PDA

View Full Version : 4/29 ESPN INSIDER (Coaches on the hot seat)


OutletPass
04-29-2003, 10:25 AM
Several coaches on the hot seat
By Chad Ford
NBA Insider

Send an Email to Chad Ford


Two more teams were pushed to the brink of elimination Monday. The Hornets and Jazz barely have a pulse left after Monday night's drubbings.

The Hornets have zero shot at winning with Jamal Mashburn out again. And the Jazz never had a real shot in the first place of dethroning the Kings.

But that won't stop of us from circling the scene of the accident for a moment. . .

Teams always contemplate changes after an early playoff exit, but in this case, two coaches, Paul Silas and Jerry Sloan, both may do part of the work for them. League sources have been saying for months that short of a berth in the Finals, this was Silas' last year with the Hornets.

Silas will quickly leap to the head of the pack, right behind Jeff Van Gundy, on everyone's coaching list. He's well respected by players and other coaches alike. That leads to the inevitable question: Why are the Hornets dumping him? Silas has been openly critical of Hornets ownership and they've been contemplating a change all year. But will they find a better coach for the Hornets? That's very questionable.

Sloan, on the other hand, has all of the job security a coach can ask for. However, with John Stockton contemplating retirement, Karl Malone's eyes wandering again and the future of the Jazz never in more doubt, Sloan has dropped serious hints that he may retire while he's still, relatively, on top.

If he does retire, expect him to stay that way. He's tired of the attitudes of the younger players in the league and is incredulous with the diminished work ethics among the new generation of players. Without grizzled veterans like Stockton or Malone in the locker room, Sloan would have to do more than his fair share of baby sitting. Can't imagine Sloan holding someone like Kwame Brown's hand? Now you know why he's thinking of throwing in the towel.

Of course, if Sloan and Stockton are gone, Malone might be out of there as well. Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor will try to bring in another workhorse like Sloan. Unbeknownst to them, they may have missed their best shot at Sloan's obvious successor last season with Jeff Bzdelik.

Add those two potential coaching openings to a slew of others and you could be looking at the biggest coaching migration since, well, the end of the NCAA season perhaps.

The coaching carousel doesn't spin as fast as it does in college, but the NBA is looking at an unprecedented number of openings this summer. I'm counting as many as 10 potential openings. That's one third of the entire league. Somewhere, Roy Williams is smiling.

The Raptors fired Lenny Wilkens after the season, creating the first official opening. GM Glen Grunwald doesn't have a wide margin of error here. If he doesn't get the right coach to light a fire under the Raptors this year, he may be the next guy kicked to the curb in Toronto. Despite all the rhetoric about making a surprise selection, the Raptors want a respected, veteran coach to run the team. Yes Wilkens, the Methuselah of NBA coaches, was a veteran and had respect, but his laid-back style didn't play well in Toronto. Jeff Van Gundy is at the top of the list. If he doesn't want to the job, Nets assistant Eddie Jordan could be the guy.

The Cavs, Hawks and Clippers fired their coaches mid-season and replaced them with temps. All three teams claim that while the interim head coaches, Keith Smart, Terry Stotts and Dennis Johnson, are in the running for the permanent gig, they will pursue other candidates as well. The question is who really wants these job? Mike Dunleavy's name has popped up in both Cleveland and Atlanta, but neither seems like a good fit. The Cavs need a motivator (like Eric Musselman) and the Hawks need someone who relates well with players (they'd love Doc Rivers). It's pretty unclear where they'd find either. What do the Clippers need? A therapist.

Isiah Thomas is under major fire in Indiana right now. Team president Donnie Walsh gave Thomas an infamous show of support on Monday claiming that he's, "not going to fire him if we lose the playoff series."

Of course, Walsh made no mention about firing him for numerous other things, including losing control of the team, making egregious coaching errors in the fourth quarter, or the general malaise that seems to have enveloped the franchise.

