. So I’ll, I’m gonna give you my kids’ ages and then I’ll explain where I’m going with that, my son is now 13 and my daughter is six. So when my wife was pregnant with my daughter. I had an opportunity to, you know, I was going to another team.

I had my American import players picked out and I thought it was going to be a good team. I had my flight and had my bags packed. I was super excited abou this next season and my wife sets me aside, I don’t know, a couple days before I was due to fly out. And she says, in a nutshell, you know, listen, I love you.

I know how important basketball is to you. And you know, it’s a dream of yours and I would never do anything to try and take that away from you. I’ve always been supportive of you, but I’m pregnant. And if you leave us again and you’re a father and a husband on Skype for eight months, I’m done.

[01:08:00] And, that was the last year that I coached overseas. I did not fly to that team. and, I’ve been in the Dallas area, involved with basketball on the minor league level. semi-pro and minor league, I’m involved with the TBL, which is The Basketball League. Oh, they had a team this past season called Dallas Skyline.

And, I was the head coach for that team. And so I’m still able to participate and, you know, be around the game. but just also able to come home to my wife and kids, you know, at the end of the day as well.

Mike Klinzing: [01:08:36] All right. I’m going to, first of all, say that it’s a story that we hear quite frequently when we’re interviewing coaches here on the pod, and that is that.

When you’re trying to think about being successful as a coach, you’re always trying to find, and I don’t know if balance is the right word, but you’re trying to find an ability to [01:09:00] marry your ambition and love for the game of basketball, coaching it with the love that you have for your spouse, your family, that’s at home.

And we all know that in general, coaching takes up a lot of your time, but not only does it take up a lot of your time, but it also takes up a lot of your energy and thought process and everything that goes into. So balancing being a coach with having a family, I think it continues to creep down to lower and lower levels.

The amount of time that you have to spend in order to be successful. Becomes more and more challenging. And I hear that from co high school coaches, especially all the time in terms of, especially guys who have been in the game for a long time, they think back to 15 or 20 years ago and what they were doing in the summer, in the off season compared to what they’re having to do now, that baseline amount of time you have to put in as a head coach.

So I can certainly understand. [01:10:00] Your story. I can certainly understand your wife’s point of view and why she felt the way she did. And then clearly the decision that you made was to value your family over what other opportunities might have presented themselves. So talk a little bit about the basketball league, maybe for people who aren’t as familiar with it.

Just give us a quick rundown on what it’s all about, what maybe its mission is how you got involved in it. And then we can kind of talk about where you go from here.

Chris Terrell: [01:10:27] Yeah. So I, you know, it, it’s one of those things for me, I really kind of got lucky. I was able to have my cake and eat it too. I mean, it’s not too often that you’re able to, you know, check all those boxes.

And so, because I’m here in the United States, we have a league such as the basketball league. the TBL, I think I mentioned it earlier. It’s one of the higher levels of. professional basketball, in the country, I think only really behindthe NBA [01:11:00] run G league, as far as level of talent and organization.

It’s a 24 game schedule, 12 home, 12 away. There’s a lot of teams within the league that have a storied franchise, and, and history to them. the Albany Patroons, as an example, we’re a long time member of the CBA, which, which. You know, in its day was kind of thought of liking TBL as being one of the top leagues in the United States, after the NBA.

But, Albany has had coaches like Phil Jackson and, Musselman and, George Karl. And, you know, I could go through the list of, players too. It’s just, but multiple teams in the league have atradition or play in cities that are known to be minor league hotbeds. And, last year we had an expansion tame.

I found out that, a team was coming to Dallas and, my off season home, well, my full season home. [01:12:00] Yeah. Here, born and raised in California. I came out here in the early nineties and it was always kind of where I came home to in the summers. now that I’m here full time, I found out that this team is going to be an expansion team and I, the more and more I looked into it, David Magley and I, David is the president of the TBL.

We go back, years. So when he was a coach for the Brampton, A’s in the Canadian league, the NBL was one of my stops and, and in my overseas career and I was the coach for Halifax and he was in Brampton. So I had a relationship with David. He later became the commissioner of the top league in Canada, and then now, past several years, as, as president of the TBL.

