On the eve of the hour that the Dallas Mavericks fired Avery Johnson for his "inability" to get out from underneath a bad trade - er I mean out of the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year, it seems that there are a number of coaches that are on the chopping block - Mike D'antoni in Phoenix and, very quietly, Sam Mitchell in Toronto.
Know what those guys all have in common?
Yep, they all won the NBA Coach of the Year Award. D'antoni in 2005, Avery in 2006, and Mitchell last season.
Jeez, these guys were all considered the best of the best not all that long ago, and now they're all going to be in the unemployment line. That's a pretty big swing in a couple years.
Curious. So is the NBA COY the new Madden curse? Take a look at the list below and I'll let you decide.
2007 - Sam Mitchell, Toronto Raptors - Possibly on the block
2006 - Avery Johnson, Dallas Mavericks - 2 years later he's looking for a new job(read:fired)
2005 - Mike D'antoni, Phoenix Suns - 3 years later, he's rumored to be out in AZ
2004 - Hubie Brown - Memphis Grizzlies - quit 12 games into the following season, siting health concerns
2003 - Gregg Popovich - San Antonio Spurs - He's an example against the theory
2002 - Rick Carlisle - Detroit Pistons - Lasted one more season(50 wins) before getting the axe
2001 - Larry Brown - Philadelphia 76ers - 2 years later he left amidst a tiff with his star player and the continuation of his vagabond ways
2000 - Doc Rivers - Orlando Magic - Was fired 12 games into the 4 season
1999 - Mike Dunleavy - Portland Trailblazers - Lasted 2 more years before getting fired
1998 - Larry Bird - Indiana Pacers - Moved into the front office full time after 2 more years on the bench
Maybe there's something to, maybe there isn't. It's still an interesting pheonomenon.
Personally, I think it's Red's way of getting back at the NBA for putting his name on such a stupid looking trophy.