This is my favorite time of the year. Ask anyone.

For most of the year, there's no telling where I might be found and what I might be up to. But from mid-April through late June, I guarantee I'm within range of a TV screen, immersed in the NBA playoffs. Initially when I moved to Japan, lacking easy access to all the sports I indulged back in the U.S., I allowed my passion for the NFL and MLB to dissipate. But not the NBA. By hook or by crook, I would get my fix.

Japan has its versions of American sports, and with an expectation adjustment, they can be quite entertaining — particularly Japanese basketball. So, when I learned that the head coach of a team in my former stomping grounds of Saitama was a brother from the U.S., I felt this to be a good opportunity to learn what it's like to be at the helm of a professional basketball team in Japan.