Being a huge sports fan, there are a lot of things that have or currently do irk the shit outta me. One thing in particular that has bugged me over the years has been the hiring and firing of coaches. To me it just seems like there are not a lot of long tenured coaches that have been in the current position they are in for at least 10 years or more. It just feels like when a new coach gets hired, he instantly is stuck with the mentality in his head that he needs to take home the title in four or five years. In other words, what have you done for me lately that should make me consider keeping you around longer?
I absolutely cannot stand when these newly hired coaches are being hired and before the even start their upcoming seasons at the helm for their respective teams, their head is in a noose, just in case some things go totally awry right off the bat (pun intended for those baseball managers. I sometimes understand when a franchise that is not know for any consistent, recent, or relevant success in their history, that they want to find the “savior” to bring their team back to prominence and promise. I sometimes understand that there a rich, history-filled, franchises in professional sports that just simply know how to win, regardless of their coaches and personnel. I even sometimes understand that when things are not going well for a team in the middle of a season because of the turmoil. But why is the coach ALWAYS the center of it all and the first one to get the hook?
Let’s start with those rather not so good teams in sports where they are “just there”. They show up, compete, do their job (sort of), blah blah blah, you get the rest of it. These are teams where they haven’t exactly had the most winning, the best players or the best coaches to begin with. First of all, if you wanna re-build and turn your franchise around, it begins at the top. Right? Your front office people have to make the right moves. Some teams that come to mind right away for me are the Jaguars, Raiders, Browns, and Jets in the NFL, Bobcats/Hornets (Charlotte franchise), T-Wolves, Kings (though they’re kind of going somewhere slowly) in the NBA, Mets, Padres, and A’s in MLB, and for you hockey buffs, the Thrashers/Jets, Sabres, and Coyotes in the NHL. To me, these are simply just teams who struggle to make the right moves on all sorts of personnel levels. Over the last few seasons for majority of these teams, I’ve noticed they can their coaches after just a few seasons. Talk about giving him a chance to do his job…..these teams have a lot of balls to bring in a guy, give him the notion and title of turning the franchise in the right direction, and then give him the heave-ho. A lot of these teams that fall under this category often start from scratch. You can’t keep re-building every 2 or 3 season if you want to have ANY long term success.
For you Lakers and Celtics of the world, you Yankees and Cardinals of the world, Steelers, Cowboys, Niners, and Packers of the beloved shield, and the Original Six of hawkey. I look at you next. I give much more leeway to long storied franchises in professional American sports. They’ve had lots of chances to have the right players and coaches come walking through the door and have cashed in plenty of times. That being said, these teams are not afraid for a second to give their team leaders a pink slip and politely asking them to leave as head coach. The Celtics made a big move in 2007 bringing in 3 highly coveted and high profile names, won their championship, got old, and went on to newer things. Now they’re re-building. The Lakers…..I don’t know what you’re doing. You have Kobe. He’s frickin Kobe for God’s sake. Build around him until he retires. Look at the Spurs! Don’t just recycle coaches year after year. Find the right compliment of players that can work with Kobe and the coach and go from there. It’s okay if you float around .500 or something along those lines, that’s the whole damn point of the experiment.
Okay Knicks and Bears, I’m talking to you now. So much turmoil and anger in house, you completely forget about your performance on the field or the court. Are you all really that self-centered? Are you all so swamped in the pool of money and talent that you take it for granite? When I see teams like this, I feel bad for the coaches. I know what’s coming, sometimes sooner rather than later. Drives me insane. Believe me, I hate the Bears and most Chicago teams. But part of me really felt bad for former head coach Marc Trestman. He had a loaded and talented but unbelievably inept offense, an incredibly poor performing defense and disputes between coaches. How can all of that lead to HIM getting fired? Now look, I am entitled to my own opinion as is everyone, hence why I made this, but if there’s turmoil with my team because players are being selfish assholes, not liking the coaches, or cooperating on all levels, then I’ll give YOU the boot. and a lot of this falls of the front office people making the hire and fire as well, especially in the NBA where it is soooo superstar driven. Wouldn’t you think you want to talk with your current key players under contract about what they think about having a certain person as their coach, i.e. Derek Fisher? Fisher is a proven champion on the court, leader in the locker room as a player, and good coaching potential. You’d think him and president and former coach Phil Jackson running the show, they’d make all the right moves. Instead, they have blown the team up and will begin rebuilding now. Glad to see as a sports fan, they did it sooner rather than later. But I swear to God, if he gets fired within the next year or two, count on me having a sports meltdown.
There’s my very opinionated piece on coaches in professional sports. Tell me, what have they done for you and your favorite teams lately?