WHAT makes the NBA one of the best leagues in the world?
Based on Jimmy Alapag's experience, it's the efficiency of the coaching staff.
The San Miguel Alab Pilipinas head coach witnessed that first hand in his stint as an assistant for the Sacramento Kings' Summer League team last year.
"That was one of the eye-opening things and something that honestly I was really proud about because a lot of the terminologies, a lot of what they’re doing are very similar to what we’ve done here," he told Coaches Unfiltered.
"But I think the biggest difference that I saw with how things are done there is just how efficient the NBA teams are, at least in Sacramento, on how they run everything."
Alapag got his break through Kings general manager Vlade Divac, who he worked with in the Fiba Players Commission.
It wasn't long before he got to Las Vegas, where Sacramento won two of its five games.
Yet what Alapag really treasured was the chance to work with such an organization -- one that he hoped he could emulate here.
"There’s no BS," he said. "If practice was on the court at 10 o’clock, and individual workouts and weights start at 9, there was never any talk about, 'Hey guys, be here at 8 o’clock. Be here at 7:30 to get your stretching or your work with the PT.' That was already established."
"You will just be there early. So a lot of times, our 10 a.m. practice, the coaches are there by 7 a.m. and the players are already around. They might be on the court shooting a little bit or getting work with the PT done or having breakfast or whatever the case may be. Because once the practice starts, everything was on time. Clock would start and things were moving. That was the one thing that really stood out to me the most."
Alapag was also astonished with the level of detail these NBA teams are putting, that even coaches cooperate hand-in-hand with the players when it comes to their extra work.
"After practice, they didn’t want players shooting by themselves. They would assign coaches to shoot with two to three players so that when they get their repetitions in, everything was high quality, everything was game-like shots. And the coaches would put 20, 30 at the most at the clock and say, 'Hey, this is the time these guys are gonna have their shooting done.' 'Hey coach Jimmy, get with your guys, get their shooting done and focus on your recovery.' That was just eye opening for me to see."
Short as that six-week stint was with the Kings, it truly was a treat of a trip for Alapag.
"How they operated, everything was just quality. Everything was efficient and that carried over into their culture going into the NBA season," he said.