I consider defense to be the coach's main concern, because the success of the team depends on it. It is a starting point for the next attack, but the players rarely work on it by themselves and it is never appreciated by the spectators and even journalists.
Even the greatest team cannot win without a well tailored defense. It is obvious that team defense has to be based on a player's personal capabilities and their eagerness to defend their own basket. I very often observe players who are lazy on defense not only during practices, but also during important games. I am always worried and even made angry by that attitude towards defense. A lot of player do not enjoy working on defense. They take their opportunities to block a shot or steal a ball but mainly they relax in defense and keep their strength to show themselves on offense.
I am convinced that without will, responsibility and initiative there is no defense. After working in Europe for several years I am even more sure that we need to draw the attention of coaches, spectators and the press to defense and its importance. A lot of American players playing for European clubs are active in ways most easily seen: shooting, rebounding, shot blocking, etc. It is no only a problem of American players in Europe but of all the European plays too.
I would like to emphasize that defensive psychology is the coach's problem. Often the emotional eagerness to play on defense means to depend on more than technical and physical conditions. The ability to steal the ball or to rebound depends not only on physical capability but also on thinking about doing it all the time. It is often a miscalculation if a player goes for the steal, opening up a fast break possibility but misses the ball. It also happens because of a lack of responsibility. All these mistakes can be avoided by a state of mind, which views defense as a must.