Maybe Im bias. I saw him coach in person. Maybe seeing a coach, coach with your own eyes is different than the arm chair. Or maybe its not. Maybe Jere Quinn is a genius. When the subject is basketball I'm awfully opinionated and rightfully so. Football was the sport that could take me somewhere. Basketball was the sport I knew. I could poetically say that it was the sport I could take somewhere. I knew it that well. If you let me tell it, I know the sport better than most aficionados simply because I dont carry preconceived notions, or biases. I went to basketball schools. I started on the team that won the 6th grade LA city title though I probably wasnt a top 40 player in the school. For a big guy I forced a lot of turnovers, rebounded, ran the floor etc etc. I made myself a stat stuffing glue guy before I had heard the term. Then I went to St Thomas Moore and saw real basketball being played. Every year there was future D1 talent, NBA talent and Jere Quinn.
I was literalistic when it came to hoops. Whatever you had to do to put the ball in the hoop more than your opponent was what you did yet that seemed lost on so many coaches. Even then I used to laugh at coaches that needed to play a certain way. X amount of passes before a shot was my ticket to steal passes. Then you had coaches that would demand an outlet pass after a rebound when they had guys who might be able to take off Rodman, Barkley, and G Wallace style and outlet on during the break instead of before.
Quinn was different, He was above my head then. More importantly as I look back I realize he had a head on the competition too. When most of the top prep schools were trying to intimidate with NBA size Quinn's team controlled the boards with a 6'3 Sfs and a 6'6 Centers. He knew when to use talent over size. I remember him warning his players not to drive baseline against Main Central Institute only to see them drive baseline get their shot blocked and stare back at him sheepishly. I watched Paul Sila's son Steve who was seemingly too waif and lacking in athleticism crack the rotation with timely free throw shooting and score 11 in the title game. I never seen better substitution patterns a finer use of timeouts and he knew that you can only yell at a player so many times. Only once did I hear him yell at a player on the sidelines. He handed his star PG the ball then looked quickly at the team. “You see that?” he asked while pointing at the ball. “Pass Charles the *expletive* ball!!!”.” Charles was the team's elite PF and he wasnt getting the needed touches down low.
I may come off as a homer for thine great alma matter but the reality is I didnt like the school that much at the time, Im calling it as I see it, and Quinn has coached enough NBA talent as to make such a hiring different but not that different. It might be seen as a shrewd move especially if the Trail Blazer's are targeting a certain Center in the draft see below and you will understand...
There is one other thing. Quinn comes from where most great coaches come from. Nowhere
John Wooden coached at Indiana State back when it was called the Indiana State Teacher’s college
Red Aurbach came from Navy, Lombardi – West Point, Phil Jackson – The CBA, Bill Parcels – the Air Force, Madden – Allen Hancock, Pat Summitt – why she wasn't even a coach before Tennessee. Her ascension would make for a great movie. Joe McCarthy- the minors, Bill Walsh – the CFL (and not the Canadian league another CFL), and Scotty Bowman coached juniors before the NHL.
I could yarn about Quinn's character. I babysat his kids once, and he got me out of detention after I socked a kid who decided it was a good idea to talk ill of my recently deceased mother. Paul Allen could surely do a lot worse with his money. To the extent that the powers that be are Edgers I offer Quinn more as an example of where this team should go for their coach. Get out of the NBA Trail Blazers. Own your namesake. Go find a coach that has won multiple titles.
Find that basketball genius and be quick about it.