Bellamy learns off NBA visit

Written By Unknown on Senin, 02 Desember 2013 | 23.41

Craig Bellamy and Frank Ponissi in the US. Source: News Limited

A MEETING with NBA coaching legend Pat Riley - who charges up to $75,000 for a speaking engagement - has Melbourne Storm mentor Craig Bellamy bursting with new ideas as he attempts to keep his side in the upper echelon of the NRL.

Bellamy and football manager Frank Ponissi have returned from a two-week fact-finding trip to the United States, in which they spent time with the NFL's Miami Dolphins, the all-conquering Miami Heat NBA franchise and the famed University of Notre Dame.

There were many highlights, but a 45-minute sit down with Riley - the president of the Heat and five-time NBA championship-winning coach - stood out for Bellamy.

Miami Heat's LeBron James shoots a free throw during a game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Source: AFP

"To be quite honest, that time with Pat was probably worth the whole trip on its own," he said.

"He was very intriguing with his insights on coaching and how a club should run.

"He was very open and honest and we found him to be a really personable guy."

Bellamy and Ponissi attended an NBA game between the Heat and the Dallas Mavericks in Miami.

Watching LeBron James in action was an experience, but it did not compare with the rare opportunity to trade coaching secrets with Riley.

The chance to pick the brain of one of the greatest NBA coaches in history left the two Storm head honchos mesmerised.

"He had some mentalities and philosophies on coaching players and he shared them with us, which was great," Bellamy said.

"He also had some very good ideas on running the club.

"And we found a lot of philosophies were things that we really believed in as well.

The Miami Dolphins prepare to take the field during a game against the Carolina Panthers. Source: AFP

"So it was nice to hear some of our own ideas reinforced by a guy like him."

The Storm pair were granted an all access pass at the Dolphins, which included joining the club on a trip to Tampa Bay for the clash against the Buccaneers.

They were blown away by the military-like precision of the road trip.

"They had 20 coaches and 50 some players on their roster," he said.

"There is a lot of people there so it feels big - everything in America is done big.

"They were very welcoming and opened the doors up to us."

Bellamy and Ponissi made a presentation to the Storm staff last week on their findings from the trip.

He said the insights gained would help Storm next season and the way they operate.

"There was a lot of things that we picked up that we think we can incorporate into our program," he said.

"There were a couple little things for each department that we picked up.

"They were very generous with their time and opened up their doors to us."

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