The Edge: Tom Bialaszewski on coaching in Italy and Kobe Bryant

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“It was a fairly crazy jump in a matter of like 18 months from JV girls basketball to LeBron and the Cavs.”

Tom Bialaszewski – AX Armani Exchange Milan

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In Episode 7 of The Edge, we sit down with Tom Bialaszewski, an assistant coach for Olimpia Milano in Milan, Italy.

Tom shares his experience of being in Italy during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact it has had on his team, family, and daily life as a coach overseas.

We also discussed:

Tom knows his stuff, with deep experience across every level of basketball, from high school to college, the NBA and abroad, and we really enjoyed our time with him.

Available wherever you listen to podcasts. Full show transcript available here.

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On this Episode


On working with Kobe:

“He wasn’t going to take shortcuts, no matter how monotonous things might’ve gotten. Doing it over the entire course of his life and his career, he didn’t cut corners. And obviously the basketball IQ part was tremendous. You just get an appreciation for that level of intellect.”

Differences between Italian Basketball and the NBA:

“It’s just so much more tactical. It’s a very cerebral game, I guess you would say. And even the players, like they know what the counters to everything are, and it’s not necessarily an athletic counter. It’s not just the guys you would say are high basketball IQ players, it’s everyone.”

What type of data and analytics coaches look at:

 “One of the big things I look for, and this is probably, I mean, Mike Antonio was the one who really showed me. It was the points per possession. Instead of points per game, you know, whether it be offensively or defensively. So that’s something that I look for.”

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