Nuggets television analyst Scott Hastings grew up in Independence, Kan., was a 1985 all-American at Arkansas and played 11 years in the NBA.
Do you still keep up with your college coach, Eddie Sutton?
Not as often as I do with Patsy (Sutton), we're friends on Facebook. As I do analyst work, it's funny how many times I flashback and say something about how things should be going on the court, and I think back to something coach Sutton taught me, from ball movement to not turning your head on defense.
What made Sutton such a good coach?
Couple of things. He obviously knows the game, his attention to detail. But his communication. The two best coaches I ever played for — coach Sutton and Chuck Daly — were great communicators. Probably the key in the pro game is being able to have that communication. Coach Sutton, he was always the good cop. We had some coaches like Pat Foster and Gene Keady, but coach Sutton was a guy that communicated. Call you into his office and talk to you. His communication with players is just unbelievable.
What do you like about the NBA game?
It's hard for a lot of people. I grew up in Kansas, went to school in Arkansas, have relatives in Oklahoma. I was born and raised on college sports. I understand that aspect of it. But the pro game, the talent level is unbelievable. Players we make fun of in the NBA were high school all-Americans. They were the man at one time. I was an all-American at Arkansas; I averaged a handful of minutes in the NBA. I was horrible.
What do you like about the Nuggets and the Thunder?
I see some movement with Oklahoma City, with Denver after the (Carmelo Anthony trade). I cheer for those two teams. They're a team. A community. Good in the locker room. That's good for the NBA. Goes back to team basketball. People who don't like pro basketball will see a change. When (commissioner) David Stern came in, he saved the league with stars. Magic and Bird, perfect timing. But stars almost got too big. Hopefully we're seeing a change of the polar caps.