Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fired just after midnight....

NBA Head Coach Firing Day is upon us!! Kim Hughes and Eddie Jordan were relieved of their duties just after they each coached their final regular season game. Hughes took over for the Los Angeles Clippers in mid-season and led a very bored & un-motivated team to an 8-25 record. Eddie Jordan was hired just before this season by the Philadelphia 76ers, and excitement & hope surrounding his Princeton Offense faded away quickly as they got off to a horrible start and never recovered. It became clear that hiring Eddie Jordan was a horrendous decision, with a roster that was not suited for a Princeton Offense nor knew anything about playing solid defense. Hughes was given a dumpster fire squad by the Clippers, and can't really be blamed for much of anything that happened towards the end of the season.
The question now is, which team has a better situation for a new coach? As shocked as I am to say this, it has to be the Clippers. Yes, the very same Clippers who always seem to have a black cloud dribbling rain over their heads. Their roster contains 9 free agents, so they can really pick and choose which players they'd even want back (which shouldn't be many). Their trade of Marcus Camby to Portland earlier this year freed up tons of salary cap space, so they're in position to make a run at a top tier free agent. Of course, after every top tier free agent giggles at the notion of signing with the Clips, they can then go after the next level of free agents, such as Memphis guard Rudy Gay. Not to mention, they're hopeful for a healthy return of Blake Griffin, the 2009 #1 overall pick who missed the entire season with a knee injury. If they go after an energetic, young coach (say hello Marc Jackson), the dark days of ClipperLand may see some sunlight before too long.
Now on to the slow, sparking trainwreck that is the Philadelphia 76ers Franchise. At this point, Sixer fans know it's going to be a long time before this team can even sniff a playoff series victory. Seeing Allen Iverson come back for that short lived run was the only highlight of the entire season, and even that ended in depressing fashion. Horrible signings, backing out of possible trades, & 3 head coaches in the past 4 seasons have all set this team back for years to come. GM Ed Stefanski has got to be near the top of the list of people in this country who shouldn't have their jobs. Signing Elton Brand to an $80 million deal is just the tip of the iceberg. They're still reeling from the decisions of their last GM, Billy King. Samuel Dalembert is grossly overpaid & has reached a ceiling to his potential, and their supposed "Franchise" player Andre Iguodala made a mere $12 million in a season full of bad shooting and not coming through in the clutch. All 3 of these players are locked in contracts that just about every team would never take on. Is there hope? Yes, a little. Rooke Jrue Holiday showed serious promise at the point guard position, and Sixer fans should not give up on Thaddeus Young. The kid is too athletic & is a smart enough player to succeed in this league. I've about had it with Louis Williams & Willie Green. They're one dimensional "numbers" guys who aren't ready to contribute to a winning team.
Who should they hire? Well, I'm gonna go the opposite route that I went with the Clippers. Instead of hiring young, they need a dictator who is going to force them to play "the right way". Emphasize solid defense that will lead to transition offense that fits their athletic squad. What coach could be better than good ole' Larry Brown?? Yes, I know he's 70 years-old and is about to lead the Charlotte Bobcats into the playoffs, but he loves to hint at leaving every team he's ever coached. His 6 seasons in Philly were the most consistent their team has been in years, and Sixer fans would welcome him back with open arms. To take it one step further with the old-school approach of coaching, let Larry Brown hire Hubie Brown AND Dr. Jack Ramsay to be his assistants, that way Larry will look like a spring chicken in comparison. Happy NBA Playoff Time everybody!!

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