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Steve Forbes Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
August 25, 2020 3:42 pm

Steve Forbes Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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August 25, 2020 3:42 pm

Steve Forbes joined The Drive with Josh Graham to discuss Isaiah Wilkins eligibility, coaching during the pandemic, and how he made coach K laugh.

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Alright, this should be a lot of fun. Wake Forest head basketball coach Steve Forbes is with us. And coach, as I put out on social media, I'm going to set the parameters here. My goal in this interview is to not have our conversation end up leading, pardon the interruption, or highly questionable.

How's that sound? Yes, I'm pretty much all for that. I haven't driven outside of the state of North Carolina since I moved into Winston-Salem. If I drove that direction we're talking about, I'd have to probably avoid that state because of our conversation.

But yeah, I prefer that we just keep it light and not be on national news today. Alright, let's knock out a couple of the housekeeping notes before we get to a couple of broader things. First off, still waiting on a couple of waivers as I understand it. You've got Isaiah Wilkins, who we've gotten to know as a triad guy. He's a transfer from Virginia Tech. Davian Williamson, one of your former players at East Tennessee State, another one of these guys who's hoping to play this year.

What can you tell me about those two as of this minute? Well Josh, we've just found out some good news that Isaiah Wilkins has been cleared to play. So he'll be playing this year for the Demon Deacons, which we're excited about. He's improved a lot over the last few weeks as far as practice is concerned.

So we're excited for him and glad to have him on the team. Not sure on Davian yet. That stuff has been filed. They've asked for some more documentation.

You know, these things have a pace to them. Josh, they take a little time and so we just haven't had a ruling yet on Davian, but we do have a positive return on Isaiah. That's great news to know that Isaiah Wilkins is a body you're going to be able to use this year and your first season as Demon Deacons coach. I guess just broadly, how concerned are you about basketball season starting on time? Because you've got Coach K talking about, hey, maybe unity is the answer, where the Ivies are doing their own thing and pushing to January, the Pac-12s looking there as well. He said ideally he would like that to be the case for everybody, everybody starting at the same time.

How do you feel about basketball starting in November? Well, it's a super question and, you know, it kind of goes back and forth every day. Josh, we do have a conference call every week, which has been very informative for me with all the head coaches in the ACC. It's a Zoom call and that is discussed every week. There's about four scenarios we're looking at right now possibly.

I think starting on time is one. I think starting, you know, maybe a week after that or then maybe Thanksgiving or then maybe the first of December. I don't know if we're considering right now starting in January. I think that would probably be the worst case scenario, but I do think we'll play basketball.

I just don't know exactly, you know, what day that's going to be is like when it's going to start. I think it'll be sometime, my gut feeling, it'll be sometime around Thanksgiving, maybe when all the students go home and they don't come back and we basically have a chance to create our own bubble, I guess you could call it, on campus or maybe quarantine our players just based on, you know, no other students being on campus. I had Coach K laugh about three weeks ago on one of those calls. He was talking about just playing conference games, you know, maybe 20, 26 conference games. I said, well, Coach, if we do that, we'll take my team back to the students and we'll see you in there too. And he thought that was kind of funny. I wasn't really kidding, but I think he thought I was. That's probably the first time I ever spoke, Josh, about 10 weeks on one of those calls, to be honest with you.

Oh, I'm interested in that. I'm interested in the dynamic where you're a coach from the SoCon, you're in this meeting with Hall of Fame coaches, Coach K, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, and I'm just interested in how hesitant you are to speak and when you do, whether you feel any nerves. I don't speak. I keep my mouth shut. It's like, I listen, I listen, you know, I'm a good listener. And the honest truth is, it's really been great. It's been very informative.

You know, like you said, you mentioned those guys, you throw Coach Bray in there, who's the president of the NABC, and you have a lot of knowledge in the room about the state of affairs, you know, in college basketball. And so I think it's been great. Whenever I speak, I just try to get a good chuckle, you know, so I've had a couple of good laughs. Give me the joke that fell short, though. Give me the one that you thought was funny and it wasn't. No, no, I ain't going there. I'm calculated.

When I come up with the joke, it's gotta be funny. Okay, this past week, the leading expert for the ACC, Dr. Cameron Wolfe, was on there talking about COVID, right? Yeah, from Duke. Yeah, yeah. So he started talking and, you know, I said, look, can I ask you a question? You know, this is Steve Forbes, White Forest, Dr. Wolfe. Is there any way you could invent us a mask where I could wear my glasses at the same time and watch practice? And they said, I know for a fact when I look at the other end of the court, my team's screwing up.

I just can't see that far down there. And that's kind of the basis of my contributions to those calls. Okay, there you go. Shoot him a follow on Twitter at ForbesWakeHoops. I do want to talk to you about some coaches, namely a coach that's one of your closest friends. Robert Walsh, the producer of this show, is a lifelong Toronto Raptors fan. And he loves your close friend from small town Iowa, Nick Nurse. And here's what Nick Nurse has done in the following 14 months or the last 14 months. He's won an NBA title. He swept Brooklyn in the first round of the playoffs.

