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The Q&A: Tulsa Shock coach Nolan Richardson

by Jenni Carlson Modified: May 8, 2010 at 12:10 am •  Published: May 8, 2010

photo - Nolan Richardson coached collegiately at Tulsa and Arkansas, winning the national championship in 1994 with the Razorbacks. AP PHOTO
Nolan Richardson coached collegiately at Tulsa and Arkansas, winning the national championship in 1994 with the Razorbacks. AP PHOTO
Jenni Carlson: You have an exhibition game Sunday, the season opener next Saturday. Are you a little busy right now?

Nolan Richardson: Oh, man. It’s go, go, go, talk, talk, talk.

JC: Are you doing more coaching or more talking right now?

NR: I tell you what, I would love to do more coaching.

JC: So, you’re coaching and selling the team.

NR: It’s got to be done.

JC: After all the months and days and hours of preparing, have you thought about what opening night is going to be like, to finally get to that point?

NR: I’m hoping that opening night, of course, is sold out. That’s our main goal. Being in coaching all the years I’ve been in the business, opening night has always been a night that you want to hopefully have your team come out and perform to where the fans will enjoy it and go back and tell others, "Hey, we’ve got some exciting basketball.”

JC: Your teams have always been known for an exciting style — 40 minutes of hell. Can we expect that with the Shock?

NR: I absolutely believe so. I think it’s Part Two now. We’ve got the women now. They’re going to take over Part Two and see if they can’t make it a better movie or better style.

JC: This is the sequel.

NR: There you go.

JC: You’ve coached at pretty much every level in the men’s game. What’s been the biggest adjustment for you coaching women?

NR: What I have to try to think about is whether I can put on them what I can put on the men, the kind of work load that I normally expect. Can I put that same load on a female? The problem is that it’s not the same way simply because some of them are just getting here from overseas, some of them have played, there are some of them that didn’t play. It’s just a mishmash.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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