Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Hard-Luck Coach.

Rick Carlisle's dismissal as the head coach of the Pacers only continues a string of years of coaching in the Association that can only be described as immensely frustrating, just from the arc of it. I can't imagine the difficulty of it personally.

Carlisle's firing as head coach of the Pistons must have been tough enough -- it wasn't that the team wasn't on the rise under his leadership, but Larry Brown was available, and he took the team to the promised land of a title, and he had to deal with that. You can say that without Joe Dumars dealing for Rasheed Wallace in that championship year, the Pistons don't win. I agree with that, but that's still a team that Carlisle had kind of brought back, but didn't get to finish the job with.

He heads to the Pacers, gets the top record in the Eastern Conference, but loses in the conference finals to those champion Pistons, rubbing salt in the wound -- and next season, you get Artest's explosion in the Palace at Auburn Hills, which effectively derailed the team and started a series of trades which robbed the Pacers of any talent that could be coached into a good team outside of Jermaine O'Neal. Since Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh can't fire the players, Carlisle has to go.

Other coaching moves: the Sonics can coach Bob Hill and re-assign GM Rick Sund for the last year of his contract. Not unusual, given that new ownership often likes to bring in their own guys after a bad year, but who will take a job for a team that's likely in its current location for one more season? Lenny Wilkens is running b-ball operations over there, and while it's unlikely that he would go back full-time to coaching, I wouldn't be surprised if it shakes out that way.


Run Up The Score! said...

The crazy part is, Carlisle is probably in the top 10% of NBA coaches. I'd trade Maurice Cheeks for Carlisle in a heartbeat.

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

bob hill, yeah, probably deserved getting canned.