Josh King is a coach that was recently appointed new head coach of the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. He played college ball at Eckerd (NCAA2) and began his coaching career in 2008 with Vassar College (NCAA3). He got vast experience in the NCAA coaching at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell (NCAA2), 4 years at Marshall and 2 years at the University of New Hampshire (NCAA). He then was 3 years with the MHP Riesen as an assistant and last season got the head coaching gig with USK Praha (Czech Republic-NBL). He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Josh thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?
Thanks Miles, I am currently in Ludwigsburg. Basketball is going well, just trying to build another winning Ludwigsburg team for next season.
Congrats on signing with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. Do you feel any pressure having to start a new era and fill the shoes of John Patrick?
JP is an amazing coach and I am going give everything I have to keep the Ludwigsburg going in the same direction.
How did you follow the team last season? What in general was missing last year and the year before from being able to win a title?
I watched as many games as I possibly could last season. I think the success Ludwigsburg has had the last couple seasons has been amazing.
How quickly did this deal come about? Had you known months ago that John Patrick was going to go and you had a good idea that you could become the new coach or did the contact come only some weeks ago when the first rumors came that Patrick was going to go?
The process wasn’t lengthy, I found out JP could be leaving during the BBL playoffs. I was excited to find out that I was a candidate.
Talk a little about your coaching style. You’re a guy who likes to help develop players and likes players to have a strong work ethic. Talk a little about your philosophy and what you want to instill into the playing style of the team in 22-23?
We are going to play a similar style to the way Ludwigsburg is accustomed to playing. We want defensive minded players first and guys that can play multiple positions.
How prevalent will the full court press and annoying defense be? Can we expect this years club to continue to be able to defend at a very high rate?
Annoying other teams will always be the goal, the plan will be to have a defensive mindset first and foremost.
Even If John Patrick doesn’t like to hear the hire and fire politics, will we see a more steady roster or could their be changes left and right during a season?
We will make adjustments accordingly always doing what is best for the Ludwigsburg team.
Last season you coached your first season as a head coach in the Czech Republic with USK Prague. You won an exciting series against NH Ostrava and then lost an exciting series against Opava. What is your summary of your first season as a head coach?
It was a great learning experience. Obviously many highs and lows but I thought we ended on a good note.
Was the absence of Kyle Mangas the difference between advancing and not?
I never want to put one player above the team, losing a player like Kyle was tough to replace in a short amount of time.
Even if Kyle Mangas played in the NAIA and so did Cameron Hunt who went from pro B in Germany to a solid BBL player in Germany. Wouldn’t it be logical to give Kyle Mangas a chance?
Kyle is a very good young player and I really think he is going have a great pro career.
You were assistant coach from 2018-2021 in Ludwigsburg and was the right hand for John Patrick. How important were these three years for your coaching development after coming from the NCAA?
Those three years were an amazing experience I learned so much about the game of basketball from JP.
What do you feel is the most important aspect of coaching that you learned from John Patrick in your 3 years under Patrick?
JP is the master at getting players to buy in for the betterment of team and that is something that I will strive to get my teams to do as well.
You coached Jaleen Smith for 4 years. 2 at UNH and 2 in Ludwigsburg. What kind of player was he in 2016 and what kind of player was he in 2021 when he left?
Jaleen was a very good college player but he was lacking confidence and self trust. Jaleen now plays with an abundance of confidence and believes he is the best player when he steps on the court.
He had an incredible season with Alba Berlin. He played NBA Summer League in 2021. Could his year of Euroleague experience give him a better shot at the NBA this season if he played NBA Summer League again?
There is no doubt Jaleen is an NBA player, but I think he is just enjoying his time in Berlin and he just keeps getting better and better.
You coached at Vassar, Umass, Marshall and UNH. Talk about all the head coaches you worked for especially Bill Herrion who you had at Marshall and UNH and how each guy helped you best in your development?
I played for Bill in college and then got to work for him at UNH. He is an amazing person who gave me an opportunity to be a division 1 player and also a division 1 coach. He is an old school coach who preaches defense first and gets his players to play very hard, two things I will try to instill in my players.
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?
Well if you mean coaches I think you have to say Phil Jackson. I don’t think he gets enough credit for the managing job he did with big personalities and egos.
Where does Steph Curry rank now in the all-time best point guard?
Miles I’m from North Carolina and have been following Steph since his high school days. I’m a huge fan of his and I’m not sure if he is the best but he is for sure the best shooting point guard of all time.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
Miles I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing but I haven’t seen this film. Thanks for the interview!!
No problem Josh.