As I was driving today a thought came into my mind. Who is the next Gregg Popovich? For that matter who is going to be the next George Karl, Zen Master Jackson, Larry Brown, or Jerry Sloan? The NBA has been blessed by some coaches with “character” and “charisma” over the years. These fab five are on their way out. In fact Larry Brown is already gone. At age 70 I have serious doubts that he will choose to coach again. There is a good chance this is the final year of Coach Zen- especially if he wins again. Jerry Sloan is hanging by a thread. George Karl wants to continue to coach. After his courageous bout with cancer how much does he got left? This leaves Popovich as the last great standing. Young coaches come into the Association. Some succeed but to be frank most fail. Of the active “young” coaches who passes the smell test?
Avery Johnson was wildly successful early in his coaching career with Dallas. Even with that success he got bounced. He did the “required” stint with ESPN to repair his image. This “repair job” got him the lowly Nets Coaching gig. Granted, the Nets are relo’n to Brooklyn, but they are a long way off in regards to competing. Time will tell if Johnson’s inspirational crap can return this hapless franchise to respectability. Will it be Johnson or his BILLIONAIRE owner that recruits players? Kobeofthenba’s BS meter is raised. He will wilt under the pressure of the NY lights. The lights are much dimmer on the Jersey side.
Scottie Brooks – This man has a sentimental place in my heart. As a kid I was all heart and minimal skill when it came to the game of basketball. I grew up having the utmost respect for Scottie Brooks. A short little white backup PG that played like Scrappy Doo. He was the anthesis of work ethic. I lost track of this man until he took over the head coaching job in OKC. Sometimes to become a “great” you have to land in the right situation (aka Doc Rivers) and not make mistakes. His predecessor PJ Carlismo couldn’t coach out of a paper bag. Coach Brooks has capitalized at being in the right place at the right time. He may never have the incredible fortune of Phil Jackson landing Filet Minon in Jordan and Pippen. Though landing Durant and Westbrook ain’t ground beef either. Its like a nice juicy fatty Prime Rib with a kickin’ horseradish. Once you cut away the fat you got some delicious meat. OKC has got the meat to make a long run in the Western Conference.
Doc Rivers– At 50 he isn’t truly a youngster but he is the only coach I can see filling Big Papa’s shoes. He has coached for 12 years (7 with the Celtics) and he could easily go another 12. Doc out coached Phil Jackson at least once in the finals. He has only walked away with one title but he has cemented his place in NBA history. He believes in defense and that is paramount. If he can find a way to take this aging Boston roster to another championship he will officially be the “air” apparent in Kobeofthenba’s mind. As I type this I am physically getting ill since I’m a Lakers fan. Nonetheless I can’t discount his skill at coaching. I can smile however that KG is injured.
Erik Spoelstra– I called for his firing and asked for Pat “Greasehead” Riley to return. He doesn’t even need to coach- just get out of the big 3’s way. If he can do this he may be the next “Barry Switzer” of the NBA. I still have the odds of him surviving the year at 50-50 but I can’t leave him off this list. Its just too hilarious! I’m waiting for Heat fans to come out of the woodwork and defend your patsy.
Nate McMillan– One word “drill sergeant.” His team is the walking wounded and his all star Brandon “no knees” Roy is out indefinitely. If his players ever get healthy his no nonsense style has a place in the NBA. All he’s got is an old Camby, an underachieving Aldridge, and an aging Andre Miller. Give the man his props somehow his team is 17-16. If this team makes the playoffs he deserves coach of the year.
Vinny Del Negro– This man makes me laugh. He is entertaining he is cocky and he now coaches the embarrassing Clippers. Whatever you thought of his tenure in Chicago it was exciting. His Bugaboo (thanks Chuck for educating me on this term) is an old FAT Baron Davis. If he can dump that fat lard and start Eric Gordon this team will improve over the next couple years. If Vinny can get the Clip competitive he will be the first coach to do so since Larry Brown. That alone would make him a great in my book. Full Disclosure – I’m a Lakers fan and I want to keep it in the city of LA. Beating you senseless every year is getting old!
Feel free to add your thoughts to this post. I’m sure I’m overlooking some “young” greats so feel free to edumacate me! I’m sure NY Vinnie would be going AWOL because I passed on his bitch Mike D’Antoni! Last I heard he was in some nature preserve in Kenya. NY Vinnie is like the most interesting man in the world. He doesn’t drink beer often but when he does he drinks Dos Equis! Sorry I couldn’t resist 🙂