July 29, 2014

Who’s Next? Breaking down the Cavaliers’ head coach candidates

brown nuggets

Earlier this week, I shared my thoughts on Mike Brown’s termination after just one season. While I understood the statement the franchise was making after all of the declared playoff expectations pre-season, I couldn’t help but feeling that Mike Brown was a scapegoat for a lot of other problems with this front office and the roster as currently constructed. However, that’s in the past now, and what the Cavaliers need to do, in my opinion, is go through an incredibly exhaustive search of the college ranks as well as top assistants throughout the league and former head coaches. In that search, they must determine who can install a system that players can buy into and aligns properly with the front office’s vision for the roster.

Here’s a rundown of where I’m at with some of the discussed candidates.

Yes, please!

If the Cavaliers can get any of these four guys, I’m completely on board with them. These are a combination of highly-successful young coaches and an experienced coach with a wealth of success.

George Karl

Age and health: those are the only drawbacks to George Karl in my mind. In a world where Karl’s health is a non-issue, I’d kill to have a strong leader such as Karl that has been deep into May and June with several different teams. He led the Kemp-Payton Sonics to the NBA Finals and the Conference Finals an additional time. In Milwaukee, the Glenn Robinson-Ray Allen Bucks made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Iverson Sixers in seven games in 2001. His Nuggets made the playoffs in each of nine seasons, though they made it past the first round just once in that time. The one exception with Denver included beating New Orleans and Dallas in five games each and falling to the Lakers in six games in the 2009 Western Conference Finals.

Karl’s coached Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson, Sam Cassell, Chauncey Billups, Allen Iverson, and Carmelo Anthony among other star players. He’s been a popular coach in some of the NBA’s smaller markets. How often does a 1000-win NBA coach come right out and say that he WANTS to be in Cleveland? Karl can command the respect that Mike Brown failed to.

In Karl’s nine seasons in Denver, he had a top five offense four times (including first in 2011), but his teams didn’t neglect defense either (11th in defensive efficiency in his final year, five top-11 defensive squads).

This great profile on ESPN’s True Hoop depicts Karl’s coaching style. You couldn’t WRITE a better fix-it-quick-strategy for what ailed the Cavaliers. Karl HATES two-point jumpers and the basketball sticking. His teams can be up tempo, and they must move the ball on offense. Karl isn’t afraid to stand up to his players when there is a lack of effort. He’s shown the ability to integrate young players into a rotation (looking at you, Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev, and this year’s draft pick). Pushing the ball, driving to the rim, and getting to the line are all staples, and they’re all things the Irving-Waiters backcourt must do more of.

Karl is 63 years old, and he would become the second oldest active coach behind Gregg Popovich. Still, part of me wouldn’t mind seeing Karl turn this franchise around and spend four or five years in the role, heading to retirement with a handoff succession plan.

Kevin Ollie

While Ollie seems like a long shot at this point, it’s easy to see why he should command so much attention. In just four years of coaching (two as head man at UConn), he’s already risen up and taken a seventh-seeded, guard-heavy Huskies squad to the National Championship. Many people thought UConn would lose in the first round. They couldn’t possibly beat the only top seed left, the senior-laden Florida Gators.

This may have come from a SBNation UConn blog, but this breakdown of Ollie and his impact on this National Championship squad was salivating.

“You cannot overstate what Ollie’s passion and mentality brings to a team, especially one like this, that had been through so much hardship. But like love, passion doesn’t win basketball games.

The beauty of Ollie’s coaching is how you see what he’s taken from other coaches, what he’s learned from the NBA and what’s he has discovered from being a reserve over 13 years of NBA action. As Bill Raftery so astutely pointed out Sunday, Kevin Ollie has watched a lot of basketball in his life – he’s seen it all.”

The post goes onto talk about Ollie’s ability to draw up out of bounds play (instant baller status in Cleveland after Mike Brown), substitution patterns, foul discipline, and exploiting matchups. You know, all of things we killed Mike Brown for not being.