While a team source in Indiana claims that Walsh is sincere, they have no plans to fire Thomas, that doesn't mean he'll be coaching the Pacers next season. Tensions are running so high in Indiana I'm told that Thomas may resign. I don't think anyone in Indiana would try to stop him.

Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks is another likely victim if his team falls, as expected, to the Mavs. While Cheeks has garnered enormous respect around the league for juggling the ego and personality disorders of the Blazers the last two years, rumors continue to circulate that there's a serious rift between Cheeks and GM Bob Whitsitt right now.

As Insider reported on Monday, with Whitsitt already feeling the heat (word is he's already shown assistant GM Mark Warkentien the door) the pressure's on for him to make big changes this summer. Van Gundy would be target No. 1 for the Blazers. They're also fond of Silas.

And amazingly folks, that's not all. Rumors have been swirling in Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee and Washington about potential coaching moves.

Mavs coach Don Nelson is in the last year of his contract and the word around the league is that, short of an NBA title, owner Mark Cuban may relieve Nelson of his coaching duties (he still has a long-term contract with the front office) and bring in a more defensive-minded coach. Again, Van Gundy is at the top of the list.

In Houston, there's been talk that it may be time for Rudy Tomjanovich to go. Owner Les Alexander hinted that the coach, along with everyone else, will be under review this summer. He's been deeply disappointed with the play of the Rockets the last few years and before long, no matter how much people love the guy, the coach always seems to take the hit.

In Milwaukee, coach George Karl's Bucks are putting up a fight against the Nets. But barring a surprising Bucks run, Karl might be done. Like Sloan, he's gotten tired of all of the nonsense he has to put up with and seems drained.

Ditto for Doug Collins, who's just finished a nightmare two-year stint in Washington. He'll probably stay (as a favor to MJ) if Michael Jordan resolves his differences with owner Abe Pollin. If Jordan doesn't? It's hard to imagine Collins sticking around. If he thinks last season was tough, wait until he has to listen to a month of bickering between Jerry Stackhouse and Christian Laettner without Jordan mediating.

And from the totally bizarre files comes a column in the Detroit Free Press calling for Rick Carlisle's head. Yes, that Rick Carlisle, the guy who won the Coach of the Year last year as a rookie head coach. Yes, the same guy who led the Pistons to a shocking No. 1 seed in the East. Yes, the same guy who's watched his team crumble under the stress of Tracy McGrady and the Magic.

According to columnist Drew Sharp, a Pistons loss to tonight should put Carlisle in the hot seat.

"Rick Carlisle's future in this organization will be on the line," Sharp wrote. "What good are two straight 50-victory seasons and back-to-back Central Division championships if the team is ill-prepared for the changing currents of playoff basketball? What good is intensity if that's the only bullet you have in the chamber, drastically reducing any margin for error?

"Carlisle apparently doesn't understand that there's a difference between coaching in the regular season and the playoffs. Coaching is a constant evolution. Change is mandatory. If Carlisle doesn't grasp that concept soon, he and his boss could find themselves at polar opposites."

Let's not let things get out of hand here. Just because everyone else is contemplating firing their head coach doesn't mean Joe Dumars is. The Pistons love Carlisle. They know he's helped two teams overachieve. They know they need more talent -- a go-to guy. And they know that Carlisle is the guy to get them there.

Ummmmm Ok
04-29-2003, 10:41 AM
<< Mavs coach Don Nelson is in the last year of his contract and the word around the league is that, short of an NBA title, owner Mark Cuban may relieve Nelson of his coaching duties (he still has a long-term contract with the front office) and bring in a more defensive-minded coach. Again, Van Gundy is at the top of the list. >>



Hmmm first time I have heard Jeff Van Gundy's name mentioned. Anybody know where these writers get their info or do they just shoot from the hip and hope like hell it happens?

Dooby
04-29-2003, 10:58 AM
Probably this site.

