My guest today is , a corporate and sports team speaker and previously spent 13 years in the NBA as both a coach and executive. He was a top assistant to Doc Rivers with the 2008 NBA World Championship Boston Celtics, and most recently served as an...
My guest today is Kevin Eastman, a corporate and sports team speaker and previously spent 13 years in the NBA as both a coach and executive. He was a top assistant to Doc Rivers with the 2008 NBA World Championship Boston Celtics, and most recently served as an assistant coach and Vice President of Basketball Operations with the Los Angeles Clippers. He’s also the author of Why The Best Are The Best: 25 Powerful Words That Impact, Inspire, And Define Champions.
In this episode, we discuss how his passion for learning helped him break into the NBA, what makes Doc Rivers such a successful coach, the mentor/mentee relationship between Doc Rivers and Ty Lue, how Ray Allen’s preparation led him to become one of the best 3-point shooters of all-time, and the examples of extraordinary leadership he has seen during his corporate consulting work.
(1:36) - Episode begins with Kevin’s background
(7:15) - How Doc Rivers handled the first team meeting with the Boston Celtics after they traded for Kevin Garnett & Ray Allen
(11:00) - How Doc Rivers builds his staffs with elite assistants who “didn’t know it all”
(13:50) - The mentor/mentee relationship between Doc Rivers & Ty Lue (read a great article on this here) & how Ty Lue worked hard to become a great coach
(25:15) - What coaches should be aware of when trying to get a job or interviewing
(34:45) - Ray Allen’s preparation before every game in his career
(43:45) - Why accountability is so important and how Doc Rivers & Kevin Garnett exemplified that
(46:30) - How the Boston Celtics’ players all sacrificed
(49:00) - How to get your players to sacrifice more if it isn’t in their DNA
(53:45) - The difference between a winner’s ego and loser’s ego
(56:25) - Must listen story of how Doc Rivers motivated the Celtics during the 2010 season by hiding $2,800 in the Staples Center after beating the L.A. Lakers during the regular season
(1:01:18) - Examples of leadership he’s seen during his corporate consulting work
(1:03:20) - Where to follow Kevin Eastman: Twitter | Website | Book
(1:05:40) - How he has utilized time during COVID to slow down
(1:11:45) — End of episode questions
1. What’s 1 book every coach should read?
2. Who is one person you’d want to hear as a guest on this podcast?
Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra & L.A. Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank
3. What’s one area you’re looking to improve in over the next year?
Refine his messaging in his public speaking and improve the depth of some of his relationships
4. What’s popular advice you hear people say that you think is wrong?
The truth hurts
5. What advice do you have for young coaches who are listening to this?
Go deeper into your craft, study it more, and be incredibly competent with your X’s & O’s. Also, think of adjustments you may need to make during games when you watch them.
6. What’s the darkest moment you experienced professionally and how did you overcome it?
He doesn’t view things that happen in life as dark, they’re just things that happened you have to stop, think about what was your part in that happening, and move on.
“The most successful people in the world have a curiosity gene and know that they don’t know it all.”
“Preparation trumps pressure. You’ll have butterflies when you really, really prepare well. You’ll have fear when you’re not prepared well.”
“There are two types of people in this world: there are know-it-alls, and there are learn-it-alls.”
“Once you know your leader believes, it’s a little easier for you to believe.”
“I believe that you should bring your winner’s ego to everything that you do because it gives you confidence.”