The Huskies ranked 39th in adjusted offense and 10th in adjusted defense, according to KenPom.com. In addition, UConn was 15th in effective field goal percentage defense and 8th in 2PT FG% defense. Ollie’s team played at a snail’s pace, ranking 263rd in the category. On their march to the title, Connecticut beat two seed Villanova, four seed Michigan State, and third seed Iowa State in their bracket before taking down Florida in the national seminfinal and Kentucky in the championship game.

Ollie would be a home-run hire of the highest order, though it looks like the odds are slim.

Fred Hoiberg

At a program like Iowa State, Hoiberg is poised for either a move to a larger college program or the NBA. Hoiberg is just 41 years old, but he took the Iowa State job four years ago and after a 16-16 rookie campaign has taken the Cyclones to three straight NCAA tournaments and is 4-3 in tournament games with a Sweet Sixteen appearance with this year’s team, losing a close game to the eventual national champion UConn. Hoiberg also has some front office experience with Minnesota from his time in between the end of his playing career in 2006 and the start of his coaching career in Ames.

This season, his Cyclones ranked 6th in adjusted offense and 72nd in adjusted defense, per KenPom. Iowa State turned the ball over at the eighth lowest rate in Division I, and they slotted 18th in effective field-goal percentage on offense. Additonally, his team played at the 16th quickest tempo in the NCAA last season. They lived and died by the long ball with seven players making at least 22 threes on the season and five with 43-plus.

Adrian Griffin

I admittedly didn’t know much about Adrian Griffin until I read this piece about him from Sporting News. Here’s an excerpt.

“My journey has taken me through every facet of the game,” Griffin said. “I have been on the outside looking in, working my way up, I have been overseas, I was a starter in the league, I was buried on the bench, I have been cut—everything imaginable in the league, I have been through it.

“It helps me relate to players. I can tell them how to handle different situations. The NBA is a grind, the 82 games, the travel, the pressure, the expectations, so I call on my experience and past knowledge to build a bond with the players.”

During that time, he played for legendary coaches, ranging from Rick Pitino to P.J. Carlesimo, from Jeff Van Gundy to Don Nelson. He has had two stints as an assistant coach, first with Skiles in Milwaukee, and now with Thibodeau and the Bulls.

“Great, great,” Thibodeau said of Griffin. “I am hopeful that he’ll get more consideration, head-coaching opportunities. He has done a terrific job, he is strong in all areas, he is a great communicator, leader, and a great teacher. I’m hopeful, I’m hopeful for him, I think he’s deserving.”

I’m a HUGE Tom Thibodeau fan, and I firmly believe that the Cavaliers get past the Celtics in 2008 if not for Thibodeau’s flawless defensive gameplans designed at suffocating LeBron James. Thibodeau helped get the Bulls homecourt advantage in the playoffs without Derrick Rose and after Luol Deng was traded. This guy does more with less than anybody in the league. He’s a defensive mastermind, and if Chicago was stupid enough to cut ties with him, I’d be all over him.

That leads us to Griffin, who has been described as “a player-friendly Thibodeau“. It’s pretty impressive to have a grizzled NBA vet near obtaining his PhD. Griffin also was an assistant under Scott Skiles in Milwaukee, so he’s been a part of two coaching systems that are all about no-nonsense.

Lukewarm

Lionel Hollins

Hollins is an interesting candidate that did not appeal to me at first. However, when I went back and looked at how those Grizzlies teams as constructed got deep into the playoffs with successful regular seasons while lacking a true star player, it was quite impressive. Hollins wouldn’t be a huge departure from the defense first style employed by Mike Brown, which would be a drawback to some folks. The Grizzlies improved from 21st in his interim season to 19th in 2010, 9th in 2011, seventh in 2012, and finally 2nd in 2013. His offensive numbers were far from impressive, but his team did not rank in the bottom ten in offensive efficiency with the exception of his interim takeover year. When he was fired in 2013, his team was 17th in offensive efficiency.

