View Full Version : Bill Cartwright is getting the Ax............

11-24-2003, 12:33 PM
ESPN radio in Chi-town is reporting that Cartwright is fired and Pete Myers is taking over as interim head coach.

11-24-2003, 12:34 PM
That's too bad. I like Cartwright. But Myers is a good coach too.

11-24-2003, 12:52 PM
And now its official.........the coaching Guillotine has chopped another HEAD........coach that is

Cartwright lasted less then two seasons
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls coach Bill Cartwright was fired Monday after a 4-10 start to a season that was supposed to bring marked improvement.

Pete Myers will be the interim coach, and general manager John Paxson hopes to name a replacement within the next week.

"The team is underperforming and we have to find ways to win, period," Paxson said. "I am not satisfied with the team's start this season and changes have to be made. This represents the first change, but not necessarily the last."

Cartwright is the second NBA coach to be fired this season following Doc Rivers at Orlando.

The Bulls were in Dallas, where they play the Mavericks on Tuesday night. Paxson was to meet with the team and then return to Chicago.

The Bulls have lost seven of their past 10 games. They've struggled offensively and defensively, and haven't been able to find a rhythm despite returning three starters from last year's squad that won 30 games for the first time since 1998.

Even worse, the team has shown little energy. Its first four losses were by an average of 27 points, including back-to-back 30-point blowouts. Eddy Curry, expected to have a breakout year, has struggled, while Tyson Chandler has battled a back injury for much of the season.

Cartwright's dismissal had been rumored for days, and he seemed to have made peace with it Sunday, when Sacramento beat Chicago 110-99 in his last game as the team's coach. Cartwright had more than 20 family members and friends at the game near his hometown of Elk Grove, Calif.

"My dad's wisdom was simple: Just do the best you can and come on home," Cartwright said. "That's it."

Cartwright is 51-100 in almost two seasons as coach. He replaced Tim Floyd on Dec. 28, 2001, after serving as a Bulls assistant for six years.

11-24-2003, 12:56 PM
Will Cartwright be our new big man coach? How many would that be?

11-24-2003, 01:31 PM
We need big men to have a big man coach.

He was part of the problem, but he wasn't the only thing wrong in Chicago.

11-24-2003, 05:25 PM
What, specifically, was the knock against Cartwright?

That has to be more than a little awkward for both Paxson and Cartwright, old teammates on championship teams.

I've basically liked the little I've seen of Cartwright as a coach, and have to wonder how much justification there is for holding him chiefly responsible for the Bulls' underperformance--other than the generic notion that responsibility lies at the top. Certainly, it's easier and more expedient to replace one "underperforming" coach than to replace a teamful of "underperforming" players. I can't imagine Myers being more than a babysitter for that bunch.

I feel pretty confident that Cartwright deserves another shot at a head-coaching position, and just wonder how long he'll have to wait to get his opportunity.

11-24-2003, 05:43 PM
I feel pretty confident that Cartwright deserves another shot at a head-coaching position, and just wonder how long he'll have to wait to get his opportunity.

Probably longer than Tim Floy did.

The genius (Jerry Krause) staked the future of the franchise on the development of the kids. While they have both shown promise, they still lack consistency. The local media has been patient, but they starting to question the merits of the Curry and Chandler front line.

Mix in talented malcontents like Jalon Rose, Jamal Crawford and, to a lesser extent, Eddie Robinson and you have a mess. Paxon mistakenly thought dropping Pippen in middle of everything would have a calming effect. Clearly that has not been the case, as evidenced by the recent mini mutiny when the coach tried to stark Kirk Henrich(sp).

11-24-2003, 06:04 PM
So maybe you're answering my quesiton, D2000, but these sound like moves attributable to GMs (2 different ones, in fact) rather than to Cartwright.

I remember thinking that it seemed like a bit of a risky move to take both Chandler and Curry at the same time--two young (very young) frontcourt players who would both need a lot of handholding and coddling for them to develop; putting them both in a situation where one's success could well come at the expense of the other's--again, NOT Cartwright's moves.

