Bring it in, fellas.
(Team slowly walks up to Coach Mullinax, Tony Allen muttering Future lyrics to himself)
That was a hell of a win last night. Mario Chalmers, you stepped up when we needed you, and that is what it means to be a professional. Marc Gasol, your third quarter performance was huge for this team. Zach Randolph, a solid and efficient game, Matt Barnes, goodness gracious, man, you couldn't miss from range! That was huge when it came to canceling out the similarly red-hot Stanley Johnson. I guess you just like playing against Detroit...
Left out somebody - Jeff Green, come on up.
Jeff Green, you are looked upon with more disdain and frustration than any other member of this basketball team. You know I have gone to bat for you, and I will say this in front of your teammates, you disappointed me against the Rockets. People have argued that your effort isn't always there, especially defensively, and we have worked and worked and worked on it in practice because it is a part of this team's identity, and you haven't improved enough. You know that. It needs to get better. The blatant disregard for scheme and effort let down your teammates, and it led to you letting yourself down. You got benched, and you deserved to get benched.
Last night, you showed some heart. Efficient scoring, aggressive effort on offense, it was a much better all-around performance. There are still things that have to be fixed...and maybe you just aren't "that guy" for us. But we can work with what you showed last night. Keep that head up, and keep grinding.
(Team applauds, Marc Gasol pats him on the back and then immediately cramps up.)
Alright, now before we move on to prepping for the Knicks I wanted to talk to you guys about the past couple of days. I mentioned it earlier, but there have been a lot of reports leaked and discussions had about the Houston game and Jeff, and how we feel about him or how we may or may not think he cares. Here's the bottom line-
That needs to stop. Right now. And it starts with me, and the front office.
There are so many writers, and radio hosts, and so many bloggers, and podcasters, and whatever the hell else there is out there, who have opinions about what is right and wrong about this team. They work hard, they pay attention, they're not dumb, they have value, of course. What goes against them is that they are not on this team. Most of them are not here watching you every day fighting your asses off in practice and in the weight room, they are not in the training room consistently seeing the treatment some of you have to go through just to get through a game.
The outside world will form their opinions. And they don't mean a damn thing.
Nothing outside of this group, outside of these 15 guys and this coaching staff, matters. We must refocus on what we can control. We can prepare for our opponents, we can recuperate our bodies, we can have great effort nightly and great attitudes toward the game and each other. This is all within our grasp. What others outside of us think is not. All that matters, with this team, is right here, right now.
Whenever our season ends, this group of guys will never play together again. Whether it is in a month, or a few months, some of you guys will not be on this roster any longer. We must play with the sense of urgency that that realization brings. Solidly controlling the five seed is a realistic goal for us before the All-Star Break, injuries or not. Improving our communication together is a realistic goal, uncommon effort is a realistic goal. We can control those outcomes, one day at a time. And we can control how we treat each other, and how we interact with those outside of this team.
Let the pundits talk. They're doing their jobs. It's time that we make our sole focus doing ours, ignoring the noise and getting to our goals while we have the time to do so.
Great game last night. I am proud of you. Now, together, it's on to the next one. Let's go get New York.
All that matters on one. Three, two, one...