Tuesday, September 27, 2005

30 Reasons to Get Fired Up For the 2005-06 NBA Season #15 & #16

#15/16 - GM/Coaching Carousel

Okay, so maybe this isn't a reason for all of you to get excited about the upcoming season. It's highly probable that anyone who lives in San Antonio, Cleveland, or Charlotte among others, won't even put a grain of thought into this topic for the entire season (unless you're like me and get a good laugh out of watching some of these morons run their teams into the ground). But for those of you fans that reside in Toronto, Sacramento, and Atlanta, it's definitely a storyline worth tracking, especially if you've had enough of [insert GM/Coach's name under fire here] sending your team in the wrong direction. As it appears right now, most coaches in the NBA are treading safe waters, what with all the juggling of positions over the last two years and a number of coaches achieving considerable success. On the other hand, there's a slew of GMs who should enter the season fearing everything pink. Let's take a closer look...

If Miami's season doesn't start with a bang, Stan Van might have to head back to the San Fernando Valley if he wants to keep calling the shots.

Rough Start, and You're Gone

Rick Adelman, Sacramento Head Coach
-Kings GM Geoff Petire has really done a magnificent job with this team in rebuilding a franchise that had long been an NBA doormat. Despite trading away the franchise's biggest star in Chris Webber last February, Petrie has still positioned the Kings with enough talent to remain among the best out West. Adelman has neither exceeded nor buckled to expectations during his tenure in Sacramento, which is partially why he's sitting on relatively thin ice. Though the base of the Kings remains the same (Bibby, Peja, Miller), nearly every other part is new to the team, and the Maloofs may look to give the franchise a different face if things don't go as smoothly as planned from the get-go.

Stan Van Gundy, Miami Head Coach
-It's really quite unfair. Any realistic NBA fan who had the opportunity to watch at least a handful of the 397 Miami games on national TV last year can tell you that Stan Van did a solid job coaching the team last year. Unfortunately for Stan however, Pat Riley calls the shots at South Beach and he's got what you might call a rather large ego. As quickly as Riley stepped down two years ago, he may pull the plug on his boy Stan and resume coaching duties. All he's looking for it seems is an excuse, and something like an 8-7 start might seem like one in his eyes.

Hey Kev, you've had ten years to get KG some help! What's the hold up?

We'll Give You Until the All-Star Break

Mike Montgomery, Golden State Head Coach
-As I wrote last week, expectations are running high in Oakland. If the Warriors are struggling come February, don't expect Golden State's golden boy Chris Mullin to be the scapegoat. The only way Monty saves his job at that point is if he can point the team's problems to the series of injuries he's had to deal with, and that is a realistic possibility. But even if that is the case, I can't see Montgomery lasting in Golden State if he can't get the Warriors into the Playoffs.

Rob Babcock, Toronto General Manager
-GMs generally are allotted anywhere from 3-5 years to rebuild a franchise, but if you've completely driven a team into a wall at any point after 18 months, the grace period can be eliminated at the owner's expense. I'm not basing this on anything of course, except that Babcock needs to get his ass deported if his every move continues to tear apart this once promising Raptors franchise. And as it appears right now, he seems like the most realistic candidate to fill Scott Layden's role on NBA TV's 'Insiders' show as the former horrific GM whose insight you should never take seriously.

Sam Mitchell, Toronto Head Coach
-And if Babcock is to get the boot, I can almost promise you Sam Mitchell will be thrown off the bus right along with him. I personally am a gigantic Mitchell fan and think he'll eventually prove himself to be one of the top coaches in the league. You can argue that he didn't get along well with his players last season, but there's a lot of people out there who can relate to not working well with Rafer Alston, Jalen Rose, and Vince Carter. At least Sam had the balls to stand up to each one of them-- that's actually a rare occurence in the league. Once Mitchell is surrounded by the right personnel, he'll achieve tremendous success.

Kevin McHale, Minnesota General Manager
How come McHale's name never comes up when people discuss horrible GMs in the NBA? And for that matter, why doesn't Billy King's either? Both of these guys have had a decade to build around a top 5 player, an opportunity that most GMs dream of. Yet neither one of them has developed their respective franchise into a perennial power. I mean seriously, you're telling me since Stephon Marbury left Minnesota, that an aging Sam Cassell was the best player McHale ever brought in to play alongside KG? And people blame KG for getting beyond the first round just once? Please. If the Wolves play well this season and McHale retains his job, he has only Kevin Garnett to thank.

Billy Knight, Atlanta General Manager
-I really don't understand this league sometimes. So Knight is handed the keys to the Grizzlies franchise in 2000 and does nothing to better the team's fortune. And then miraculously a year later, Atlanta's cohesive new ownership group (yes, the same one from this summer) decides, 'hey what the hell, Billy Knight has some GM experience, let's hire him to be our GM'. And that's not all-- they actually extended his contract last October. What?! I hate to say it, but who's blank is Billy Knight blanking? Sure he freed up money the last couple of years, but what has he done to improve the team? Mark my words, signing Joe Johnson to a maximum contract is not going to come close to leading the Hawks into respectability. And drafting Marvin Williams, as talented as he is, was not the right selection considering he plays the same position as their THREE best players. Joe Johnson, Josh Childress, Josh Smith, Al Harrington, Marvin Williams-- that doesn't even work in fantasy basketball!

