It seems that Alan Pardew is a keen fan of basketball.
Alan Pardew – can he take Newcastle into Champions League?
Alan gave the Newcastle coaches a copy Phil Jackson’s book – More than a Game.
Phil is the former Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers basketball coach, and I’m busy reading the book Phil wrote with Charlie Rosen, who was a former college basketball player.
Phil talks about what he did at the Lakers, to get the very best out of his two big stars – Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, and he coached a team ethic approach to the game.
Kobe Bryant in particular finally saw the light, and Phil was able to win 5 NBA Championships at LA, to go with the six he won with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
It’s not surprising that Alan Pardew has been able to bring the very best out of Ben Arfa, and at the same time have the lad fully embrace a team ethic.
The Newcastle manager invited BBL champions Newcastle Eagles over on Monday to the Benton Training facility, to have both a basketball game and a football match against teams made up of Newcastle players.
Alan Pardew has studied different tactics and methods used in American sports, and he spent time after the game talking with New Yorker and Eagles coach Fab Flournoy.
This is what Alan said about Monday:
“We can learn from them, absolutely.” “America has led the way very much when it comes to the technology of sport.” “We’ve caught up to a certain degree.”
“But you can always learn things from other sports and I’m sure me and Fab will share information as we go along.”
Flournoy said it was great to join Newcastle at their training facility:
“It’s fantastic to come here and see how United do it.” “The biggest thing with our clubs in Newcastle is that we stick together. We can promote each other’s sports, sport here is so important for young people.”
“Alan Pardew extended his hand to us.” “It was great to see the guys mixing and having a laugh but at the same time appreciate everybody’s skill level and what they bring to the table.” “The biggest thing with United is if they get that top-four finish.”
“It will be the crème de la crème for the city.” “The one thing people forget is that where they came from just three years they went through relegation, but have played their way back up.”
“It will be a great finish for them and a great story.”
It will be a great story alright, and there is a mini-season of five games still remaining for Newcastle, and if they do well in those games the impossible might just happen, and Newcastle will again be in the Champions League.
That’s still very much possible if Newcastle can maintain their good form of the last several games, and Alan was down to earth when he said:
“We have to win, it doesn’t matter how. We just need to win.”
He’s right there.