And so I saw that he was in it and, some of the other teams that were involved and I started getting excited about it because, you know, it’s right here in my backyard. And like I said, I can come home, you know, at the end of the day. And. have [01:13:00] that, you know, work life balance. That that makes sense. I still have a, you know, a young family and, it’s perfect for me.

I’ve really enjoyed it.

Mike Klinzing: [01:13:08] What’s the best part of coaching at the, Let’s just call it a minor in a minor league basketball program, basketball setting. What do you enjoy the most about being able to be involved with whether it’s the players, whether it’s the franchises, whether it’s the league itself, the people, what is it that you enjoy the most about the experience that you’ve had at the minor league pro level here in the United States?

Chris Terrell: [01:13:33] I think it’s, you know, I go back to when, and I was, you know, with the Dallas Diesel and when I first started going overseas, it’s that kind of level of guys where they’re just on the precipice. These are a lot of these guys were stars, you know, NCAA division one players, ex G league players.

Some of them have some overseas experience already. Some are, you know, just right out of college, but. they’re they’re right at that [01:14:00] age where they’ve got well, their hopes and aspirations, and they’re trying to take the next steps in their careers and because. You know, I have a, a background of, of, of, you know, being in a few different countries and having some success around the world.

I’m able to kind of mentor these guys. And also years of context and relationships with, overseas clubs gives them kind of a, a vine, if you will, that, you know, allows me to kind of speak to some of these other people on their behalf and say, Hey, Come check this guy out. He’s really good. I’m going to, you know, connect you with his agent or, you know, sends you a highlight or, you know, here’s his phone number, you know?

That’s exciting for me is to see those guys take that next step. I’ve always enjoyed that.

Mike Klinzing: [01:14:45] Yeah. That’s a great opportunity for you to be able to help the guys that are part of the league to be able to use it as a stepping stone, to be able to build their career and get to a place where they can maybe have some more stability or make a little bit more [01:15:00] money.

And for you as a coach, to be able to be the conduit, to help your players do that, I’m sure is tremendously rewarding. Let’s go on the other side of that equation. What’s the most challenging thing about coaching at the minor league pro level here in the U S.

Chris Terrell: [01:15:18] Yeah, I, you know, this is going to sound spoiled, but money, right?

Like, you know, if you’re coaching in Europe or China, or even, you know, one of these top, teams in Canada or Mexico, it’s a bigger venture that they’ve, it’s and a lot of these little towns overseas, you are the NBA to them that they don’t have access to the Mavericks or the legends like here.

We’re, you know, maybe the third, highest level of professional basketball in this one city, overseas, we are the Lakers and so the financial wherewithal that comes with that, travel, flights, meals, [01:16:00] accommodations, training, practices, access to facilities, income and what guys make.

Being able to just kind of be full time focused on basketball is something that becomes easier and easier. The more and more athletes that you throw at it. I, you know, I hate to that sounds superficial, but. the minor leagues is a different thing. I mean, not too dissimilar. A lot of people have seen movies about minor league baseball.

It, you know, you’re on a bus and you’ve been driving for a number of hours and you got a hotel and a, in a little town. And, some of these guys have jobs, they have bills, they have responsibilities, they’ve got other stuff going on in their lives. And so it’s just being able to balance all those things.

If you’re not a, a first round draft pick in major league baseball, it’s probably not that much dissimilar from, you know, playing in the minor leagues in basketball and that, it’s a [01:17:00] little bit of a grind to, to get where you ultimately want to go. But, I think the guys understand that. And, you know, we always spend a lot time and energy and kind of trying to out wine exactly what it’s all about.

And for those guys that I just want the opportunity to move up in their careers, you make some sacrifices early on in order to take that next step. And if they’re not spoiled by the trappings of, you know, Europe or China or some other things, and, and, and they’re just, you know, looking to take that next step in their careers then, you know, it’s typically not something that that’s going to distract them from what they’ve got to do.