It might just be time for Jerry to hide behind his logo.

If We Don't Make the Playoffs...

Jerry West, Memphis General Manager
-I'm as big a Jerry West fan as anyone, but I think his stint in Memphis is beginning to go the ways of Hakeem Olajuwon in Toronto, Patrick Ewing in Seattle, and Elgin Baylor's entire tenure as GM of the Clippers-- let's just pretend it never happened. Okay, okay. I realize he helped guide the franchise to two consecutive Playoff berths, the first ever in the Grizzlies' brief history, but as I always say-- you don't compete in this league in be one of the 16 best teams; you compete to be the very best. And West has not led the Grizzlies in that direction. He layed down a respectable foundation by stockpiling assets, but he hasn't followed through by taking the team to the next level. With Memphis almost a certain bet to take a significant step back this season, ownership may decide its time to go a different direction-- that is, if the logo doesn't decide that himself first.

Mike Dunleavy, Clippers Head Coach

-Dunleavy has done about a good job as possible in his first two seasons with the Clips, yet his security could be in serious jeopardy if he doesn't lead the team into the Playoffs this season. The Clippers have had just one coach (Bill Fitch '95-98) last longer than 3 seasons since moving to California 26 years ago. So basically, the coach is almost always the scapegoat in Clipper-land(how convenient for Donald Sterling and Elgin Baylor). It would be an unfortunate scenario for Dunleavy, but I can assure you he would be scooped up by another team very quickly.

If only there were a way to get him in my fantasy league...

We're Going to Evaluate Your Status at the End of the Season

Isiah Thomas, New York General Manager
-I was thinking about starting a pool last spring where people would choose dates when Zeke would finally (it's been a long two years for Knicks fans) get the boot out of the Big Apple. And then he went out and hired Larry Brown, thus saving his job for at least two seasons (or whenever the hell LB decides it's time to pursue new endeavors). Either way, if history tells us anything, Isiah is destined to destroy this storied franchise. And you know what? It's pretty satisfying knowing that us fans can absolutely do a better job running a team than an actual GM. It really makes winning a fantasy league that much more an accomplishment considering Isiah would be an annual lock for the cellar. I'm going to enjoy the rest of his stay with the Knicks.

Larry Harris, Milwaukee General Manager
-Harris has only been on the job for a hair over two years since replacing Ernie Grunfeld, and he's actually done a pretty good job thus far. After a busy summer in which Harris drafted Andrew Bogut, re-signed Michael Redd and Dan Gadzuric, and brought in Bobby Simmons, the organization and its fans are really hoping the Bucks can gallop into the Playoffs as soon as this season. I highly doubt Harris will have any reason to break a sweat anytime soon since he's so highly regarded around the Milwaukee organization, but you have to wonder what kind of security he'll have after people realize Bogut wasn't worthy of being the first pick, Redd isn't a franchise player, and Simmons was overpaid.

Mike Woodson, Atlanta Head Coach
-Anyone who truly believes the Hawks can breakthrough this season is fooling themself. I would put the over/under for Hawks wins this season at 17 with the possibility of this team winning 25 being a real longshot. Unfortunately for Woodson, word out of Atlanta is the ownership is expecting this team to climb out of the cellar this year. And even if Woodson leads the Hawks into respectability, I certainly wouldn't doubt that the ownership considers bringing in a more experienced coach to take the team to the next level. It's not easy being a coach in the NBA.


At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's a great picture of stan... i couldn't stop lauging...

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

That's Ron Jeremy bro, only the world's most famous male porn star. The resemblance is uncanny, hence our insistance to include his picture whenever we can.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Nat said...

haha love the inclusion of the ron jeremy pic in there... met him in vegas last august he was stayin on the same floor as us at the mandalay bay!! guys is quite gross tho!!
as for the raps.. you got it right on the money paul. I gave up my season tickets this year after 5 years filled with a lot of emotion but i cant watch babcock run this team into the ground anymore up close and personal but i do love sam mitchell as a coach and for that i hope we can pull some magic tricks and have a better year and keep sam but i wish we could be rid of babs without losing sam mitchell..
ahhh the stress i have been in a draft for my nba fantasy league since saturday ( grr each player has a 12 hour window for thier pick) and i am gettin more and more hyped for the season to just begin already. i picked late in the first and got wade and then dwight howard along him.. youth movement all the way lol. ok i spoke enuff... till tomorrow

At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

isaiah thomas is george bush with a smile instead of a smirk. by january i bet he'll be needing his own secret service



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