Bryce Taylor Goes From Rick Carlisle To Pedro Calles And Continues To Make Strides In Basketball  Coaching Life After His Playing Days

Not only did Bryce Taylor (195-SG-1986, agency: BeoBasket) have a long and successful 13 year professional playing career that spanned 12 years in Germany and 392 easyCredit BBL games, but he also had something that not all players can boast having had. And that is being able to learn from some of the best coaches in his career. He already had a superb coach with Ernie Kent at Oregon (NCAA) that helped lead the school and Taylor to a Pac-10 title in 2007. And it didn’t change when he went overseas. He was able to learn from legendary coach Svetislav Pesic in Munich who led Germany to the surprising 1993 Euro win over Russia. Soon after he experienced the barking from eccentric Italian coach Andrea Trinchieri in Bamberg and topped off his career learning the finer points of the game from rising Spanish coach Pedro Calles. He didn’t waist any time hanging out at the beach in Malibu for some months in the summer of 2021, but quickly latched on to the Indiana Pacers where he learned from well known coach Rick Carlisle. Now in his second season in the coaching world, he is back in Germany and reunited with Pedro Calles in Oldenburg. The California native has a special connection to Calles in that he first saw him work as an athletic trainer in Artland in 2012 and after that saw his rise in German basketball from Vechta to Hamburg. Playing his last season in Hamburg for Calles left a lasting impression on him. He always knew that Calles was special even already in 2012. Would he have believed then that Calles would become the coach he has become had somebody predicted it in 2012? ‘Yes, I would have. Pedro was always a hard worker, a serious person, very organized and detail oriented. I saw a bright future for him during this time. In our year together in Hamburg, I learned a lot from Pedro. He is one of the main reasons I decided to think about coaching. During the season I battled injuries and he handled my situation with transparency, dignity and respect. We see the game in a similar way and I always loved Spanish basketball, the way the game is played in the ACB and the philosophies that are taught by the best coaches in the country. From a basketball perspective I appreciated our defensive concept and strategy. He is an excellent communicator and was able to impact the team with fresh energy each and every day. He was always organized and prepared and that was something I admired and wanted to take with me when I left Hamburg. I was offered to to stay and work with the Towers last season in some capacity, but I decided to pursue my opportunity with the Pacers instead. This season it will continue to develop as we develop our coaching staff chemistry’, stressed Bryce Taylor.

But one thing will be different in Oldenburg this season for everyone and will need some serious time for adjustment. Bryce Taylor who believes that Steph Curry could be the greatest point guard of all-time won’t see that winner’s smile from Rickey Paulding every morning. Paulding finally retired from the game in 2022 after serving the EWE Baskets for 15 years. It really doesn’t matter who you are, but if you have some connection to basketball in Germany and hear the name EWE Baskets, you won’t be able to hide the fact that the first thing that comes to mind is Rickey Paulding. ‘Absolutely, Rickey Paulding represents so much for this club and the Easycredit BBL as well. Ricky is the standard bearer of greatness when it comes to Americans in European basketball’, said Bryce Taylor. One of my favorite spots around the EWE Baskets arena’s that has really grown in the last decade is the incredible mural dedicated to Paulding. It is something that will remind people daily about the memories of the legendary player who made a name at Missouri (NCAA). ‘It’s really special, I don’t think anybody throughout European basketball, as an American, has a mural like that. We had great battles as opponents, and I will always remember having to be ready to play my A game against him when we matched up. This mural will always take me down memory lane, that is for sure’, added Bryce Taylor. He didn’t have any talks with Rickey Paulding about taking the coaching job in Oldenburg, but surely will have dealings with him this season in some capacity as Paulding will still have ties to the organization and be back in Oldenburg every so often.

