Jim Harbaugh‘s basketball skills were on full display the other night in Lawrence, Kansas, as he talked with the Kansas University basketball team prior to a game vs. Texas Tech. He did, of course, give a pep talk, but the ultra-competitive Harbaugh–clad in his classic khakis–of course had to show off his basketball skills. He took the ball, fired it from half-court, and, well, it went in. Not too bad for a football coach, eh?
Of course, Harbaugh’s brother-in-law, Tom Crean, is a D-I basketball coach at the storied program of Indiana University. Perhaps he has been practicing for family reunions? Who knows. What is more than evident, however, is that Harbaugh is an athlete, despite his age, and enjoys challenges of all sorts. This will not change, no matter what the perception is of his relationships with players and the front office. His intensity is extremely high, his demands are not much lower, and his passion is impossible to exceed. He is the ultimate coach for those who want to be pushed to the limit–not for those who wish to be coddled.
It is thus easy to see how some players could be frustrated with Harbaugh’s style. It certainly would not appeal to everyone. To players always seeking to improve, however–such as Anquan Boldin–Harbaugh is the perfect type of coach. He exudes passion and love for the game and for competition. If his half-court shot success proves anything, it is this: Harbaugh will compete–just to have fun, even–at just about anything, and he will usually succeed.