The Rise of Sean Sweeney: The Defensive Specialist Making Waves in the NBA

The Rise of Sean Sweeney: The Defensive Specialist Making Waves in the NBA

Every coach has his favorite assistant, whom he tries to bring with him everywhere. Like Mike Budenholzer with Darvin Ham or Doc Rivers with Sam Cassell. For Jason Kidd, it’s about Sean Sweeney, an assistant he knew at the Nets in 2013 when he was starting out in coaching. At the time, this forty-year-old was in charge of video, like Erik Spoelstra or Frank Vogel. But when Jason Kidd became the Bucks coach, he decided to bring him with him, and make him a real assistant. And the tandem has been reconstituted in Dallas for three seasons.

“He will be a coach one day, and it’s a great partnership” summarizes Jason Kidd about their tandem. “Sean’s work ethic is second to none. He’s always in the gym, he’s always there to help. Sean’s future as an assistant is extremely bright. One day, he will become head coach in this league.”

In Dallas, Sean Sweeney takes care of the defense, and after his arrival, in 2021, the team went from 21st to 7th place in the ranking of the best defenses in the championship. That season, he replaced an ill Jason Kidd for a series of four matches. Results: 3 victories – 1 defeat.

The defensive specialist in Dallas

“He takes care of all the schemes. He does scouting for the defense. He speaks to us “, lists Luka Doncic. “Since the day he arrived here, he’s been a great asset to this team. So I’m very happy that he is part of our team and helps us a lot. »

Regarding the defense, it was he who reassured Jason Kidd about the PJ Washington – Daniel Gafford pairing and their integration into the team.

“PJ is a very versatile and athletic defender. He has good game intelligence, good instincts. Daniel is obviously great at protecting the rim, he does a good job on pick-and-rolls and his presence allows you to use the strengths of other team members,” he analyzes. “They fit in very well. They are both intelligent players, which is helpful when you change teams, as they are able to pick up patterns quickly. They both have a willingness to work and learn, which helps speed up the process. You can’t skip steps, but the more time you spend on them, the quicker you can get through them. So they’ve done a great job in that area.”

Derek Lively owes him a lot

Courted by the Lakers a month ago, or the Jazz two years ago, Sean Sweeney is not content with being the boss of the defense, since he is also a trainer. A former very good shooter, he is also the one who gives some private lessons in this area. Like Derek Lively II, author of his first career 3-point shot in the 4th round.

“I wouldn’t be here without ‘Sweene.’ Our sessions go back three days after the Draft. At the time, I wasn’t able to do a little left-hand hook. remembers the Dallas rookie. “Given where I am today, and given where I was starting from, I wouldn’t be here without him. He pushes me, he encourages me, he’s next to me on video and he teaches me how to read the game. He’s always that little voice, behind you, telling you to give it even more. She is an incredible support person. »

In Milwaukee, he was already the personal coach of Giannis Antetokounmpo and he accompanied him in the summer to Greece, Andorra or Croatia. For Sean Sweeney, it is a privilege to assist a great coach and to work with the greatest players.

“The advantage of the NBA is that you can train and compete against the best players and the best coaches. Whatever your role, it’s the best time of year. “It’s the highest level of competition, the one where the pressure is the greatest,” he explains about the playoffs. “The preparation is all the more enjoyable. Getting ready to face great players, coaches who have great schemes and the ability to adapt and get ahead. »

2024-06-17 13:42:42
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