Mark Price

Our buddy Jack (@WayneEmbrysKids) posted a very convincing and well-thought-out case for hiring Mark Price as the Cavaliers head coach over at Stepien Rules earlier this week. Here’s an excerpt of some of his work.

“Three point shots represent approximately 25% of the shots attempted in the NBA. When Mark Price was a rookie, three point shots were about 5% of the shots attempted in the NBA. Even in the ABA’s last season, three point shots, considered by the NBA at the time to be a gimmick, were only about 4% of shots attempted.

This shift towards high percentage shots in the paint and high reward shots outside the three point line, were exactly Mark Price’s strengths as a player. It’s hard to conceptualize, but Price was a more efficient shooter than Stephen Curry. In today’s league, with a value shift towards his strength, Price would be a much more valuable player than he was as a four time all-star who was voted in the top 10 in the MVP race for 4 years and received First Team All-NBA honors in an era with incredibly talented point guards.

Does this mean that Price could or would coach the style of play that would have most successfully exploited his own talents as a player? That’s unclear. What is clear, however, is when one of the greatest shooting gurus ever to live has also shown that he can coach and teach that style of play and that style of play also happens to be the prevailing offensive theory in analytics, it’s worth taking a close examination of whether he’s the right coach for your young team.”

Price would an incredibly popular choice in Cleveland, no doubt about it. His shooting and teaching skills would be a huge plus. I don’t doubt that he could help drastically improve this team’s three-point and free-throw shooting and improve the pace. However, while I wouldn’t necessarily be upset with this hire, I caution against it because of the unrealistic expectations that would be placed on arguably the most popular player in franchise history. What if it doesn’t go well for Price? It could be an ugly end to a relationship that the Cavaliers need to maintain. I think Price is a great basketball mind, but I just don’t know if he has enough time as a seasoned assistant coach for me to hand the keys over to him right now. I’d love to bring him in as lead assistant if he gels with the head coaching hire’s system, however, and maybe that’s a possibility.

Vinny Del Negro

Vinny suffers from the “Mike Brown syndrome” in that most people would argue he was only successful because of Derrick Rose in Chicago and Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in Los Angeles. On paper, VDN’s resume looks adequate. His Clippers were ranked 4th in offensive efficiency in his final two years. He coached his teams (between Chicago and the Clippers) to four playoff appearances in five seasons. The Clippers won 40 games in the strike-shortened season of 2011, and they then won a franchise-record-at-the-time 56 games in his final season. The Clippers were also eighth in defensive efficiency in 2013.

There are worse hires out there than Del Negro certainly, but he’s a coach that has warts of not advancing as far in the playoffs as some of his teams perhaps were expected to.

Most other current NBA assistants

It’s no secret that there’s been a large number of top assistants hired into head positions of late, including Steve Clifford, David Joerger, Jeff Hornacek, Mike Malone, Brett Brown, and Mike Budenholzer. There’s only so many guys in those ranks from the Poppovich, Van Gundy, Thibodeau, Rivers, etc. coaching trees that are truly deserving of a shot. Like Griffin, there may be other guys being talked about less that are deserving, but that will have to be at the determination of the Cavalier front office in the interview process and through references.

If the Cavaliers do go with a lesser known name, they better not be a doormat when it comes to player interaction, and they need to bring a clearly defined system that can be picked up and transplanted without issue when the head coach is no longer part of the equation1

Hell, no!

For this category of coaches, I ask, “You fired Mike Brown, FOR THIS!?” These guys either have a lack of success or are painfully one-dimensional to the extent Mike Brown was accused of being and then some.

