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News » Most coaches aren't worth investing in


Most coaches aren't worth investing in


Most coaches aren't worth investing in
Not surprisingly, 76er president/GM Ed Stefanski escorted Maurice Cheeks to the NBA's busy checkout counter. It could've been done before last Friday night's game vs. the Cavaliers, of course, but that would've meant interim Tony DiLeo beginning with a sputter.

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Management also felt pressured to respond to unrealized expectations caused by last season's playoff appearances (Toronto, Philly and Washington), imported marquee contracts (Jermaine O'Neal, Elton Brand) and re-signed exceedingly overpriced (Gilbert Arenas, Andre Iguodala) players.

And here all this time we were told NBA head coaches needed clout, in terms of salary and long-term security, to have any chance of gaining players' attention and respect. I'm not so sure it makes any difference as long as owners consistently and overtly support those in charge.

Jerry Sloan has outlasted 225 coaches since replacing Frank Layden on Dec. 9, 1988 as Jazz maestro. How long do you think he would've hung on without Larry Miller's unambiguous message: Nurse Ratched is running my Cuckoo's Nest, not McMurphy or any other patient.

Seems owners have lucked into a panacea both functional and feasible. Kiss those guarantees goodbye, it advocates here. Guaranteed, coaches will keep their jobs longer than they do now, because they'll focus on what's best for the team, er, winning, and be vigilant to keep their egos in bounds.

Professional sports (and unions) have far too many tenured workers. What's worse, they're entitled to millions worth of compensation if let go before their contracts are up. This may be America, but I suspect people don't appreciate seeing the business elite collect immense salaries or golden parachutes without having to earn it.

Already intelligence has picked up wire-tap chatter (oops) there'll be a drop in revenue over the next two years, thus decreasing the salary cap or maintaining its current $58.68M plateau.

Consequently, the league is fully expected to exercise its option to renegotiate the Collective Bargaining Agreement with its union members following the 2010-11 season. That means a lower salary scale, shorter guarantees and the end to owners willing to pay a luxury tax.

Surely players and their agents already are on alert. Still, imagine their reaction when reality overtakes them. No doubt the whales of the 2010 free-agent class will get maximum contracts.

Barring an inclusive crumble of ticket and suite sales, LeBrontosaurus Rex, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, etc., will be satiated. The rest will have to squeeze in under the cap.

As for coaches, it looks as if at least some teams might be prepared to reduce remuneration and guarantees. Why not eliminate them altogether? What's the worst than can happen? I'm unconvinced a single validated basketball mind or $4,000 tailored suit would be lost.

Applicants would form a line around Jerome James for the opportunity to coach in the NBA no matter how much or how little is offered. And then there's the league's coveted lifestyle to consider.

Unless Greece, Russia, Spain, Italy and Iran come through with a more attractive package, who'd turn down the commissioner's insufferable conditions?

As mentioned here one or two millions times, the game was meant to be played, not coached. There is no substitution for quality players. No team lacking that excellence has ever competed regularly or won anything. Such talent has carried many a mediocre coach. That goes double, I dare say, for the extraordinary coaches who've accumulated multiple titles.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 16, 2008

 

 
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