You’ll likely be able to find a number of college and high school staffs that get together for a pickup basketball game during the work day, but I’d be willing to bet none of the games operate like Nick Saban’s pickup games.
ESPN was able to get the low down on Saban’s pickup games by talking to both him, as well as some of his former LSU assistant coaches including Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, and Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase.
All three of the coaches look back on those pickup games with very fond memories, and share some of the more interesting rules that arose as Saban both participated and acted as commissioner of the games.
The rules of the pickup games haven’t changed a whole lot over the years and include Saban’s ability to shoot down foul calls and veto timeouts, and he’s also picking who’s guarding him and fully admits that you’re expected to allow the man score too. Those rules may change based on what Saban needs to do to win as well.
The best line has to be at the end where Saban roasts host Marty Smith’s outfit saying that he couldn’t be on his team if he showed up wearing that outfit before adding, “I know a player when I see one.”
See more on Saban’s pickup game courtesy of ESPN’s Marty Smith’s America segment.