And on top of that, earlier this week, he was voted overwhelmingly to be the NBA's Coach of the Year. When did you know of his aspirations to be an NBA coach? In a dorm room in the middle of, kind of in a dorm room at a camp. One summer we were in, I think we were at Jerry Mullen's camp in St. Joe's, Missouri.

And he was, I think he was on the top bunk, I was on the bottom bunk. We were roommates working the camp. I made a decision to go leave my first job, Southwestern Community College, to go to Barton County Community College actually to be an assistant. And he said to me, well I'm going back overseas to coach, you know, professionally. I want to coach in the NBA someday. And so that was, I don't know, 92, 93 maybe.

And so there his journey began, you know, and it's well documented. He'd come back in the summer, and when I got to be a Division I assistant, he would come and stay in my room out in Long Beach. He used to have the L.A., or the Long Beach Summer League, and he'd come out and stay in my room and he'd volunteer to help coach a team or just volunteer to be around. And then he called me a few years later and said he's coming back to Iowa to start the D-League or G-League team. The Iowa Energy wins the title there.

It goes to Rio Grande wins it again. And then he calls me to tell me that he's going to go be an assistant with the Toronto Raptors. I almost blow it for him because I put it on Facebook. Of course I was excited for him. Then he called me right up to tell me it hadn't been announced yet.

I need to take that down. So I don't feel bad about that. I thought maybe I was going to screw it up for him.

But it's been quite a journey for him for both of us. And, you know, we used to do basketball camp in his hometown and sleep in his parents' basement, you know, each night and play home run derby in the afternoon after camp. Steve Forbes with us here, Wake Forest head basketball coach.

So that's Nick Nurse. You competed a handful of years in the SoCon against Wes Miller, who earlier this year was named the number one coach by ESPN under the age of 40. What separates Wes from other SoCon or mid-major coaches that you faced while at East Tennessee State?

Wow. You know, I think number one, and there's many things, but I think for all of us, the most important thing is recruiting. And I think Wes has done an outstanding job each year of recruiting his program and keeping really good players. You know, I think the other thing is his team is really, really good defensively.

They're hard to score on. And he plays a style play that's a little bit different than most of the, really any of the teams in the league. You know, he's really good at pressure, full court, half court. His teams are always long and athletic and just really hard to play and keeps it really simple, pretty simple on offense. They share the ball.

They know who their best players are and they give them the ball. And so, you know, I've been very, very impressed, you know, the five years that I coached against him, what he's been able to do and accomplish. We've always had really hard games, really close games, many coming down to the last possession.

Many go into overtime. We played in the championship a couple times. I had a ton of respect for Wes. He's very deserving of that honor. And, you know, the Silicon is really fortunate to have him in the league because he does a great job representing the league.

Before we let you go, Steve Forbes with us here, Wake Forest basketball coach. You retweeted something. Retweet if Adam West is still the best Batman after the trailer came out that was really dark, this new Batman movie coming out. Adam West, see, I'm with you, man.

I think Adam West is the best Batman because Batman's supposed to be a children's character and I don't need to be scared to hell every single time I watch Batman on TV. Tell me that you didn't want to walk in that room and pull that head back, hit that button and go down that back gate. Come on. No, I always wanted to punch somebody and have the word kablam pop out. No, you wanted to pow.

Okay, but come on. You wanted a red phone and you wanted that statue with that head that you could pull back and hit that button and that library, that bookcase opened up and you could go down those poles. There's not a kid in America that didn't want to do that. And yeah, I mean, I think Batman, that's how I grew up. I watched that show religiously and so the new ones are fine and I do or don't watch them kind of things, but I always will watch Adam West. And you know, it's funny, when I first got married, I remember at 32 years, we first got married, they brought those back at night on television. My wife, who just got married, she was like, I was like a little kid, like a 10-30 night there on repeat and she'd be like, what are you doing? I'm watching Batman.

Are you crazy? This is like the best show on television and my children still haven't seen the original movie, which they're going to have to watch. I'm going to make them watch that show here pretty quick. The original Adam West movie, the Batman movie.

I mean, I can't believe it didn't win an Oscar. For more tweets about Batman and Wake Basketball, shoot Steve Forbes a follow at ForbesWakeHoops. You certainly won't regret it. We could talk all day, Coach. This was a lot of fun. Thanks for being with us. Enjoy it. Have a great day and go Deacs. I'm about to go finish up my last practice of summer practice to get ready to start school tomorrow.

That all sounds great. That's the head coach of the Wake Forest team and Deacon Steve Forbes. And there is a lot to get to from that conversation, including the latest on a couple of waivers Wake Forest is waiting on. Had some breaking news there. Also, some of the considerations that are being made for the next college basketball season will unpack all of it next on the drive.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-12 03:14:13 / 2023-02-12 03:19:43 / 6

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