I believe that my work is as much about words as it is about basketball. Choosing the right words is no less important to the outcome of a game than choosing the right players and strategies for the court. As a coach, leader and teacher, my primary task is motivation. How do I get a group motivated, not only to be their individual best but also to become better as a team? I have always said that two are better than one, but only if two can act as one.
After the 1999 season, when we lost to Connecticut in the national championship game, several of our top players left Duke earlier than expected. Shane Battier, who had played a supporting role on that team, was going to have to become our star.
Shane and I agreed that he would need to emerge as the team leader, but there was one problem: Shane had never imagined himself as a star.