Thursday, May 31

2 More Coaches Hired

One problem with waiting to pick your head coach until after you've hired your General Manager is that there are alot fewer head coaches available when you're finally ready to make a decision.

Consider that Sam Vincent, Billy Donovan, Marc Iavaroni, and now Jim O'Brien have been hired in the past week, and that's four fewer horses on the coaching carousel now.

Hey, it could be that Lenny Wilkens wasn't interested in any of those fellows, anyways, and that odds-on favorite Sam Presti would like to bring his San Antonio associate PJ Carlesimo to take the job. If that's the case, then no problem.

But if it's not, and if Presti isn't the candidate and if PJ isn't, either, then, well, the Sonics are going to find themselves sorting through the clearance rack after the draft is over.

And considering that this coach will play a big factor in how Kevin Durant perceives the Sonics, that's not an appetizing proposition, now is it?


Anonymous said...

The of the four guys mentioned above are the right fit for the Sonics' head coaching position. 1) Vincent hasn't been around Dallas long enough to be considered cut from the same cloth as Nellie or Avery. 2) Iavaroni already turned us down once after the 04-05 season and that was after the Sonics magic run the Northwest title the western conference semi-finals. What makes us think that he'd want to the coach us now? Futhermore, the run and gun isn't going to cut it in the playoffs. 3) Donovan hasn't officially takenh the Magic job (though it's been reported like it's a lock) and even if he doesn't there was no way he'd leave Florida to take the Sonics job. Futhermore, college coaches have terrible trace record in moving to PROS (see Pitino, Calipari, Carlesimo, Tarkanian). 4) Jim O'Brien is an afterthought at his current job at ESPN as an NBA analyst, why would we even talk to him about our opening seeing as ruined by Boston and Philly.

What need to happen is that we break out the red carpet and land Presti and let him pick his coach. Personally I think that Paul Silas and Rick Carlisle would be much better fits for the Sonics and here are my reasons. For starters, both are experience coaches with regular season success and decent playoff results. Carlisle is a excellent defensive coach as evidence by his work in both Detroit and Indiana. He could be an edge to the franchise and can mold our young centers and core that will be build around Durant/Oden into a rare defense force in the Western Conference. Silas on the other hand is a players coach who did a great job mentoring both Baron Davis and Lebron James. Who better to mentor our #2 pick and mold him into a great player on the court and person off. We need a strong coach to help right the Sonics' ship especially since the white elephant of the Sonics moving will be the detraction all season. Carlisle was able to bring the Pacers to the playoffs after the Palace Brawl and Silas was able to bring the Cavs to the playoffs despite all the Lebron hype/pressure. If it were up to me Carlisle would be my 1st choice follow by Silas.

We must have faith in the process. Grant life is bleak out up there in the Northwest, but has I just saw here in Oakland this past spring. One magic run can make all the difference in the world. We've already lucked out with the lottery, so who knows, perhaps we can luck out with our coaching hunt and team retention too!!!

Anonymous said...

My vote goes to Dwayne Casey. He did a pretty good job with a lousy situation in Minnesota, and his Seattle connections are a plus.

Alternatively, I'd vote for Larry Brown. You can't tell me he wouldn't make the Sonics better ... although Bennett's going to have to pony up a lot of cash to make it happen.

Anybody know if Bennett was involved with SA when Brown was there?

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of Carlisle. His offense is stilted and far too ordered. He runs far too many plays and doesn't allow his players to freelance.

His teams lost because their offenses were limiting, plus his personality wears thin after a short while, despite his initial surge in success when taking over.

(Debateable in Detroit.) Bird fired him because he is a plateau guy-- he can get you to a certain point, but he can't get you over that hump. In Indiana Bird saw he wasn't going to take the team any further (of course hell was let loose and that team became a HUGE mess.) In Detroit, the system and team was set.... a high school freshman coach could have gotten that team to the finals... he did nothing there other than NOT F*@K it up...

Nope, with a team that is more gifted offensively than defensively, you don't go his route. You find someone that will allow players (like Durant, Ridnour) to blossom offensively but also has a defensive pedigree and instills a higher level of focus on the performance on that end than has been the recent case (be it the coach's fault or not.)

I don't hire Carlisle. Not a chance. Unless you like 87-84 games, that is... and plan on winning 4 extra games the next 2 years, then firing him to get someone in that can advance the team's success.

Anonymous said...

I thought Carlisle's Pistons got to like the Eastern Conference Finals and lost, and then Larry Brown got hired, lucked into Rasheed and basically took Carlilse's team to the Championship? And doesn't he have some sonics connection as well?

Anyways, not too thrilled about Carlisle, although it would probably a good choice. For some reason I'd prefer Carlesimo, even though I know nothing about him except Sprewell choked him.. Although the Spurs are a good team to emulate.


Anonymous said...

I honestly would have liked to have Iavaroni. Run and Gun offense and I read somewhere that he was the more defensive minded of the Phoenix personel. With him off the board Carlisle is my preference. Especially if we got Oden.

Anonymous said...

after watching the eastern conference final halftime show, chuck gave me a good idea. michael cooper. great player, great wnba coach, and great nbadl (nbdl?) coach. he would bring a couple of rings to town (although they may be wnba) and do what needs to be done. dwayne casey wouldnt be bad either since he coached here. larry brown cost too much and look what happened in new york. he cant turn things around everywhere. and carlisle is actually a pretty good coach, i believe.
1. cooper
2. casey
3. carlisle
4. brown

enough "C" name coaches???

Anonymous said...

