Asking David Adkins: Q&A from Gortat’s Camp in Poland | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Asking David Adkins: Q&A from Gortat’s Camp in Poland

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Updated: June 27, 2016

Bartosz Bielecki, TAI’s Polish correspondent, recently covered one of Marcin Gortat’s annual summer basketball camps in Poland. This summer, David Adkins, Washington’s coach of player development, and Garrett Temple, a free agent combo guard, were part of the Wizards contingent that travelled to Gortat’s homeland to help out. Bielecki recently interviewed Adkins for the Polish website Szósty Gracz and a translation of that interview for TAI is below; an interview with Temple is forthcoming. Follow Bart on Twitter: @bart__92.

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Bartosz Bielecki: Will you be returning to the Wizards’ coaching staff for another year?

David Adkins: Thank you for asking. Yes, coach Brooks asked me to be on his staff, so I’m really fortunate and excited.

Have you had a chance to speak with Coach Brooks about his vision for the team? What will be the difference between him and coach Randy Wittman?

Adkins: I really can’t speak to that. We’ve talked about what he wants. We haven’t talked about schemes, philosophies, or concepts. Since I was in Poland [helping out with Gortat’s camp], he’s been putting the rest of his staff together—they’ve had meetings. I’ll be updated when I get back.

Coach Wittman was a heck of a coach, good person. I’ll always be in debt to him because he gave me my first opportunity in the NBA. He hired me. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out. He moved on and coach Brooks is going to have an opportunity to run the team.

Do you think it was necessary for the Wizards to fire Randy Wittman?

Adkins: That’s out of my hands, I really don’t have a comment on that. I worked for Coach Wittman—the whole staff was fired, and I was just fortunate enough to be retained by Coach Brooks.

What do you think about trading picks for veterans, like you did with Markieff Morris?

Adkins: I love it. Markieff Morris has come in and really helped us establish a 4-man’s presence with being able to defend 3s and 4s, as well as being able to score from the block and from the perimeter. I don’t think there was anybody in the NBA Draft that we were going to get to be a starting 4 with the skillset of Markieff Morris. And he’s a really good guy. I know he’s had some history in Phoenix in the past, but what he’s done for us, and for me personally, I love it. He’s a great young man.

What can you say about the development of Kelly Oubre?

Adkins: Love it. Actually, I just texted with him last night, him and Markieff, just to check in with them. Kelly is somebody that is tremendously talented, tremendously athletic. He really learned how to work hard this season, really worked on his skill set, becoming more efficient with what he does. I think his future is very, very bright. I’m excited for him.

Do you expect him to be a rotation player next season?

Adkins: That’s up to Scott Brooks, but I think, right now, he’s going to put himself in a position to be one.

How much do you think John Wall and Bradley Beal can still improve?

Adkins: Coach Brooks said that he thinks they can be one of the best backcourts in the league. I know Brad is working extremely hard right now on his body and on his skill set. John is rehabbing from his knee surgeries, so we want to get these guys as healthy as possible and ready to go into the training camp. I think they’re going to be great.

What do you think is the next step in the development of Otto Porter?

Adkins: I think he just has to continue to evolve. He had a tremendous year, especially from the All-Star break until the end of the season when he shot over 54 percent from the field and over 47 percent from 3, finishing 43 percent from there. I think he’s just coming into his zone, feeling comfortable. He’s going to be tremendous for us.

Are you working with him to develop stretch-4 skills, or are you focusing more on the small forward position?

Adkins: I think both. The way the league is going, I can see him playing 3 and 4, which is really kind of the same position. [Ed. Note: Traditionally, in Randy Wittman’s offense, the 2 and 3 positions were often said to be interchangeable.] Otto does a great job in rebounding, being able to get it and push it on the break. He provides a lot of problems for the opposing teams.

Could you tell me about the transition from coaching women in college to developing players in the NBA?

Adkins: That’s a great question—you’ve done your homework, I appreciate that. Well, coaching is coaching. Coaching women really prepared me for the NBA. It really makes you work on your craft, because you can’t scream and yell—women don’t take to that well. In men’s college ball, there are a lot of screamers and yellers, and you can’t do that in the NBA. You’ve got to be able to get your point across and motivate players without raising your voice. So I think that helped me, and Coach Frese gave me the opportunity to coach at such a high level. Basketball is agenda-free and color blind, meaning there are men and women, all the races. In Poland, of the five camps we’ve done here, I think girls’ basketball surpassed boys’.

How are the camps in Poland different from the camps organized in the States?

Adkins: First of all, what Marcin Gortat and his team do is just amazing. Because of the organization and opportunity, the exposure these kids get from “March,” Otto Porter last year, Garrett Temple this year, and you’ve got coach Neal Meyer, coach Mike Taylor—you’ve got some great people that are great teachers, great educators, that are willing to share their knowledge. All the Polish people that I’ve met are really nice, good people, and the kids are very coachable and teachable. They’re very willing to learn. It’s tremendous.

I need to ask this question: What role do you expect to play in the negotiations with Kevin Durant—like attending the meeting with him, or having conversations with him over the phone? [Ed. Note: The interview was conducted before the reports about the Wizards not getting a meeting with Durant surfaced.]

Adkins: You’ve done your homework (laughs). Kevin is nearly family to me. I haven’t talked to him, I’m not allowed to. I think Kevin is going to sit down with his representation, with his inner circle of people, and find out what’s the best situation for him. This is not personal with he and I. This is business. I understand that. If I need a favor, I can call and ask him, but I’d never force him or tell him what he needs to do, because he’s a really smart man who can do it on his own.

What do you personally think Durant will do this offseason?

Adkins: I don’t know, I haven’t had a chance to talk to Kevin. He wants to win a championship, he wants to put himself in the position. He’s done everything else in the NBA—he’s won scoring titles, he’s been the MVP, he’s been to the Conference Finals, and the NBA Finals, and he wants that championship for his legacy. If there’s any way I could help him do that, I want to help.

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Bartosz Bielecki on Twitter
Bartosz Bielecki
Polish Correspondent at TAI
Bart is TAI’s Polish correspondent, covering all things Marcin Gortat from the mother country, including transcribing Gortat interviews with Polish media.