Alvin Gentry

Alvin Gentry is a well respected man around the league. He has a wealth of experience, and he impressed many with his time in Phoenix. There’s an obvious link between David Griffin and Gentry, which prevents his name from leaving the discussion. However, hiring Gentry would be a settle job of the worst kind and a franchise-crushing blow. In parts of 12 seasons as head coach, Gentry only has two playoff appearances. They include a first-round exit in 1999 with Detroit and a trip to Western Conference Finals with Phoenix in 2010, falling to the Lakers in six. Outside of the 54-win season in 2010, his teams did not win more than 40 games in any season with him at the helm. That’s a long and highly unsuccessful track record.

Mike D’Antoni

No. NO, NO, HELL NO! Mike D’Antoni has proven time and time again that his system cannot and will not win in the postseason. He had some of the most immensely talented teams in Phoenix with Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, and Joe Johnson, and they always crumbled against teams that slowed the pace and bellied up with defensive effort. The guy considers defense an afterthought, and installing him into a desired defensive culture would make me go nuclear! THE worst candidate mentioned in any breath for this job. Period.

His last six years in New York and Los Angeles have been complete meltdowns. In 2005-07, his teams made it out of the first round each year with two conference finals trips. His defenses in those years ranked 17th, 16th, and 13th respectively by efficiency. In terms of points per game, they were 30th, 28th, and 23rd.

John Calipari

Calipari already failed as a NBA head coach once, going 72-112 in parts of three seasons before being fired 20 games into year three with the New Jersey Nets following a 3-17 start. He’s obviously showed an ability to recruit and win at the college level, but how will he do without elite top talent at every position? His ties to LeBron James are well documented. Still, I would only consider Cal for the job if LeBron James walked through the door at the exact same time and they had a contract signing party in Cleveland.

David Griffin is now tasked with choosing the leader of the team on the floor for the next several years. Kyrie Irving’s tenure in Cleveland depends on getting this hire right. One and done or two and through is NOT an option here. The franchise’s relevance hinges upon it.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. Jumping sports, we’ve seen how spectacularly this has failed with the Belichick coaching tree. It’s the man, not the system, in some cases. []
  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I’d take Calipari. Pete Carroll was once a failure as an NFL coach who went to the NCAA, found success, and then carried that player-friendly style into the NFL where he just won a Super Bowl. Calipari’s previous failures came at a different time when he was a different coach.

    We all know Cleveland can’t attract NBA free agents. But if they were coached by Calipari, I bet they could and would bring some free agents to town. Players love Calipari, even players who didn’t play for him in college.

  • Johnny Manziel

    I would love to bring in Karl and Price. Have Price learn from him, and then Karl can step into just being prez, and let Price continue his work.

  • Harv 21

    I would love George Karl. This team has zip idea how to win. Karl is a set of defibrillator paddles: He won’t put up with loafing or losing or not following his instructions. Even though he’d wear out his welcome or tire out this org needs to stop the free fall, and this guy’s acumen and personality is a pretty sure bet to do that.

    Mark Price – this is so Cleveland, like wanting Bernie to be GM of the Browns. So as head coach Price would have time to restructure players’ shooting techniques, like he’s Chris Jent? Come on, let’s respect ourselves, any offensive-minded coach understands the modern role of the 3-pointy shot. Let’s demand the best head coaching candidates available and not get distracted by nostalgic warm fuzzies.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    I’d take him too.
    Kirk, any thoughts on Mark Jackson? Any reason ihe was omitted?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    I have a soft spot for Coach Karl, so while I’d love to have him here from a media/coverage standpoint, I’d hate to have him fail. Queue up the Foo Fighters.

  • boomhauertjs

    I’d consider David Fizdale, the Heat’s lead assistant. As much as I hate to admit it, Spoelstra’s turned out to be a pretty good coach, though I don’t know if the Heat’s approach would fit with Griffin’s.

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • WFNYKirk

    He just slipped my mind, to be honest. D’oh!

    I’d put him at the same rank as Hollins in the fringe lukewarm to yes please category. He had success, but he ruffled feathers with his comments and ego frequently.