Larry Brown is so overrated it's not even funny.

Anonymous said...

Understand, I didn't say Carlisle was a crappy coach, just not a great one.

Are you familiar with Larry Bowa's managerial style? He is the hoops equivalent in the personality dept. He wears people thin over time.

And as I said, his offensive systems lack creativity and originality and unless he has drastically adjusted his philosophy they match the "old" NBA before the recent rules changes to open the game up offensively.

Believe it or not, PJ is a much better X's and O's guy, and I think would be a better 3rd time hire. In fact, I believe he could be a GREAT coach in the right situation.

I'm not against Casey, either. I do think he got a bum rap. But I'm not about hiring a "name" like Donovan or Brown or any other flashy names. I want the guy who interviews best, who has a plan of attack and a philosophy that best matches mine.

Oh wait. I almost forgot. Somebody should hire a freakin' GM! Anyway...

PJ deserves another chance as a head man. He was a hell of a college head coach and has put his time in as an assistant on the NBA level. What's more, he is a very smart man, so I'm guessing he has learned from his past mistakes and will be much improved this time around.

Michael Cooper scares me. I'd rather, if going for someone that has had success coaching women, go with Pat Summitt. Now THAT would be waves, lol. Cooper needs to head back to the bench as an NBA assistant first, put in some time there. Otherwise it is no different than a guy who has college success and fails in the pros... the list of Krugers and Floyds and Pitinos is long...

Anonymous said...

Just the first paragraph from Wikipedia:

He has been a college and professional basketball coach since 1975. He has won over 1,000 professional games in the ABA and the NBA and is the only coach in NBA history to lead seven different teams to the playoffs. He is 1,285-853 in his career. He is also the only coach in history to win both an NCAA National Championship (Kansas 1988) and an NBA Championship (Detroit 2004).

Yeah. Overrated. That Kansas team was stacked. Anyone could have coached that team to victory over Oklahoma. How Oklahoma ever got to the finals is beyond me. They had NO talent.

Now, Brown's best days are behind him. But fact of the matter is, he constantly took tough situations and improved the teams. Hell, he took the Clippers to the playoffs-- how many coaches can claim that? He was a fantastic builder, and the majority of the teams he left dropped off in wins and success after he left. NY was the exception, not the rule.

Overrated? Hardly. The man has earned HoF status. What have you done?

Anonymous said...

It's hard to say with Larry Brown. On the one hand, he has a fantastic record of success. On the other hand, the media has hyped his success to the point where he's some sort of svengali.

In reality, he's one of the best coaches in NBA history. Whether he still has the fire after the NYC deal is hard to say. I don't think anyone would argue that he would improve the Sonics, but how much money would it take, and is it realistic to think that ownership, already in a money-losing situation, would pay that much?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree 'Nuss. I'm not saying he is the guy for us... only that some anonymous jackal calling him overrated is just flat wrong.

Anonymous said...

We need to be thinking about the short term, because we need to be good and generate excitement these next 2? seasons in order to keep the sonics in Seattle. Therefore, if Carlisle is the best short-term solution than he is our best bet for a coach. If we are thinking 4-5 years down the line, looking for coaches who can "develop" talent, than we can go ahead and watch Kansas City or Oklahoma City reap the rewards from our "developed" product.

Anonymous said...

Best short-term coach would have been Iavaroni, lots of excitement with a run and gun offense. especially if we ended up with durant and resigning rashard. could have possibly worked out long term too. people seem to really love this guy

Anonymous said...

Fine, anonymous.

But in the short and long term, Carlisle's teams have a boring offensive style that makes it less enjoyable to view.

Therefore, despite a slightly raised victory total, he could be detrimental, since the key in my mind behind keeping the team here is having a fan base that is actively involved.

Enjoyable basketball to watch does that-- not 5 extra wins. We have some gifted offensive players. I have little confidence in Carlisle maximizing that value.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that Iavaroni would be as run and gun as people make him out to be. Yes, he's been an assistant under D'Antoni, but he also served under Pat Riley for a period of time, and he's (Iavaroni) has stated that he learned quite a bit from Riles.

Like any good coach, he's going to coach what he has. As much as we'd like for it to be true, I don't think the Sonics really aren't suited for running right now, at least until they get their PG situation taken care of. Plus, Ray isn't a running type guard, he needs to have plays set for him. Perhaps if they go with Rashard and Durant at the 2 forward positions, it might work, but even then, a good running team needs a rebounder/shot blocker like Amare or Kurt Thomas, and the Sonics don't have that, at least until Swift demonstrates it.

Perhaps if Hill had stuck with Ridnour all year, and if the Sonics/Sund had managed to deal Watson, things would be different. But it seems to me that Frodo's confidence has been damaged and his career has taken a pause in its development. It's hard to fathom that he was a member of the practice squad for the Olympic team now, considering he was a reserve for a part of the season.

Anonymous said...

I SO hope the new coach can rebuild Ridnour as a servicable if not upper tier starting PG.

Watson kills me. I cannot stand the way he plays, I see no future upside, and I'm pissed we grabbed someone like him to squash on Luke's development. It wasn't like Watson was going to do very much to move us forward and into the upper division anyway...

Anonymous said...

True 'dat about the pg's t dawg.

Ben Q. Rock said...

From here, it looks like Wilkens is stalling just long enough to give the franchise no choice but to re-install him as head coach. I don't know how long he'd stay on the bench, though, especially after what appears to be the inevitable relocation to Oklahoma City or Kansas City.

For what it's worth, I want the Sonics to stay in Seattle.