Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ranking the Coaches

Watching Popovich versus Mike Brown has been everything we should have expected and more. Because we have had the fantastic opportunity to watch Mike Brown extensively in the playoffs, and are also given the pleasure of Glenn Rivers for 82 regular season games each year, I thought it would be fun to do a quick list of the coaches in the NBA, from worst to best. They say the NBA is about players, but frankly sometimes it's not.

We'll leave out Seattle and Sactown because they are coachless; Marc Iavaroni and Sam Vincent will be left out because they have never coached in the league; and we'll give Larry Krystowiak a pass because Milwaukee didn't seem very interested in winning the 18 games he coached this past year. So without further ado...

25. Doc Rivers - Seriously. I'm not being a homer here. When you consider how irrationally Doc coaches basketball games, how every single one of his teams has underachieved except his first, and how goddamn aggravating he is when he points fingers or makes excuses, he doesn't only deserve to be down here, he has to be.

24. Mike Brown - Hey, he is a good defensive coach. But it was more fun watching Cleveland during the Mike Fratello "slow down" days of the 90's. And when LeBron is on your team and that is the case, you're a lousy fucking coach and need to be canned. Just think what Rick Carlisle could do with this team.

23. Mike Woodson - I like his beard and maybe his demeanor but there is no reason why he should be coaching the Hawks when he went 69-177 since he started three years ago.

22. Randy Wittman - Replaced a competent Dwane Casey midway through the year in Minnesota and proceeded to do an incompetent job. Who would have thought after his excellent 62-102 mark coaching the Cavs from 1999-2001?

21. Isiah Thomas - Yeah. Not much needs to be said - a much better coach than executive, though.

20. Mike Dunleavy - His speciality is coaching talented teams and making sure they underachieve. Not a good coach at all.

19. Flip Saunders - He's been getting a ton of criticism and I see no need to defend him. This just about does it for the coaches who really suck section.

18. Mo Cheeks - Nice guy, did a good job with the Sixers this year after A.I. left.

17. Scott Skiles - Some people think he's brilliant, I think he's kind of a prick.

16. George Karl - He needs a change of scenery, his schtick with the Nuggets has run its course.

15. Lawrence Frank - Also been coaching the same personnel for too long (Rod Thorn's fault, not his.) Seems to do a decent enough job.

14. Nate McMillan - About to start winning a lot of games - will probably be considered much smarter in a few years.

13. Byron Scott - Gets his teams to play hard, great job with the Hornets year before last.

12. Eddie Jordan - Good offensive mind, would be interesting to see him with another team.

11. Rick Adelman - It will be exciting to see the transition from Van Gundy to Adelman - I don't know if it's necessarily an upgrade, but it's probably a switch they need.

10. Sam Mitchell - One of my favorites, a fucking firecracker of a coach - could be fired midway through next year or win coach of the year again, you never know with Sam.

9. Don Nelson - Just keep drinking and having fun Don.

8. Stan Van Gundy - I was always impressed he was able to take Miami back from 0-7 to the playoffs. More relaxed than his brother as a coach, a better hire than Billy Donovan.

7. Jim O'Brien - He will have the Pacers in the playoffs next year, and they'll probably be a tough out. That's saying something.

6. Jerry Sloan - A hardened bastard of a coach. Maybe Skiles should golf with him.

5. Avery Johnson - Great sideline antics, a blue tongue throughout the Golden State series, and a master of strange but effective substitutions.

4. Pat Riley - Kind of coasting now, and his maniacalness is looking a little less cool, but he's still sticking his head in buckets of ice and stuff, so that's good.

3. Mike D'Antoni - His style of play is sweeping the NBA, but he still coaches it the best.

2. Phil Jackson - Always pushes the right buttons. Has aged strangely - I don't know what I mean by that.

1. Gregg Popovich- The successful adjustments he makes are just shocking. Whether it be in transition defense against the Suns or neutralizing LeBron this series, he always seems to have something up his sleeve that no one else has. It helps he has great players, but he manages them perfectly.

There it is. Now look at this list again. Feel good about the C's now?


Anonymous said...

There's no way Sam Mitchell is a better coach than George Karl. Enjoyed the list all the same.

Anonymous said...

There's no way Doc Rivers is the 25th best coach in the NBA. Every one of those coaches you didn't rank is better, and so are the vast majority of assistant coaches.

Anonymous said...

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