11-24-2003, 07:02 PM

11-25-2003, 11:39 AM
Bulls problem seems familiar
With Cartwright fired, this team resembles Mavericks of mid-1990s

11:01 PM CST on Monday, November 24, 2003

By EDDIE SEFKOStaff Writer / The Dallas Morning News

A few hours after dumping coach Bill Cartwright, the Chicago Bulls shuffled onto the practice court at American Airlines Center on Monday and tried to figure out just how low an organization can go before it turns things around.

They could have asked next door in the Mavericks' offices for a little advice.

The Bulls are bad right now. Their players admitted after Cartwright's firing that they have been guilty of some of the most egregious athletic crimes including giving less than 100 percent on a consistent basis.

Hard as it is to believe, these Bulls might be on the verge of being even worse than the Mavericks were at their nadir.

"We were bad," Steve Nash said. "But things are so cyclical in the NBA. Other than Scottie [Pippen] all of a sudden showing back up, it's a totally different team. I don't think when we look at them, we think of the dynasty Bulls."

Nobody does, just like nobody looks at the current Mavericks and sees the moribund franchise that couldn't do anything right in the '90s.

The Bulls are in the process of inheriting the tag of NBA laughingstock. Since Michael Jordan retired for the second time after the '98 season, when he won his sixth championship with the Bulls, they have gone 100-292 (a .255 winning percentage).

In the Mavericks' worst five-season stretch during the '90s, they were 108-302 (1991-92 through 1995-96). That's a .263 winning percentage.

And because the Bulls were so good for so long with Jordan and Pippen, they'll get no sympathy for their current situation, least of all from the Mavericks they'll see Tuesday night at AAC.

"When you won for so many years like they did, teams are just waiting for the opportunity to come back and bury them and keep them down," said Travis Best, who played for the Bulls during part of the 2001-02 season. "I know what the feeling is like. We were at the bottom of the league. Right now, I think teams are enjoying the fact that they're not a prime-time team. And nobody's going to let up on them."

From an executive's point of view, Mavericks coach Don Nelson couldn't agree more.

"Nobody feels sorry for the Chicago Bulls because they flaunted it for all those years they had Michael," Nelson said. "You couldn't hardly talk to [then-general manager] Jerry Krause, or anybody else involved. They were in the clouds. And maybe they should have been. But we all knew why they were winning. And that was Michael."

This is the second time in two years the Bulls have come to Dallas looking for a coach. It was Dec. 28, 2001, the day after the Bulls lost a game to the Mavericks at AAC, Cartwright was hired.

And there is little doubt that the franchise that once was a pillar of stability now is in complete disarray.

"It comes back to the players at the end of the day," Pippen said. "We have to look in the mirror and decide if we're going to give 110 percent or 10 percent.

"It's a bit of embarrassment in that I knew what I was walking into. I knew the challenge that was ahead of me. And I haven't given up on it. I feel very strongly that this team can turn it around and play better, compete harder and entertain better."

Another veteran, Kendall Gill, said: "A good man was relieved of his duties. The only thing Bill did wrong was be loyal and dedicate time to players who didn't reciprocate. That's my opinion."

And then there's Pete Myers, the former journeyman player who was left to pick through the Bulls' rubble as interim coach.

"There's no question this team has underachieved," he said. "Is it a coaching problem? I don't think so. I told these guys it's time for them to pull the mirror out."

If they need any suggestions on how to deal with it, they can just visit Nash, Michael Finley and some of the other veterans in the Mavericks locker room.

11-25-2003, 12:12 PM
and so Cartwright was fired because....???

11-25-2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by: kg_veteran
and so Cartwright was fired because....???

Obviously the Bulls are vying for a higher lottery pick.

11-25-2003, 04:41 PM
when you coach a bad team..it is only matter of time until the blame gets pointed at you...that simple...sorry bill you had a very wierd shot that always made me tilt my head and smile.....I dont know about you, but its the smiles that I'll miss most!i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

11-25-2003, 06:28 PM
sux for him. too bad curry couldn't continue on last yr's success and been pretty solid to help the team.

its a shame. i wish cartwright well.

isn't pete meyers the dude that took over jordan's SG spot when he first retired? if so he's been under mass scrutiny already. hehe

11-26-2003, 10:31 PM
Nelson: High schoolers a risky proposition

Don Nelson was asked Tuesday about promising Chicago big men Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry, who were drafted second and fourth, respectively, in the 2001 draft.

