Q&A: Heat Assistant Coach Dan Craig

Courtesy of Tom D’Angelo

Q: The Skyforce open their season Saturday, what will you miss about not being in Sioux Falls?

DC: I just really enjoyed being a head coach. It was a lot of fun. Managing your staff, delegating responsibilities and then managing a locker room and a team and a game. It helped me become a better coach, just all the different areas the head coach really has to juggle. It could be from in-game, your rotations. It could be having clear, coherent messages to the players, everybody make sure they’re on the same page. And just practice, motivating guys, players and staff. That was really a great experience for me.

Q: What was the highlight of your year in Sioux Falls?

DC: The championship. Just having it all come together. That last game and to see the guys and how rewarding it was for them after all the work. The development league is a league where guys can be in it for themselves. They are trying to get call-ups, they are trying to get jobs. So to see those guys come together and all look good that was the most gratifying.

Q: You have held many jobs in the Heat organization, similar to Erik Spoelstra. How has watching him helped you?

DC: Tremendously. Just being around him for 14 years. I feel very fortunate to work for Hall of Fame coaches like coach (Pat) Riley, coach (Stan) Van Gundy, coach (Ron) Rothstein and coach Spo. We’ve been working for the last 14 years. I just see a tremendous work ethic. It started with that and then being around him as my mentor learning as much as I can, it’s had a tremendous impact on me as a person and as a coach.

Q: What do you tell a player who might be disappointed at being send down to the D-League?

DC: You have live reps to get better and that’s mostly game reps, which a lot of guys don’t get at this level, but it’s also practice. You have a great opportunity to grow. The young guys or the guys at the end of the bench don’t really have an opportunity to have their player development spill over to game situations. That experience can build confident and also tell you areas you need to work on.

Q: Sioux Falls and Miami, you couldn’t get two more diverse cities. What would you say to someone who is going to Sioux Falls?

DC: The people are great, salt of the earth people. Ownership there is tremendous. And you better buy a nice warm jacket.

Q: Did you shovel snow?

DC: Oh yeah, you better be ready for some snow. It’s been a long time since I have shoveled snow so get your shovel ready, get your coat ready.


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