Why Character Counts in Basketball

Although your skills on the court can take you a long way in basketball, they are not the only deciding factors involved in taking your game to the next level.

Every spring I get calls from dozens of NBA personnel inquiring about potential NBA draft picks. They know I have worked with most of the prospects before at events like the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Skills Academies.

You may be surprised at some of the questions they actually ask me.

Nearly every single question has to do with character, attitude or work ethic.

They never ask me about a player's athleticism or skills.

Why? If an NBA team is going to invest millions of dollars in a player, they need to know he is of high character, has an exceptional attitude, and possesses an unparalleled work ethic.

Here are the most common questions I hear from coaches:

  • What was your very first impression of him?
  • Did you see any red flags?
  • Did you enjoy being around him?
  • Was he always on time?
  • Was he likable?
  • Was he coachable?
  • Was he an energy giver?
  • Did he love to play?
  • Did he love to workout?
  • How was his attitude?
  • How was his work ethic?
  • Was he a gym rat?
  • What was the best part about working with him?
  • Was there anything difficult about working with him?
  • Was he respectful?
  • Was he self-motivated?
  • Did he act entitled?
  • Was he selfish?
  • Was he mature?
  • Was he competitive?
  • Was he a leader?

And this is my favorite question that I've ever been asked:

"Would you let your daughter marry him?"

While these particular questions are the ones I get from NBA personnel about potential draft picks, they are also the exact same questions I get from college coaches recruiting high school players.

There is so much more to basketball success than shooting, passing, rebounding, defending and dribbling!

Character counts!

How you do anything is how you do everything.

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