Chris Finch at the 4th Conference, the registration is open!

From April 15, attendees can register for the IV. International Basketball Conference with an early bird discount, those who do so by the end of April can attend the event for 7000 HUF, from May 1 the registration fee will be 10 000 HUF for Hungarians and 20 000 HUF for foreigners. It is a huge honour and a great feedback on the success of previous conferences that another American coach has accepted the invitation: the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA team, Chris Finch will also give a lecture in Pécs this summer.

We talked to the outstanding coach about the similarities and differences between European and American basketball, his team’s goals for this year and the role and opportunities of young players in the NBA. Chris Finch’s career began in Europe, working in England, Germany and Belgium, before moving to the United States, where he was assistant coach of the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors before taking over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The coach has a long-standing working relationship with Nick Nurse, who graced our second conference last summer with a high quality presentation. Nurse supported Finch as an assistant coach for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, and later on Finch worked as an assistant coach under Nurse at the Toronto Raptors.

– Our duties as assistant coach while working for each other were very similar. Because we both have a great deal of trust and respect for each other’s basketball IQ we leaned on each other for advise. Nick ran our defense for the GB National Team, while I ran the offense while with him in Toronto. The great part about working with Nick, both as an assistant and a head coach, is that we were always talking about basketball and trying to be as creative as we could – said 53-year-old head coach.

Chris Finch won both the British and Belgian championships with his teams before he started working in the United States, so he has a great insight into both basketball cultures and organisations.

– I was very fortunate to be coach in both Europe and the USA at a time when the two games were closer than ever in style. Ideas, concept and of course players and coaches were readily flowing both to and from the different games, Europe and America. I would say the biggest difference between the NBA and Europe is still the overall speed and athleticism of the NBA game is greater. From what I can see the European game is more physical on the ball and the shooting in the NBA game surpasses that of Europe.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are fighting for a playoff spot for the second year in a row, but the head coach still considers it important to give young players the experience and quality playing time they need to develop. One of the talents that stands out is 21-year-old Anthony Edwards, who is a real leader for the team and a great example for the youngsters.

– Anthony is a special talent but even more than that has the gift of natural leadership due to his magnetic personality. People want to follow him. He does a great job of leading for someone so young and with still so much to learn. That all comes from his genuine nature and likability.  And of course, his teammates believe with him on the floor they have a chance to win every night – said the head coach.

Of course, Chris has also come up through the coaching ranks, and we asked what he considers to be the key factors at the beginning of a coach’s career.

– You have to develop a philosophy how you believe the game should be played. There are many different styles that are effective and you may need to adjust your beliefs as you grow or experience different teams. But having a foundation that you can sell to your players gives you the confidence to be able to help them when things are difficult – concluded the Minnesota Timberwolves head coach.

You can registrate for the 4th conference via this link!