In this week’s coaching conversation, owner and head coach of British Basketball League franchise London Lions Vincent Macaulay joins the Basketball Podcast to discuss British Basketball success, longevity and pathways.
A former player for Brixton TopCats, Tower Hamlets/London Towers and Hemel Royals, Macaulay acquired the Royals franchise (by then located in Watford) in 1998 for an upfront fee of £1,500 and relocated it to Milton Keynes.
Under his reign as owner, Macaulay has seen his team progress from whipping-boys to Play-off contenders. On 17 May 2007 he returned to coaching the franchise for a third spell, after the dismissal of Tom Hancock. Macaulay last coached the club when they were based in Hemel Hempstead and also stepped in as caretaker coach the last time Hancock was at the club in 1999. Following this period he was the Chairman of the BBL. He passed on the duty to Paul Blake, Managing Director of the Newcastle Eagles, in 2005. Macaulay also acts as a pundit for Sky Sports on NBA Sundays.
In 2011, Macaulay relocated the Lions franchise to London. In 2014, he became head coach of the club.
British Basketball League Honours:
- 1x BBL Coach of Season 2007-08
- 3x BBL Play Offs Runner Up 2017-18, 2014-15, 2007-08
- 2x BBL Cup Winner 2007-08, 2018-19
- 1x BBL Trophy Runner Up 2001-02
- 1x BBL Championship Runner Up 2017-18
Vincent Macaulay Coach Quotes:
“You look over to Europe, and they’ve . . got a situation where they’ve got facilities, they’ve got good coaches, they’ve got good, competitive leagues.”
“What we have now is our London Junior program . . You can play up and down depending on how good you are. And we now have a great partnership with the University of East London. So that means now we can offer you a scholarship . . and you can still practice every day with the pro team.”
“Jimmy [Rodgers] is a real stalwart for the entire pathway of British basketball . . he talked to me about this game as a community tool . . to inspire young people to understand that our beautiful game can be used for your life.”
“I’ve always believed in . . an aggressive game. I believe you’ve got to try to put the opposition in an uncomfortable position, take them out of the things that they like to do.”
“Whatever we do in Europe, we expect it to work at home. Europe is big for us. And in terms of the investment that we have in, it’s important that we are successful in Europe . . a lot of people are taking notice of London and British basketball because of our results in Europe.”
“How do you make the best use of your practice time without having to practice two or three times a day, like a lot of teams do in Europe. Talking to my players and players I played with many years ago, the issue was, you could go play and have a career in Europe, but your career is going to be short, because of you’ve got two or three practices a day, and you’ve got to play the game, and then two or three day practices the next day.”
“We look at certain basketball actions that everybody knows, dribble handoff, middle, pick-and-roll, side pick-and-roll, all this stuff . . and we incorporate this into our warmups, we incorporate this into our drills, we incorporate [these things] basically, anytime we’re on the floor . . it just saves a lot of time.”
“Spacing is the biggest thing that we always try to emphasize on the fast break. We believe that if we can score in the first four to six seconds, we are at a high percentage and that’s something we try to do . . t’s important for us to spread the floor, get into a quick action, and try to make something happen out of that.”
“Last year, in our league, we took the most [3-point shots], we made the most, and we shot the highest percentage. So that’s got to be your goal.”
“[On defense] Our whole belief is that we’re not going to over deny people, we’re going to keep you in front of us, we believe our length will do that, we believe we can help better that way. And we’re going to contest all of those shorts hard.”
“As the ball goes to [a shooter] I’m going to come out as hard as I can hands up and challenge that shot, right hand, left hand, depending on what kind of shooter you are. What that’s going to do is make you do one of two things, you can hesitate and then look to shoot, when I’ve gone by you, assuming I can’t turn around and come back, or you’re going to come inside and take a two point shot.”
“If the players can be pushed and played at a higher level, they’re going to develop faster, so at 19, he might have had two and a half years for professional engagement already.”
“My job is to go out there and let people know that there’s something in your community that you can care about . . People are now realizing that the community is what it’s all about . . And that’s what basketball has always been good at.”
Vincent Macaulay Breakdown:
1:00 – The Process
3:00 – Build Basketball in Great Britain
6:00 – Creating Pathway for Players
9:00 – Multicultural Attraction
13:00 – Pressing Style of Play
15:00 – Playing a Lot of Players
20:00 – British Basketball Experience
24:00 – Warm-Ups
27:00 – Spacing is Key
30:00 – Three Point Attempts
32:00 – Double Gaps
34:00 – Rolling Bigs
37:00 – Setting the Screen Decisions
39:00 – Fly By
42:00 – Relationship with Clubs
46:00 – Being a Promoter
Vincent Macaulay Links from the Podcast:
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