Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NBA Coaches: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Nineteen games into the 2008-2009 NBA season, we have already seen 4 NBA coaches relieved of their duties, and while there are likely several mitigating factors, poor performance is the bottom line. PJ Carlessimo, Eddie Jordan, Sam Mitchell and Randy Wittman all get to work on their golf form early. Likely to be joined soon by a couple of their colleagues as Memphis, Philadelphia, Sacramento and the Clippers are all off to shaky starts. What's more, there are a number of viable candidates still seeking employment with Avery Johnson, Flip Saunders, Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Fratello on the open market.

What I find interesting in the NBA (and professional sports for that matter), is how the same coaches continue to get hired again and again. Almost like there is a big blue recycling bin of coaches, dispense with one and just close your eyes and reach back in to find another familiar face. Now don't get me wrong, sometimes a coach's dismissal is based on circumstance; a GM fielding a poor team, injuries to superstars or unachievable expectations. However, if the simple fact that the coach is inept or unable to communiate to their players, or just incapable of devising strategy then they should be fired and cast out of the recycling box. Plain and simple.

While there are some great veteran coaches in the ranks, there has to be room for the Eric Spoelstra's of the world (Miami). Riley gets kudos for stepping down, (even though he did Stan Van Gundy dirty by forcing him out so he could coach again). I'm just tired of seeing longtime coaches like Larry Brown getting another look in Charlotte. Particularly after the bronze medal squad at the Olympics and his Knicks debacle, I don't necessarily think he has the ear of the younger players. Not that Sam Vincent was an improvement either, but is it that difficult to find quality coaches for the NBA, or are GM's going to have to continue to keep taking in others trash?

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