Taking high schoolers is an iffy proposition, Nelson said, particularly centers and power forwards.

"Usually, they mature a little slower than guards," he said. "The [smaller guys] can come along and be a help to you.

'The bigger guys take the second year, the third year, and maybe some of them even the fourth year, and then round into shape."

10-30-2004, 09:11 PM
As Player and Coach, Cartwright has Carried Himself With Class

Published: October 31, 2004

Against the blaring neon backdrop of supersize billboards, Bill Cartwright cut a 7-foot-1 silhouette, content to be part of the scenery as he walked down Broadway one pleasant September night.

The landscape in Times Square, as in the N.B.A., has changed since his arrival as the Knicks' first-round draft pick in 1979. Cartwright, 47, still carries himself with the surety of a professional, measuring his words but never his loyalty. He attracts instant respect because he refuses to place himself above anybody else.

As he walked into a Midtown restaurant that evening, people greeted him with handshakes of thanks for his eight seasons with the Knicks. Bulls fans said they appreciated how he had thrown down an anchor and an elbow after being traded to Chicago to help win the franchise's first three championships. Few people realized why he was back in town.

"Who would have thought?" Cartwright said with a chuckle over his soft sandpaper voice. He is working on the other side of the Hudson River now, as an assistant coach to Lawrence Frank with the Nets.

Cartwright also won two championships as a Bulls assistant, then became the team's coach in December 2001, overseeing the rebuilding project that continues today.

He was fired after a 4-10 start last season and had an overall record of 51-100.

Frank, 34, who replaced Byron Scott midway through last season, said, "It's almost like, in the N.B.A., once you're fired, you're in the fraternity."

There were other candidates, but Frank had a sense about Cartwright. "He's just such an interesting guy," he said. "He's got a lot of old-school values. That's how I was brought up. No matter where he was, no matter how tough the situation was, Bill was always the classiest guy who stood out."

For Cartwright, standing on the outside last season was the most excruciating time since he missed almost two seasons with the Knicks because of a broken foot.

He visited friends and relatives in the Sacramento area, where he grew up, and honed his tennis and golf games.

He watched the youngest of his four children, Kristin, a 5-foot-11 guard who recently committed to Northwestern, play high school ball in suburban Chicago.

"I should have enjoyed myself more," Cartwright said. "It just was not possible."

He is a renaissance man with a master's degree in organizational development. He takes weekly guitar lessons, collects antique cars and transistor radios, and never stops asking questions. He had no ready answers. "I'm not good if I don't have something I'm working towards," he said.

Cartwright was considered a coaching candidate at his alma mater, the University of San Francisco, but he said he could still contribute to the N.B.A.

"I like this league," he said. "That's who I feel like I am right now. It's where I wanted to be."

Cartwright is back in the state where he lived with his wife, Sheri, and his children for the better part of his Knicks career. He dismisses sentimentality, recounting instead the lessons of his coaches.

Cartwright was fascinated to see that Red Holzman gave the offense responsibility to call plays on the floor, enforcing accountability. As a rookie, Cartwright started all 82 games, averaging 21.7 points and 8.9 rebounds.

His fourth season was the Knicks' first under Coach Hubie Brown. Though Cartwright joked about how he dreaded the long practices, he respected Brown's direct approach, and the feeling was mutual.

"Bill Cartwright is one of the top five professional people I have ever met," Brown, now the Memphis Grizzlies' coach, said in recent a telephone interview. "Every coach should have a Bill Cartwright on his team. What he did in his quiet way - he was with me for five years - he was never late, he always played to his potential in difficult games at playoff time. Go back and check, no one will ever see a harsh critique of a coach or a peer from him."

The former Knick Ernie Grunfeld, now the Washington Wizards' general manager, disputed the perception of Cartwright as an underhanded player.