LRB
04-29-2003, 12:31 PM
<< Probably this site. >>



LOL. Good one Dooby. Saddly you're probably not very far from the truth.

jayC
04-29-2003, 02:54 PM
Look its just like free agents and trades the same names circle through the headlines over and over again. This crap about nelson leaving is insane. If the spurs lose to the suns will pop get fired? Probably not. If phil loses to the twolves or comes short of the title will he be out as the head coach. The answer is no.

Van Gundy coached a good knicks team to 8th in the east, they had trouble just getting to the playoffs in the east. No, I don't want Van Gundy.

Ummmmm Ok
04-29-2003, 02:59 PM
If the Mavs lose in round 1, you can bet your ass Nellie is gone.

If the Mavs get swept to the Kings in round 2, you can bet your ass Nellie is gone.

If the Mavs lose in 5 games to the Kings in round 2, he's on the bubble.

If the Mavs lose in 6-7 games to the Kings in round 2, he's back next year.

seelenjaeger
04-29-2003, 04:23 PM
Oh, and btw - if he wins it all, he´s gone aswell.

Ummmmm Ok
04-29-2003, 04:46 PM
Naw I left out if he beat the kings, won or lost in the WCF, or won or lost in the Finals as those are automatic &quot;he's back&quot;

Of course if the mavs made it too the finals and get swept by a east team, would he be back? i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif

seelenjaeger
04-29-2003, 05:35 PM
I wasn´t joking. I don´t think Nellie would come back if he gets his ring. This would be the perfect way to leave coaching business.

madape
04-29-2003, 05:40 PM
1. If Cuban doesn't re-sign Nellie, and promotes from within (Donnie, Del, Moncrief), I will be pissed.

2. If Cuban doesn't re-sign Nellie, and hires a veteran coach from outside of the organization (Van Gundy, Wilkins, Silas), I will be really pissed.

3. If Cuban doesn't re-sign Nellie, and hires a veteran coach, who then brings in his own coaching staff and gets rid of the entire Nelson crew, I will be really, really pissed.

4. If Cuban doesn't re-sign Nellie, and hires a young up and coming coach, who then brings in his own coaching staff and gets rid of the entire Nelson crew, I will be really, really, really pissed.

5. If beetles battle battles in a bottle with their paddles and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles... then I'll be really, really, really, really pissed.

Drbio
04-29-2003, 05:50 PM
VanGumpy is a spare. Please God....no Knick rejects here.

David
04-29-2003, 06:06 PM
<< VanGumpy is a spare. Please God....no Knick rejects here. >>



Too late. NELSON is a Knick's reject. i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif

Drbio
04-29-2003, 08:41 PM
Nelson has won...Van Gundy is a spare.

OzMavs
04-29-2003, 09:36 PM
<< 1. If Cuban doesn't re-sign Nellie, and promotes from within (Donnie, Del, Moncrief), I will be pissed.

2. If Cuban doesn't re-sign Nellie, and hires a veteran coach from outside of the organization (Van Gundy, Wilkins, Silas), I will be really pissed.

3. If Cuban doesn't re-sign Nellie, and hires a veteran coach, who then brings in his own coaching staff and gets rid of the entire Nelson crew, I will be really, really pissed.

4. If Cuban doesn't re-sign Nellie, and hires a young up and coming coach, who then brings in his own coaching staff and gets rid of the entire Nelson crew, I will be really, really, really pissed.

5. If beetles battle battles in a bottle with their paddles and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles... then I'll be really, really, really, really pissed. >>



This is pure gold. The post of the year.

BrianJ
04-30-2003, 12:49 AM
I will be pissed off if they move Nelson as well. Not because I don't think that there is a good chance that someone else could come in and do a better job, its just that its to big of a risk to do. Also Nellie will eventually take this team all the way if given enough time. This could be the year of the jobbing in the playoffs for the mavs, so I will not hold it against him if we get blown out by Sacto.

If anyone needs to go its defenitely Rudy T. Also Cheeks has got to go after having a year to tame the jailblazers and either having no control or no desire to control their disgusting antics. There goes my two pennies.