The American guard who began his easyCredit BBL career with the Telekom Baskets Bonn comes to Oldenburg with the best qualifications as he was lucky and fortunate enough to have worked in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers in his rookie season after being a player. He was an assistant player development coach which entailed so many different things. He helped with video edits as well as working out the players individually before and after practice. He also aided in pre-game warmups and was always on call for any assignments needed from the coaching staff and video coordinator/director of strategy. He also stayed in shape and showed the young guns why he was a top player in the BBL as he also was a practice player. Nothing was handed to him in this job. He came to the Pacers and it was just like when he was a rookie in Italy in 2008. He was beginning to make a name for himself in life after being a top player overseas. ‘My experience in the NBA was awesome, I was starting over and had to humble myself and that was a great experience. Nobody cared that I played a long career overseas, and I had to prove myself from 0 I worked some G- League practices as well. I learned how high of a level the NBA is, the players are extremely talented and work hard every day. The staff has dozens of people who are the best in the world at what they do. The coaches are extremely smart and were always on point whenever they addressed the team. I learned too much in this year to pinpoint a single thing, but this definitely showed me what I needed to work on so I can continue to improve as a person within this game and as a coach’, expressed Bryce Taylor. He also had the opportunity to work together with head coach Rick Carlisle that as a player was able to call Larry Bird his teammate and later coached legend Dirk Nowitzki. It is only obvious that he took every opportunity he had to be a constant positive pest in terms of questions, questions and questions. ‘Rick was great to learn from and watch every day. He is a great basketball mind and leader. I was a sponge this season being around him daily, seeing how he communicated with the team and the players. He’s been in the NBA for 30 years so he’s basically seen every situation before and I really was just taking notes on everything’, commented Bryce Taylor. When you look up and down a NCAA team’s bench you see players, but also a handful of guys in suits with clipboards at least more than half then what you see on coaches in the easyCredit BBL. The NBA is another dimension of how much organizations value the use of teachers, but then again the budgets are also in another galaxy. ‘The biggest difference was the amount of coaches, we had 10-12 coaches with various responsibilities. There are also 82 games, plus preseason and playoffs, this is a heavy load to carry and its necessary for this to be spread amongst the staff. Our coaching staff had coaches with different focuses, such as player development, offense, defense, analytics and so forth’, stated Bryce Taylor. He was able to work with many great NBA players and remembers 2 guys that he will always have fond memories of spending worthwhile time with. ‘I really enjoyed working with all of the guys, I especially liked working with Chris Duarte because he went to the University of Oregon (my alma mater) so we had that built in connection. But the young core of players is strong there and I think the future is bright in Indiana. Malcolm Brogdon is a true pro and a very hard worker. I loved working with him. We played against each other a lot this season’, remembered Bryce Taylor.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Bryce Taylor in Frankfurt in 2015

The former guard who thinks that Malcolm Brogdon will be a major difference maker for the Boston Celtics this season is already in Oldenburg ready for his new challenge. He was already in Germany in early summer and did a special training in Baden-Baden with the German Basketball Federation DBB and received his B-license for coaching. Sometimes it takes ex professional players a while to make the transition from player to life after, but for Taylor he needed no rest and is just sprouting with zeal about working in the easyCredit BBL on the sidelines. ‘I’m looking forward to everything, collaborating with the coaching staff, learning from Pedro, supporting and teaching the players, getting to know the other staff and fans as well. Jumping into practices on the court and building some sweat equity with the players too’, stressed Bryce Taylor. In pre season there is a lot of time for team bonding. Usually teams will go on a training camp trip and longer road trips are the norm. There will be enough free time for Bryce Taylor to break out some interesting stories from his NBA rookie year last season. He could entertain guards Dewayne Russell, Max DiLeo and Macio Teague with some stories he had dueling Brad Wanamaker back in the day when he was with FC Bayern Munich as well as their 1-1 talks in Indiana last season. He definatley won’t forget being together with Wanamaker last season. ‘ That was awesome to reconnect with Brad, we had a chance to talk on the very first day about our battles with Bamberg vs Bayern Munich. It was funny because nobody else from the staff truly understood what that rivalry meant but we were laughing about these unforgettable moments. We talked a lot about his journey and what it took for him to make it and then stick in the NBA. I believe his versatility is what has allowed for him to carve out a solid NBA career. He is very physical, and makes winning plays as a back up guard. He can defend multiple positions and can put pressure on the defense as a driver and playmaker. Philly guards usually play with a certain toughness and a high basketball IQ and Brad fits that mold’, warned Bryce Taylor. But There is one guy where I think everyone will pay special close attention to when he begins to talk. I’m sure if one night all are hanging out in the lobby of a hotel, nobody will call it an early evening when he unwraps his special stories about Rickey Paulding who he fought 17 times in the easyCredit BBL. That will be a worthwhile entertaining evening that nobody would forget.


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