If you’ve read the news today you know that there are reports of two coaches moving on. Avery Johnson has been officially let go by the Mavericks and Jack McCallum of SI.com is reporting that Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni will suffer the same fate.
Obviously we have no access to the inner workings of either team. We don’t know the whole story here. But from a layman’s point of view it looks like both coaches received the axe for the early playoff exits, which leads this layman at least to ask, “What the heck is going on in this league?”
Avery Johnson has compiled a 194-70 record with the Mavericks. If you’re counting, that’s a 73.5% winning clip. Seventy-three-point-five percent! Any doctoral-level theoretical mathematician worth his spectacles could tell you that’s nearly three out of every four games this guy won. Before he took over
That story doubles for D’Antoni as well. His record is a comparatively modest 276-172, 61.6%. Then again, how many teams have had that kind of run the last few years? D’Antoni gift-wrapped that
A bigger question: unless they simply exchange coaches where are these teams going to find an upgrade or even someone equal? These are squads heading over the apex of their winning parabola. You’re not going to turn over the reins to a rookie. You need guaranteed winning now. Who is out there? Are you going to pluck Pat Riley out of
If I were a Mavs or Suns fan I’m pretty sure I’d be screaming loudly about these developments. I know it’s easy to get myopic, especially when you’re wishing for rings and get an early vacation instead. But come on…doesn’t ANY franchise want a long-term, signature coach at the helm anymore? Are they all disposable? And if they are, what does that say about the importance of the position?
Bottom line: these two guys didn’t get all stupid overnight. Maybe their front offices did though. Have fun on the spiral downward. Too bad for the guys you’ll blame for that. If experience is any guide, in another three years you’ll be pining to have this caliber of coach back. But at that point you won't be able to hire one.