"Everyone said he was soft, but later they said he was dirty," Grunfeld said. "He had a really good touch for a big man. He was quiet, yet very competitive. With Billy against a lot of the 6-6 guys, they were getting it around the face when he let those elbows come out. None of that was intentional."

Well, maybe one elbow was: on Patrick Ewing in his first Knicks practice in 1985.

"Patrick and I always had a great relationship," Cartwright said. "We're about 20 feet from the basket, he was all over me. I hit him, elbow to the mouth, busted his lip. I think he had to get stitches."

Smiling, Cartwright recalled that the next day at practice he said: "Patrick, look, all I want to tell you is that I'm a physical player, you're a physical player. The only thing I want to do is work, make each other better and just work together because we're going to be competing for playing time."

Cartwright said Ewing responded, "I thought you did that yesterday on purpose."

Two games into the 1985-86 season, Cartwright again broke the left foot that caused him to miss the previous season. It became apparent that Ewing was the franchise center, and Cartwright figured he would be traded. But he was still surprised when Jerry Krause, then the Bulls' general manager, called him just after he landed in Hawaii for a vacation in June 1988.

"After playing in New York for the nine years," Cartwright said, "and wondering if I was ever going to win a championship, with the ups and downs of injury and suffering, what it does is it really challenges your character. You find out who you really are. Going to Chicago, I was ready for a new beginning."

Because he was angry that Krause had traded Charles Oakley, his friend and enforcer, Michael Jordan resented Cartwright at first. Cartwright shifted his game from offense to defense, sharpening his elbows and tongue when necessary. Jordan eventually came to appreciate him, and they played six seasons together.

Cartwright's playing career ended in Seattle in 1995, and Krause had seen his potential as a coach. A fractured larynx - sustained in a 1993 game - reduced Cartwright's voice to a whisper, and Krause found a throat surgeon in Philadelphia to repair it. After four operations, Cartwright's voice has not regained full strength, but it is strong enough for him to make his point. "I couldn't have been here without Jerry," said Cartwright, who remains close to Krause.

When the Bulls fired Tim Floyd, Krause lobbied to have Cartwright take over as coach. Cartwright inherited a team with players who had little or no college experience - Eddy Curry, Tyson Chandler and Jamal Crawford - and was determined to be patient.

"I don't know why it didn't work," said Ron Mercer, who played under Cartwright and is now with the Nets. "A lot of it had to do with having young players, guys not wanting to listen. They didn't listen anyway before Bill got there. I don't think it was his fault."

Bulls General Manager John Paxson said it pained him to fire Cartwright, a friend. He hired a hard-line coach, Scott Skiles, and the Bulls went 23-59 last season.

"I don't view anything that happened there as anything but as positive," Cartwright said. "You learn from it."

When Cartwright was a high school senior, routinely scoring 55 points in three quarters, he had the chance to enter the N.B.A. draft. He was the youngest of James and Marie Cartwright's seven children, the only son.

Risley recalled that Don Nelson, then coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, called daily. Cartwright told Nelson he was not ready. He was determined to fulfill a promise to his mother that he would graduate from college.

Cartwright, who maps out his goals by the season, month and week, has not ruled out returning as a head coach. "But right now my focus is just on doing this job," he said.

Cartwright spent 20 minutes after a recent practice tutoring the rookie Nenad Krstic, a spindly Serbian forward. During Cartwright's job interview in July, Frank had him work with center Jason Collins.

"He taught me things I never knew," Collins said, explaining a subtle change in a post-up position.

Cartwright said: "I've got a lot of different ideas of how to do it, how to help these guys. I like to watch, I like ideas, I like thoughts. These guys are great; they listen really well."

On the Nets, Cartwright joined the assistants Brian Hill, who coached the Orlando Magic to the N.B.A. finals in 1995; John Kuester, who assisted Larry Brown on the Detroit Pistons' championship team last season; and Tom Barisse, who had been the Nets' scouting director. They share an easy camaraderie with Frank.

"It would be easy for me to overshadow these guys," Cartwright said, folding into a chair after practice. "But I don't want to. We're all working together here."