Here is an excerpt from an article in The Times-Picayune by John Reid that speaks to how a player can still contribute even though out with an injury. It also says something about the rookie Darren Collison being receptive to coaching:
During practices and games, injured New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul has been in rookie Darren Collison's ear, giving him pointers on the finer things about playing the position in the NBA.
Collison said since he took over the starting role for Paul five games ago, several veteran teammates have offered guidance, but he said the most beneficial has come from Paul, who remains sidelined indefinitely with a sprained left ankle.
During shootarounds, Paul has sat next to Collison when the team breaks into position groups and has gone over details about the opposing point guard as an assistant coach would. He’s also chimed in on how to get around pick-and-rolls.
Several times during last Saturday's 96-88 victory against Atlanta at the New Orleans Arena, Paul met Collison as he approached the bench during timeouts to give him tips. Often when timeouts were about to end, Paul continued to give Collison advice after instructions had come from GM/Coach Jeff Bower and lead assistant Tim Floyd.
“I’m trying to take everything in he says every day,” Collison said. “It might be a lot of information, but he’s one of the best point guards, and he’s definitely been a blessing. I’m appreciative of everything he’s told me.”
With that kind of mentorship, Collison is progressing rapidly since Bower took over coaching duties for Byron Scott, who was fired after a 3-6 start. Since his first start at Atlanta last week, Collison has scored in double figures in five consecutive games, including a game-high 22 points and 11 assists (his first double-double) against Atlanta last Saturday.
“I try to talk to him all the time, and it’s like I can never say enough,” Paul said. “You only get one rookie year, and you have take full advantage of it. In this league, you see all type of different things, and you see some guys that play harder and see some who let the game come to them. I just try to tell him to be you and always play as hard as you can.”
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