Or listen to the way Swinney talks about player development.
Is this stretching things a bit? Swinney thinks so. That’s not surprising. Dig a little deeper, though. If there’s a coaching equivalent to starting one of the world’s biggest companies in your garage, it’s Swinney’s career path, which has gone from walk-on at Alabama to commercial real estate salesman to national punch line as a novice head coach to national champion.
Or take a tour of this new football facility, one designed by Swinney to feel like a holistic universe where players can work on their golf swing, catch some shut-eye in a bunk bed, tighten up their r��sum��s, start a charitable foundation, grab lunch prepared by a personal chef or visit Clemson’s most recent national championship trophy — all in the same place, all with football just a few feet away at any given time.
Musk is fond of avowing his SpaceX rocket launches as a way to pay the bills, but his mission statement is to save humanity by colonizing Mars. Swinney’s dreams aren’t quite so big, but they’re just as aspirational. The wins on the field are important, because that’s what pays the bills. But his mission statement is to build these players into great men, and who cares if it all sounds clich�� and hokey, because, again, this is coming from a man who takes a slide to work.
Football, to me, is just the unique opportunity to have a pathway into their lives, Swinney said. I want them to truly love their experience, and not just be a football player, but to grow and be a person of excellence that just happens to be a good football player, too. And my philosophy is: If we develop them that way, football will take care of itself because they create habits of excellence that carries over.
I love rebounding. Even though my numbers are down, I love rebounding the basketball, Anthony continued. It’s actually fun playing with somebody like [Steven Adams] who loves to rebound. Russ, who steals rebounds. It makes it fun for me to go out there and challenge myself to rebound the basketball.
Anthony is 344 rebounds away from cracking 7,000 boards in his career. He’d need to average 7.8 rebounds per game through Oklahoma City’s next remaining 44 games to reach that mark. Melo is currently averaging 5.9 rebounds per game in his first season with the Thunder. Westbrook is averaging 9.6.
So if Melo wants to reach the 7K club, he might need to yell get the f*** outta here Russ while cleaning the glass more often.