Sunday, May 9, 2004

NBA's Trash Into Treasure

One thing I love about the NBA is the fact that you can be fired from one job, and be so highly sought after for another.

Take the NBA's current coaching changes.  The Boston Celtics hired Doc Rivers, who was fired by the worst team in the NBA earlier in the year.  The N'Awlins Hornets are reportedly looking to nab former Nets coach Byron Scott to fill their vacancy [which I'd be surprised if it happened before the Lakers and Phil Jackson decide what they are going to do].  Also, rumor has it that the Atlanta Hawks are looking at Mavs assistant coach Del Harris for their head gig.  Delmer's job in Dallas is in jeopardy...if the rumors of Cuban's ultimatum to Don Nelson about firing his coaching staff are true.  Jim O'Brien, who "resigned" mid-season from the Celtics, was hired as the Sixers new coach. 

This comes off the heels of a season where Mike Dunleavy, Tim Floyd, Scott Skiles and Eddie Jordan got spankin' new jobs.  Heck, the Pistons fired Rick Carlisle just to be able to get Larry Brown.....then the Pacers fired Isiah Thomas just to be able to get Carlisle....then the Knicks fire Scott Layden just to be able to get Isiah Thomas. 

Think about this.  Phil Jackson may not be asked back next year.  Don Nelson is in a bit of a jam in Dallas.  Jeff Bzedlik, who took the Nuggs to the playoff for the first time in a decade, may be canned sometime.  Hubie Brown may decide not to come back next year.  I find it doubtful that Lenny Wilkens will be back in NYC.  Carroll wasn't given a chance to keep his job full-time in Boston.  Tim Floyd was just fired in N'Awlins.  All of these coaches led their teams to the playoffs.

Yet, Johnny Davis will be back in Orlando.  Scott Skiles will remain in Chicago.  Dunleavy in LA.  Eddie Jordan in D.C.  Nate McMillian in Seattle.  Mo Cheeks in Portland.  None of these coaches made the playoffs.  Some weren't close at doing so. 

This is NHL-esque.  Remember the Devils firing their coach with about 3 games left in the season a few years back??  Jersey was only the #1 seed in the East.  There is NO coach in the NBA's Eastern Conference that has been on their job more than a year.  Oh, wait a minute....there is one.  The Bobcats' Bernie Bickerstaff.  But he has 0 games coached as Bobcats' coach. 

The firing of Terry Stotts really irked me.  The Hawks never really gave this guy a chance.  The left the "interim" tag on his job title for most of the summer of 2003.  When all the top candidates took other jobs....the Hawks made him the full-time coach, only to trade everyone they had on an already horrid roster for cap space.  Yet he loses his job.  Of course, they will get a name coach in place as soon as they can so they can lure free agents into their cap-friendly confines.  No FA wants to come to a team where the coach is Stotts and is holding on to his job by a thread [I will have a Tim Floyd take in a future Journal Entry].

Maybe this Hawks' trash will turn into someone else's treasure.

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