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Sport In Nick Saban’s quirky basketball league, he makes up rules and (almost) always wins

02:45  14 june  2018
02:45  14 june  2018 Source:   ftw.usatoday.com

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And according to some of Saban ’ s former assistants, he was always creating advantages and breaking his own rules , such as the no trash-talking one. Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase said, “The No. 1 rule is make sure that Coach Saban ’ s team always won

Ben Cohen. NEW ORLEANS— Nick Saban was thrilled when Alabama hired Avery Johnson as its basketball coach. He invited Johnson to a football practice. As the commissioner of the league , Saban makes the rules .

Nick Saban wearing a red hat: File Photo© File Photo File Photo

If you thought NBA stood for National Basketball Association, you'd be wrong - at least in the presence of Nick Saban.

To the Alabama football coach - who's coming off his fifth national championship with the Crimson Tide and sixth overall - N.B.A. stands for Noontime Basketball Association, which Saban created and currently runs. Saban's rules are pretty simple: It's four-on-four, they play to 11 and a team has to win by two.

But the rules also tend to be a bit flexible, as he hilariously explained to ESPN for a segment on the show Marty Smith's America. Saban said:

"It's a great responsibility being the commissioner of a league. I control the tempo of the game - whether you can call a timeout, who's on what side. … And then it's also a chore for me to pick the guy who guards me because the guy who guards me has to let me score. … It's gotta be somebody that I can have success against. Look when you're my age, you need to create advantages every way that you can."

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He was talking like the XFL is ready to roll out next week, and it won 't even appear until 2020 at best. He doesn't even have cities lined up ! Nick Saban replaced Jalen Hurts with Tua Tagovailoa almost three weeks ago.

Nick Saban is perhaps the greatest coach in the history of college football. But his staff says he ’ s equally maniacal about his pickup basketball league . Golden State Warriors Win Another NBA Championship. Small. Medium.

And according to some of Saban's former assistants, he was always creating advantages and breaking his own rules, such as the no trash-talking one.

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase said, "The No. 1 rule is make sure that Coach Saban's team always won," while Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher praised Saban's mid-range jumper.

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp also shared some interesting tidbits. More via ESPN:

"Nick hired guys based on who was going to help him win the N.B.A. as much as who was going to help us win football games on Saturday. … It was not unusual to walk out of there bleeding. I remember walking out, they had to bring crutches for me one time when I rolled my ankle, and I was in a boot for about two weeks."

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Little Nick , as Saban was known in his hometown of Monongah, W.Va. (population: 1,500), began working at Saban ' s Service So this spring Saban did what he always does: he implored his players -- often in the Saban won 't rule out using two quarterbacks at the start of the season -- he did that

Dice-rolling Nick Saban locks up college football GOAT status. Hardass? He also recalls Saban making quarterback shifts when needed. It happened in the 2000 Peach Bowl, Saban ’ s first year in Baton And why can he stay so consistently motivated? Saban ’ s focus is always on what’s next.

We've learned a lot of odd things about Saban this offseason - like how he baths in a lake in the summer as often as possible - but this has to be one of the best. The full episode of Marty Smith's America airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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