July 7, 2005

Nate McMillan And The Sex Change Band

So Nate McMillan is going to coach Portland. Well, that's just outstanding.

The coaching situation in the NBA looks more fucked up than a cup of maxwell house made with honey instead of water. And believe me, that's pretty fucked up. I know from experience, dude.

In Dennis Rodman's book As Bad As I Wanna Be, he described playing for Bob Hill and Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and compared them less than favorably to Phil Jackson. In fact, as I remember it, Dennis spent nearly an entire chapter dressing down Popovich because he didn't understand how to treat NBA players and ran his team like a bunch of middle schoolers.

Now, far be it for me to take Dennis Rodman's word as gospel, but I think he was on to something. Popovich's first season in San Antonio, they were 20-62. Luckily, the shitty record landed them Tim Duncan, then they started to win titles and stuff.

The point, Jack, is that I don't think you can say unequivically that Gregg Popovich is a better coach than Nate McMillan. Or Flip Saunders for that matter. As far as I see it, Phil Jackson and Larry Brown are the tops of NBA coaches. They make up the two coaches that I think can have immediate impact on a team, and they have proven themselves capable of out-coaching their opponents in big games. Yes, Popovich is a good coach. And so is McMillan. That's why I don't understand this horseshit coaching carousel. You mean to tell me that Seattle thinks they can do a better job next year with someone else at the helm? That they succeeded beyond anybody's expectations, including their own, and they get rid of their coach? Who is out there? Who can coach the Sonics next year? And why is Kevin McHale so unsmart?

See, the thing is, this whole "change of voice" thing is just horseshit. I won't comment on the condition of "today's atheletes" because I think that's better left to the big-circle-shaped-mouths on sports TV shows, but I will say that coaching is not determined by how motivated your players are. I think coaching should be judged where everyone else is judged: on the court. I can't remember a time during a Lakers or Bulls game when Phil was coaching that I thought "Holy shit, what is Phil doing?!?!?" But I've thought that a lot about Rick Carlisle. And he almost went to the finals.

And to wrap up this seriously long, stupid rambling, I will say that I hope Dwane Casey is a good in-game coach. I think that's always a risky thing when hiring an assistant from another team. Can he adapt to what the other team is doing in the course of the game? I mean, who gives a fuck if Sam is whining or Eddie G needs a timeout so he can readjust his tracking bracelet? I only care about what happens on the court, and Dwane needs to focus on the most important part: playing the game. When coaches start to be heralded as "great" because they let Manu Ginobili run buck-wild and just throw it in to Tim Duncan so he can bank another one off the glass, well, good for them. Maybe within the context of their team, they are great. And that's why letting McMillan go is kind of stupid. He was a good coach in that system. Maybe not great, but definitely good. And now there's going to be a whole new coach, who might change the chemistry of the team, and they might return to sucking, which I, as a Wolves fan, know all too well about.

Please, answer me: why is Kevin McHale so unsmart?

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