The coaching carousel in the NBA is spinning so fast, its taken on a life of its own. The perceived value of an NBA head coach is at an all-time low.
Currently, Erik Spoelstra is the third longest tenured coach in the league – and he’s only been coaching for five years. The only two coaches who have him beat in terms of tenure are Gregg Popovich (17 years) and Doc Rivers (nine years).
Of the 30 NBA franchises, 25 of them have a coach who has been with his squad for three or less years.
Where are the Dick Motta’s, the Cotton Fitzsimmons, the Bill Fitch’s? Where are the coaches an NBA team would anchor their franchise around, while players came and went?
Unless you’re one of about five head coaches in NBA history, you are expendable and could easily be replaced by Billy, the blind kid in 4C from Dumb And Dumber, at a moments notice. And sadly, neither fans nor players would even mind.
Look at some of the recent moves in the last several weeks.
Vinny Del Negro fired by LA Clippers
After the best season in franchise history, the Clippers let Del Negro go, reportedly because Chris Paul didn’t like him.
Lionel Hollins fired by Memphis Grizzlies
Highest win total in franchise history and first appearance in Western Conference Finals were not enough to save Hollins.
George Karl fired by Denver Nuggets
Nine consecutive playoff appearances and one Western Conference Finals appearance was not enough to keep the 2012-2013 NBA Coach Of The Year employed.
Larry Drew fired by Atlanta Hawks
After they dumped Mike Woodson, they hired Larry Drew, only to give Drew the “Woodson Treatment” two years later.. All he did was guide the rudderless Hawks to the playoffs.
PJ Carlisemo fired by Brooklyn Nets
35-19 after being named interim coach post Avery Johnson firing saved the Nets season, but didn’t save him his job.
By and large, the most ridiculous moves are being made by teams that historically suck, that are trying to emulate their big market brethren. But really, who is clamoring for the Nuggets job? Or Hawks? Or Grizzlies?
Sadly, I bet Avery Johnson comes out of all this employed by someone.
But not Brian Shaw, the most deserving candidate who will never get a sniff.
“What’s Paul Westphal’s phone number?”
Signed, more than one NBA GM this week.