Joe Prunty has been an assistant head coach for most of his basketball tenure. He joined the Brooklyn Nets new coaching staff under the request of Jason Kidd. Now, Prunty will be spending time overseas as a head coach, an offer he never received in the NBA according to ESPN.
This is a great honor. So it wasn't so much a strategic thing. British Basketball came to me and said, 'Do you want to go through an interview process and see how it works out?' said Prunty.Coach Prunty will be leading Great Britain's team in the EuroBasket 2013, which runs from September 4th to September 22nd. With no real coaching experience overseas, where the game and rules are different, Prunty seeked the advice of several other coaches in the NBA who do.
"I reached out to other guys I know," he says. "Like Brett Brown, who has had a lot of years with Australia, like Nate [McMillan] with Team USA. I didn't speak to him recently but I've talked a lot with [Mavericks GM] Donnie Nelson about his experiences with Lithuania. Del Harris about China. That was invaluable. I came in hopefully with a good feel for what was involved."With the pressure of leading a group of unproven players (Luol Deng among others in the Olympics chose not to play in the EuroBasket tournament), Prunty looks forward to seeing what comes out of it.
"...I promise you, at some point during this game, you will see something spectacular that you probably haven't seen before. And at that moment in time, you'll go, 'Wow.' That's basketball. Whether you're with an Under-16 team, a men's team, the Euroleague Final Four, an NBA game, a college game, or a playground somewhere in the world, you'll see something that will be incredible to watch."If anybody needs proof of that, YouTube is the answer. That's what sports is about. Nothing is predictable. Even with inexperienced players there are moments that amaze you. That's why Prunty took the head coaching job, for the excitement and new experience.
"There were numerous stages of interviews, going through the detail, asking for details," he says. "This process was extremely extensive in time and detail. It was never about me getting better. Sure, I know that's part of the equation, but it was really about the excitement of the opportunity."