CALGARY, AB -- Hoops might not necessarily be Glen Gulutzan's thing.
But learning is.
So when the Calgary Flames coach was at the helm of the Dallas Stars during the work stoppage four winters ago, Gulutzan studied up.
With Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle.
"I started to follow basketball a little bit more in Dallas and Rick Carlisle and I became friends," said Gulutzan. "I started to watch basketball a little bit more. I went to Mavericks camp there.
"We got to watch. It was incredible to watch their camp right at floor level and just how fast the ball moves and how hard they pass it and how fast those big men move up and down the court.
"It was quite something to see."
Gulutzan will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the sport again Monday when the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets square off in a pre-season game at Scotiabank Saddledome as part of the fifth annual Canada Series.
It'll rekindle some memories Gulutzan has of Carlisle.
And some ideas the two shared along the way.
"Rick and I had a lot of conversations," Gulutzan said. "Actually, we had a big conversation the night before I got fired in Dallas. We went out for a big supper.
"When I went to that camp, one of the biggest things that I realized was the tempo at which he did. He started the clock for every one of his drills. If he had eight drills to run through and each drill was two or three minutes, he would put the clock up so they knew exactly how long they had to run. It would roll into the next. He said it would increase the pace of his practice."
Some of those ideas, Gulutzan admitted, he borrowed for the Stars.
"Basketball … you realize that it has a lot of similarities of all the major sports, to hockey," he said. "It's got pace. It's got up-and-down. It has a little more set plays and set offences and defences, but there's the man-on-man component and the tempo component.
"We took a little bit out of that. They'll play music on some of their drills to get their pace high when they run the guys and we used some of that now and then in Dallas."