When I hear about Flip Saunders saying he’s a teacher before a coach, about how he and his assistants (namely Sam Cassell) have been working with the young guys, that he, being an ‘offensive mind’, has developed a mini-playbook for the summer league team and that he’ll be observing from a close distance on-site in Vegas, I think, “Boy, isn’t that refreshing?”
It’s comforting that a new, veteran coach, known to keep a tight bench and favor elders in his rotation, has arrived in D.C. with the mind-set of bringing along the young fellas. Not only does Flip believe that children are our future, but he practices it, knowing the jobs of both him, and the man who hired him, Ernie Grunfeld, depend on how they develop the team from top to bottom.
Mike Prada recently expressed a similar sentiment regarding Saunders in a pre-summer league post on Bullets Forever.
But in patting Flip on the back for his involvement with the youth, no one should be pointing ‘shame on your’ fingers towards former coach Eddie Jordan. Yes, Jordan used different tactics with his young players. And from the outside perspective/opinion of many (not including myself), those tactics were less than ideal.