I don’t think there’s much drama or human insight to be gleaned from Corey Maggette’s comments at Warriors Media Day this week. Maggette told reporters that Baron Davis is in for “a rude awakening” because Davis' new head coach in Los Angeles will demand that the point guard run sets in the halfcourt and watch game tape before practice.
Corey is correct in that Mike Dunleavy and Don Nelson run entirely different operations. It’s also fair to characterize Nelson’s style as more appealing to the average NBA starter. And that’s precisely what Corey Maggette is – an average NBA starter.
It’s also easy to understand why Maggette prefers an improvisational style that depends less on preparation than on improvisation; he’s a far better athlete than most guys on the floor at any given moment. Game tape and halfcourt sets offer opportunities for the less gifted to level the playing field – or the hardwood – with the more preternaturally athletic. And to that end, it’s easy to see why Maggette perceives these features of pro basketball to be a drag. They exist to mitigate the advantages that come with raw talent. They allow more cerebral players to use their strengths more acutely against guys like Corey Maggette.
Whether Davis feels the same way about regimen and structure remains to be seen. But I'd argue that, for the Clippers' collective skill set and size, a more controlled brand of basketball works in their favor. That's something Corey Maggette never quite understood and was, in the end, the basis for the friction between him and his coach in Los Angeles.