Check back weekly for the latest inside scoop on the Dream and other basketball topics from Dream Head Coach Michael Cooper.
June 1, 2015 – Training Camp
What goes on during training camp?
Training camp is a time to evaluate players and get them in shape. We like our players to come already in shape and use training camp as a time to get our team chemistry together, get the cohesiveness, and get the mental capacity together as far as running plays and doing out of bound sets—and that’s what we do during training camp.
What is your favorite thing about training camp? Least favorite?
I love the fact that all the players are finally back in market and back in town. We get an opportunity to get that feeling back that you had in the previous year. I love the camaraderie that goes along with that, and that’s one thing I miss as far as being a player myself. Also, seeing the new people and young people come together as far as your rookies and your veterans—everyone’s in camp and you can kind of get an idea of what your team makeup is going to look like. My least favorite thing about training camp…I don’t have that. I love training camp all the way around. The only thing I hate about it if I had to hate something is that it has to end.
What does a rookie or training camp player fighting for a spot need to do to impress you?
I’m a defensive minded coach so obviously defense is first in what I’m looking for. Athleticism is something I also look for, so a player that can get up and down the floor. Basketball IQ is definitely high on my list so if a player can play the game, the complete game and all facets of it, that impresses me a lot. The specialty players, like a good rebounder, or good shooter, I think those are players that if they do their job or specialty well then those are eye opening marks, too.
How did you treat training camp when you were playing for the Lakers?
Like it was my last day. I was always fearful of getting cut so for me training camp was fun. After the first year I got a sense of how it was supposed to be so every year coming into training camp I came in in the best shape I could. Then I used that time to get a feel for everyone else. I love training camp. I’ve always loved it as a player, and right now as a coach I like seeing the players get through it. And there’s a process of winning a championship that goes into training camp, and I think those little individual details help the making of the team coming into a team, and the team forming into a championship team.
What are your expectations for this season?
To win a championship. I’ll always say that and I believe that and I think that’s one thing I’m going to always do as I’m here and as we measure ourselves, our team, by the ability to win a championship. Every year is going to present different problems and different hurdles, but the fun part about it is getting over those hurdles and hopefully no one gets injured or sustains a season ending injury, which will give us the best opportunity to win a championship.