CARACAS (FIBA Americas Championship) - When Venezuela made Eric Musselman their national team coach last month, they opted for a man who has lived and breathed basketball for his entire life.
Musselman ate, drank and slept basketball because of his father, former NBA boss Bill Musselman.
"When most kids were watching cartoons when they woke up in the morning, at my breakfast table I was watching a game-tape with Dad," Musselman said to FIBA.com.
"When I was done with school, my mom used to drop me off at Dad's practices and I used to sit there and watch until they were done.
"Then my dad and I would go into his office and watch film and sometimes, we wouldn't come home until 10 or 11 o'clock at night.
"Then I would go to bed, get up the next morning and go to school and do the same thing.
"I feel lucky to have had a dad who had such a great work ethic and cared about the coaching profession so much."
Like father like son
Musselman has done nothing but honor the memory of his father since he died at the age of 59 in 1999.
Like his dad, who had numerous coaching jobs in his life, including stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers (1980-82) and Minnesota Timberwolves (1989-91), Eric has also coached in the NBA.
He served as the head coach of Golden State (2002-04) and later Sacramento (2006-07).
Musselman had such a good start with the Warriors, in fact, that he was runner-up in the voting for NBA Coach of the Year for the 2002-03 season.
Like his father, no job has ever been too big, too small or too far from home for Eric Musselman.
Last summer, he coached the Dominican Republic while in the United States in the 2010-11 campaign, he coached the Reno Bighorns in the NBDL.
Musselman was among the candidates for the Puerto Rico coaching position and though that country decided to ultimately put Flor Melendez in charge, Musselman did find a new challenge in the FIBA Americas with Venezuela.
Had he grabbed the reins of the Puerto Ricans, the pressure would have been to reach the Final of the FIBA Americas Championship and earn a trip to the London Games, or at least to make it to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
As it is, the outlook is different.
"We're going to have a very young team and I know that we're going to be going up against teams that have much more experience than we do," Musselman said.
"But our goal is to try to gain some experience for our young, core nucleus at top level competition.
"That's a big part of what we are trying to do, get our young players integrated into the program, get our younger players the experience because a lot of these guys have not played at this level.
"We're taking a lot of guys that are between 22 and 28 years old."
Musselman says he is fascinated with the international game.
It's very different to his previous jobs.
"Going through the differences in the FIBA rules, understanding the differences of timeouts, the game is different based on the shorter game - the 40-minute game versus the 48-minute (NBA) game," Musselman said.
"Your substitution patterns become different.
"It was a learning curve last year (with the Dominican Republic).
"I felt fortunate to coach the group of guys that I coached last year because they were very helpful for me."
No wasting time
Another difference is the importance to be ready to go by the end of training camp.
Teams that aren't get left behind quickly.
"International basketball, because you have only a month's training camp and then you start playing games, it's extremely important that you have a well organized and well structured training camp," he said.
"You can't have any wasted time.
"Immediately upon the end of training camp, you are playing in a competition. These tournaments are not long like an NBA season where you can improve during the season.
"You have to be at the top of your game at the end of training camp whereas NBA teams get better as the season progresses.
"You can't afford to do that in international team settings."
Musselman says every year is a building block for him in his coaching life.
"I think it's important for all coaches that you go back into your past and you take your past experiences and that kind of moulds you in your philosophy in your new job," he said.
"So a lot of the stuff we did at Golden State, we'll try to implement (with Venezuela).
"But just as important as my two NBA experiences was the experience last year in the Dominican Republic.
"That was extremely important."
For a man who has coached in the NBA, Musselman is humble.
He accepts that he may not have a deep knowledge of the South American game, yet he also values every opportunity he has to experience it.
"I feel fortunate because by coaching the Dominican Republic last year, I have travelled twice to Puerto Rico to see their pro league once this year and once a couple of years ago," he said.
"So I feel like I'm familiar with both Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
"I've been working at Adidas Nations (Global Experience) and that experience has helped me as well and feel very familiar with a lot of the Canadian kids.
"And then the NBA players who play for Brazil and Argentina - I know them as well.”
It will take some time for Musselman to get to know his charges.
"It will be important as well to get to know the players in the friendly games in the build-up to the tournament,” he said.
As for his early thoughts on the players at his disposal and what Venezuela must do to be successful, Musselman said: "We're going to need great guard play. Obviously to play at that level, it's going to be extremely important for us.
"David Cubillan is going to be extremely important for us.
"We need him to play well and we hope that Hector Romero, who is injured right now with his knee, will be healthy enough to play come tournament time but he'll miss a lot of friendlies and preparation time."