NBA Coaches & The Effects Of Likability
May 7th, 2014

(originally published elsewhere) Three weeks ago, a story came out that the New York Knicks were determined to land Steve Kerr as their next head coach. Despite Kerr having no coaching experience of any kind at any level, it appears he is the white hot candidate for the vacancy – so eager are the Knicks in their pursuit that the story broke even before they had a vacancy, having not then announced the future of the incumbent lame duck coach, Mike Woodson. Two weeks ago, it was reported that the Knicks were accelerating their pursuit of Kerr, trying to tie him up before the first round of the playoffs were over in anticipation of other vacancies becoming available later on. Last week, the Lakers parted company with former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. And this week, the Warriors fired former Knicks point guard Mark Jackson. In his time with the Lakers, nothing went right for Mike. In the best part of two years with the team, D’Antoni went 67-87 on a team that, the summer before he was hired, was thought to have a two year title window. The team were rolled out of the playoffs easily in 2012-13, swept aside by a Spurs team that made a laughing stock of the one time rivalry, and worse came with this season’s 27-55 record, the second lowest winning percentage in franchise history. On paper, that is a terrible return. In reality, however, there was not much he could do. D’Antoni came to a team that was supposed to have four Hall of Famers, and had the very same point guard he had himself once used to revolutionise the game. Steve Nash. But Nash was old, and Nash got hurt, recording only 50 appearances last season and 15 in this. Nash was supposed […]

Posted by at 1:52 AM

Phoenix Suns: Good enough to be good, but not good enough to be good enough
January 20th, 2009

I hated the appointment of Steve Kerr as the Phoenix Suns General Manager. Hated it. I loved Steve Kerr as a player even if I did miss his best years, but I didn’t like his writing much, and he ruined my entire NBA Live 2006 experience with his insistence that Kirk Hinrich was in some way like Steve Nash. (They’re both white and keep their dribble alive when circling the baseline. Identical!) Why would a man whose take on the NBA was limited to the games he was commentating on suddenly be qualified to run an NBA franchise, short as he seemed on experience, the CBA know-how, and the depth of knowledge base that was surely required for such a position? How much can you learn about the prognosis of thousands of potential NBA basketball players worldwide when sitting alongside Marv Albert? I hated the entire idea. Similarly, I hated the Shaquille O’Neal trade when it happened. The Phoenix Suns’ style of play under Mike D’Antoni wasn’t really getting anywhere, but was the answer really to trade for a player who commits your team to a life of halfcourt play, yet who isn’t effective enough any more to build an offence around? And why would a team that had recently gifted away Rajon Rondo and Rudy Fernandez for immediate financial savings now be so willing to take on the huge contract of a declining player, committing them for the foreseeable future to the luxury tax that they had been so desperately trying to avoid? It was all the eggs in one basket, and the basket wasn’t worth it. However, as I am wont to do, I have since backtracked on both opinions. Acquiring Shaq has not affected the Suns’ ability to acquire talent, as I feared it might. No longer […]

Posted by at 4:53 AM