NBA Edition: How The HELL You Gon' Get Fired...On Ya day Off!?
After a discussion with my brother @merces_by_far we came to this conclusion...
We all know that being a coach is arguably the toughest job to handle in sports. You have to give and take orders just like any other job, while also incorporating your own philosophies. All in hopes that the people upstairs would agree and have your back. Sadly, in the NBA, coaching has not only been the toughest job to handle but the toughest job to keep. Unfortunately, Mark Jackson is at fault for this.
Now before you jump through your phone screen to attack us let's get one thing clear, this isn’t literally Mark's fault. His firing started a fire that has yet to be put out and continues to worsen. Let's flashback to where it all starts. Mark Jackson is hired as head coach for the warriors in 2011; in which the warriors ended the lockout season with a 23-43 record. Next season they had a 24 game turn around with a 47-35 record, clinching a playoff berth while making an exciting run into the second round of the playoffs. Next season 51-31, and although an early exit to the Clippers, progression was evident as ever. The whole NBA world knew that the Warriors were well on their way to becoming a title contender.
Fast forward, Mark Jackson is fired and enters first year coach Steve Kerr. To make a long story short, the Warriors win 65 games, Steph Curry is named MVP and the Warriors become champions of the world. Now lets stop right there and we'll return to that later.
Head coaches began to fall in the NBA like dominoes, and some not from losing franchises. We can start with some of the most recent. How about Monty Williams? Coach of the New Orleans Pelicans who sat through 2 stressful seasons of rebuilding before leading the young pelicans to the playoffs. In the ever so tough western conference, nonetheless. He's quickly fired after being eliminated by, you guessed it, the champion Warriors.
"Monty did a great job. He's done some really good things for us, but going forward we just felt like we needed something different to get to the next level." Pelicans executive vice president Mickey Loomis said. So you want to know what that next level was? The Pels hired Warriors assistant John Slade from "I’m Gonna Get You Sucka"....I mean Alvin Gentry. The Pels, as a result, ended the season with 30 and no playoff berth yet Gentry still has a job...
Even more recently, the firings of Frank Vogel [of the Pacers] and David Joeger have rubbed the NBA world wrong. I mean we're talking about two guys who actually overachieved. In Vogel, you don’t know what Paul George you have returning to pair with an unpredictable Monta Ellis and a rookie in Myles Turner with raw talent. With the departure of Hibbert and David West, we watched Vogel develop young talent while allowing his superstar to be just that; ultimately leading the Pacers to the playoffs in a tough 7 game series with the #2 seed Raptors.
Then David Joeger, who had to deal with season ending injuries to Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, was able to lead the Grizzlies to the playoffs with 40 year old Vince Carter and non shooting Tony Allen. With a ridiculous 147-99 record as Grizz coach in three seasons, he was immediately terminated, but immediately hired as the Kings coach 2 days after.
Now back to those Warriors. I say all of that to say this, these GM's have to realize that Steve Kerr didn’t just appear in Golden State and sprinkle fairy championship dust that turned the Warriors into this historic team we're currently witnessing. The Warriors were built piece by piece and also able to have their progression years. Steve Kerr, whom I do believe is a great coach, was more so of an Heir who inherited a great team at its peak. (Yes I am saying lets not give Steve Kerr that much credit, your aunt looks like Gerald Wilkins)
Front offices now feel comfortable going out on fairy tale limbs. They think it's cool to fire coaches with winning records because the next coach will indeed get their Steve Kerr on and lead them to the promise land. It just doesn’t work that way, and sometimes its best to not only develop your players but to also develop your coaches. - Jus Smith aka thaG5