David
04-30-2003, 06:01 AM
<< Nelson has won...Van Gundy is a spare. >>



Didn't Van Gundy make it to the NBA finals, against SA, the year Nellie was fired?

Drbio
04-30-2003, 07:18 AM
riding Nellies coat tails...

David
04-30-2003, 01:32 PM
<< riding Nellies coat tails... >>



I don't think Nelson, himself, has been there.

Hoopsmeister
04-30-2003, 05:42 PM
<< I wasn´t joking. I don´t think Nellie would come back if he gets his ring. This would be the perfect way to leave coaching business. >>



I think seelenjager is absolutely correct. If Nellie (finally) gets a ring this year, he will happily retire to the GM and give Donnie the coaching reins.

As far as if he were to be fired, I have heard Van Gundy lots of places--reasoning is simple (but bad). Van Gundy is the top candidate among possible head coaches right now and everybody assumes Cuban will pay whatever it takes so the Mavs will automatically get the top candidate. Its bad reasoning, because you have to add 'if they want them'. I don't think Van Gundy is a spare but all he's proven he can coach is hardcore slowdown basketball. Even if you change coaches, the Mavs personnel stay the same and they are a team built to run. Van Gundy is a great choice for Portland, not for the Mavs.

Malachi Mav
04-30-2003, 06:37 PM
What coat tails?

Ewing WAS that team, and he was there LONG before Nelson got there.

Oh, yeah, and it was Pat that got Nellie fired before he even finished out ONE season.

Nelson has always been happiest when he's creating new, fresh, innovative ways to win. He's the original Point Forward guy, the guy who liked to put 5 small guys in at once, slingin' it from the 3-pt line.

He always has to be different. That's why he was a bad match in NY. They were already successful in a half-court, &quot;throw-it-in-to-Ewing&quot; offense, and Nellie couldn't stand being conventional. SO, he stirred up the pot and got canned. Can’t say NY was wrong, because they DID make it to the Finals doing it Patrick’s way.

Now, Nellie's got the only team that starts 4 white guys (does anybody else even start 3, even 2?), and a front line that averages almost 7 ft 2 in! His best player is a foreign guy who is 7 FT tall, and has a finesse, perimeter game. He has a team with NO dependable low-post player, and a former All-Star point guard coming off the bench as 6th man who is probably the most explosive offensive player he has (with my respects to Dirk).

And he's won, and he's won HIS way.

The question is: Can Nellie Ball make it all the way and win a championship?

I'm hoping (Oh, so hard!!) that he CAN, but last year's stomping at the hands of the Sacramento Queens says he can't. That soft, gooey middle just doesn’t cut it in a playoff series.

This year, we'll see. I'm hoping that Finley will suddenly come alive, that Nash won’t tank another game, that Nowitzki won't get hurt, that the Stick Man will find a heart (no, wait - that was the cowardly lion....), that LaFrenz will get a clue, and NVE will get hot. IF all that can happen – we’ve got a shot!

GO MAVS!!

MM

Epitome22
04-30-2003, 07:31 PM
Vam Gundy is a hell of a coach

Drbio
04-30-2003, 08:47 PM
Van Gundy is a spare.

MFFL
04-30-2003, 09:02 PM
Good post Malachi Mav

jayC
05-01-2003, 03:11 PM
Stars for the most part when nba games not coaches. Isn't it cuban's fault for not giving enough money to mike redd, and not signing tyrone hill when he was available? The owner does sign the check and he didn't for redd. With all the team deficiency if we had redd our second team would be a lot more formidable. Redd supposedly plays better defense then finley.

Besides with in how did this team really improve itself. Wouldn't we be better served against the rest of the league with howard, harvey, and hardaway.

Dooby
05-01-2003, 03:14 PM
<< Isn't it cuban's fault for not giving enough money to mike redd, and not signing tyrone hill when he was available? >>



And I add that we should have pursued Matt Harpring and Donyell Marshall too.