“Alright guys, jump shots!” yelled Tyrone Corbin during a midday practice session. He had a clipboard in his hand and some white board markers in his white shirt pocket. In his pocket was a chocolate scented brown whiteboard marker, along with a standard pink marker that had no special odor aside from the standard marker smell.
Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke were the first to start shooting jump shots. They both took opposite elbows behind the three point line and had ball boys passing balls back to them as they fell through the net. Next came Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert. Kanter shot from behind the three point line in the left corner, and Gobert shot from beside the three point line.
“Rudy!” said Tyrone. “You need more arch in your shot! Like a rainbow!”
Rudy grabbed another ball and shot, trying to give it more height as it sailed through the air.
“No!” said Tyrone to Rudy. He swung his clipboard through the air at him and said: “Come here a second.”
Rudy approached Coach Ty as Kanter kept shooting threes. Favors and Burks made his way over and started shooting with Kanter as well.
“Have you ever seen a rainbow before, Rudy?” asked Tyrone.
“Yes coach,” said Rudy. “All of the time in France.”
“Those aren’t real rainbows,” said Ty. He pulled the pink marker out of his shirt pocket and pulled off the lid. He then lifted up his whiteboard and drew the outline of a unicorn on it with the pink marker.
“Your shots look like this,” said Ty as he drew a very flat looking arch on the unicorn’s side with a yellow marker he pulled out of his pant’s pocket. “Now tell me, does this look like a pretty unicorn to you?”
Rudy stared at it and said simply: “No, it does not.”
Ty then used his pinky to erase the yellow marker. He then grabbed a blue marker and drew a perfect half circle on his unicorn’s side. “How about now?”
“I think it needs more color,” said Rudy shaking his head. “I’ve never seen a rainbow that was only blue.”
Ty sighed, put the blue marker back in his pants pockets, and pulled out the yellow marker along with red, green, and purple. He then drew a respectable rainbow on his pink unicorn.
“It’s still missing some colors,” said Rudy with his hand holding his chin as he observed Ty. “But it looks good.”
“The colors aren’t what’s important,” said Ty, waving his hand. “It’s the shape. Your shots, today they’re looking like that yellow and flat rainbow I drew earlier.” Rudy shifted his feet and scratched his head without saying anything. “You need to make them look like this,” Ty drove in his point by tapping the rainbow hard with the end of a whiteboard marker.
“Ok Coach,” said Rudy, his head low.
“Your form is good,” said Ty. “You just need more elevation.”
Rudy nodded and went back to shooting.
Ty then looked up and watched as the Jazz continued practicing. “Layups!” yelled Ty, and the team got in to formation and started running layup drills. Ty went through a few different basic practices like this before calling everyone in to stand around him.
“Alright guys,” he said. “Nice work out there. Next we’re going to go over our defensive aggressiveness.”
Trey looked over at Gordon and raised his eyebrows as if to say “here we go man”.
“You guys need to be like unicorns out there,” said Ty, holding up his clipboard so everyone could see the pink unicorn he had just drawn for Rudy. “Unicorns, they’re no pushovers. They know how to fight, stick a guy with their razor sharp horn when they need to. They hold their ground, and if they could play basketball, you bet they’d keep their man from scoring.”
Trey looked over at Gordon and shook his head as if to say “told you so”. Gordon replied with a grin and a shake of his own head. Both listened attentively though.
“But Unicorns are not reckless brutes!” said Tyrone loudly. “They’ve got finesse! A Unicorn doesn’t foul unless it’s necessary! Well, they wouldn’t if they played ball, but still!”
“So, basically,” said Favors. “We need to foul less but still be aggressive.”
“Yeah, like the Unicorns. You guys need to emulate their grace and power on the floor when playing D,” replied Ty.
“Got it,” said Favors and the others. “Lets scrimmage, five on five. Focus on stopping your man without fouling… Like a Unicorn would.”
Favors then led the team on the court during practice and helped fine tune the defense as Tyrone sat behind. He had erased the pink Unicorn because he felt it was rushed, and began working on a chocolate scented Unicorn instead.