Thursday, July 16, 2009

Underdog strategies

Malcolm Gladwell's been writing about underdog strategies, and one example is using the full court press in basketball. He writes about the success a novice coach and inexperienced young players have using the press (and relates it to other struggles in history). He's also going back and forth with ESPN's Bill Simmon's about not only the press, but the NBA draft. So I asked one of our local basketball gurus, Jack Fertig to comment (Jack was head of basketball operations for Tark when coached Fresno State). Jack's interesting response is here.

Gladwell's original New Yorker column is pretty good, here a sentence describing the approach of a coach with no previous basketball experience:
The team was made up mostly of twelve-year-olds, and twelve-year-olds, he knew from experience, did not respond well to shouting. He would conduct business on the basketball court, he decided, the same way he conducted business at his software firm. He would speak calmly and softly, and convince the girls of the wisdom of his approach with appeals to reason and common sense.

Update: I forgot another summer reality show I should have included in a previous post: Discovery Channel's Treasure Quest. Interesting show about looking for shipwrecks using high tech gizmos. The technology turns on them sometimes, for example they complain that the public database of ship locations tips off their competitors to their finds. Here's the map of real-time shipping (click to zoom). It reminds me of the flight map.