Mike Klinzing: [01:17:37] Yeah, I can see where from both a playing and a coaching standpoint, it can be challenging from a money perspective. And clearly it’s a place where anybody who’s there is thankful for the opportunity at the same time. Is looking to use that opportunity to be able to get their next [01:18:00] opportunity. And one of the things we always talk about, especially when it comes to coaching is making sure that whatever job you’re in it may not be the one that you ultimately think you’re going to be destined for, but usually what happens when you work really hard and the opportunity that you’re in, and then you get an opportunity. The next place and the next spot. And that’s how you continue to move up, you know, move up by keeping one eye out the door, one foot out the door, you get opportunities because you’re working hard and doing the best you can.

I think that goes for players or coaches, no matter where you are, whether that’s high school college. Semi-pro pro basketball, whatever it might be. I think that if you, if you keep focused on what you’re doing in the moment, and that’s when those other opportunities come to pass. So that being said, when you look forward in what you want to do in your career as a basketball coach, and then you think about balancing that with your family at home, where do you see yourself?

Over the next several years. What do you think about in [01:19:00] terms of your career goals, aspirations, where do you see yourself in five years or so?

Chris Terrell: [01:19:05] Yeah. So I’m so much of working up in the higher levels of basketball and, my aspirations always worked to coach in the NBA and, you know, so much of that is kind of who, it’s a little bit of a buddy network, right?

You’re not gonna stick your neck out and bring someone in just because you think he’s a good basketball coach. You need to know that who he is as a person and culturally, if it’s a good fit. And a lot of times it comes from people who knows someone, who knows someone and has the relationship and can vouch for someone.

And so the longer you’re around the game at a particular level, and you develop those contacts and those relationships, the more. The easier it is. Those things all kind of intersect between different coaching trees. And you’re able to just kind of organically grow within that, that level, by kind of bypassing really other than that high school and junior college, a little bit of a minor [01:20:00] leagues.

But just kind of going straight overseas. Aye. Aye. Aye. I’ve limited some of those, things in order to, you know, move up at the NBA level, but I’m kind of in the back of my mind. Well, what I’ve been thinking about, I’m going to be here, is, is helping an organization at the highest level. whether that’s in a scouting capacity or whether that’s working players out or coming in the video department, I’ve, I’ve been up for several jobs.

It’s something that I continue to, to look at and to network and to talk to people about. And so. You know, the NBA is still my goal.

Mike Klinzing: [01:20:33] That’s awesome. That’d be great if you were able to get there. And especially with the diversity of the background that you’ve had is clear, you’re a basketball lifer, and I can see you continuing to pursue that.

And it’s just exciting to be able to have, hopefully at some point, add that opportunity to reach your dream. We’re coming up close here to almost an hour and a half. So before we get out, I want to give you a chance to. Share how people can get in touch with you, follow you on [01:21:00] social media. And then if there’s anything that we didn’t hit on tonight, you want to make one final point.

You go ahead and do that as well. And then I’ll jump back in and wrap up the episode.

Chris Terrell: [01:21:07] Yeah. Awesome. So you can reach me at coach. Well, I’m on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, But maybe the easiest way is through my website. So I’ll, I’ll give it to you. It’s a D1stars.pro.

If you go to that website, there’s a contact us page. That’s my organization. And, that might be the easiest way to get in contact with me, but I’m pretty easy to find if you ask around the basketball community.

Mike Klinzing: [01:21:41] Awesome. And I’ll put, we’ll put all that in the show notes when we get the episode put together so that we can make sure that people don’t have to be furiously, scribbling it down while they’re driving their car.

We’ll have that all in the show notes for anybody who wants to get in contact, reach out, talk to Chris. We can’t thank you enough for spending the time with us tonight, Chris, it’s been a [01:22:00] pleasure. just got connect to in the last couple of days, and then having an opportunity to dig into your story and all the things that you’ve been able to do across the world.

In the game of basketball, a lot of exciting experiences, a lot of experiences that I’m sure have enriched your life, both as a basketball coach, as a person. So I want to personally say thanks to you for being willing to jump on with us. To everyone out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode.

Thanks.