  • Woods

    Thanks Boomhauer. I was going to bring up Fizdale for consideration.

    The Cavs don’t seem to be in a hurry to hire a head coach. Perhaps that is due to the fact that they can’t talk to Fizdale until the Heat are eliminated from the playoffs.

  • Steve

    If the Cavs plan is to hire a coach to lure free agents, all is already lost. The first step is the need to hit on the draft pick this summer, and no amount of recruiting suave helps you there. Once the season starts this team needs someone who will give them a swift kick in the rear, just like Harv says. Player-friendly gave us the Byron Scott era. No thank you.

  • mgbode

    Mark Jackson is Mike Brown. I see no difference other than Brown has a better collection of eyeware.

  • mgbode

    I agree on Calipari though he is not leaving Kentucky unless there are NCAA issues coming (hey, same as Carroll).

  • mgbode

    recruiting suave is the reason that Kobe went to the Lakers in the draft. there is definitely some games to be played there and also Cal’s connections (aka Worldwide Wes) could get him the real scoop on many college players.

  • mgbode

    Win/win for Karl. Either he gets one last send-off of success or he finds out first-hand that he just doesn’t have it anymore. I love George Karl teams, so I’d definitely be on-board.

  • mgbode

    the Heat’s approach was to sign 2 allstar (and one of them MVP-caliber) players in FA to go with their own allstar.

    Griffin already has the 1 allstar, so add Love (for sake of continuing discussion) and we are still a MVP-caliber player short.

    I mean, let’s be serious. The Heat’s approach is basically:
    (1) Let LeBron be the PG. Surround him with shooters.
    (2) Post-up LeBron for a few stretches to throw the other team off their game.

    They just have been able to attract much better players for the supporting roles on offense and defense. And, LeBron learned how to play out of the post (something he started working on with Big-Z here).

  • mgbode

    following your format, my picks.

    yes please

    George Karl – style I like, history of success, wants to be here, and has history with the team. homerun hire (though I worry about the swan-song effect as much as his health).

    Adrian Griffin – you noted above well. He would be the Mike Pettine hire. A guy who not many knew about, but the more you read on him, the more you end up liking him.

    Robert Pack – surprised he isn’t on many lists. this is the guy who reportedly got Blake Griffin to start working on defense. everything I have read is that he is incredibly tough, but players have liked him because he is fair about it and always encouraging while doing it (telling Blake that he can be a dunk contest winner or a MVP candidate, his choice). And, I had read that part about him from a link found where Durant and Scotty Brooks were giving him praise for helping Durant take HIS game to the next level this season. He seems like the exact type of coach we need for Irving. I have no idea how his X&O work is, but he is considered a supreme motivator.

    lukewarm
    Nate McMillan – I liked him in Portland and there is a reason that the US national teams have always included him as a coach. He commands respect and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. The only drawback is the old recycled coach thing and his Portland teams never could get over the hump. But, I think he would be a worthy hire.

    Alex Jensen – considered the best developer of talent in the D-League. I think such skills should translate to the NBA. Not sure if he would garner enough respect, but, if he does, then he could be an under-rated hire. That, and I have always enjoyed the motion-offense.

    Quin Snyder – he was a fast-rising star in the college ranks until that whole ending in Mizzou happened. but, since that time, he has plied his trade in NBA systems for NBA teams (along with heading up a D-League team). So, we could potentially get a hot-shot college coach that has spend the last 8 years learning the NBA. I like that idea better than a straight-from-college guy.
    Also — any number of NBA assistants not listed. Would always give them a fair shot and dig up some history to see how I feel about it. Hard to know which ones are the good ones until they are given the job considering that NBA HC’s don’t really let them do much in games (much to my chagrin).

    Heck No
    Any retread HC not listed above including Mike Brown…or Mark Jackson as some like to call him.

    Any college high-profile coach without NBA experience.

    Myself – cmon, I would be a terrible NBA HC. Might even be the worst on this list :)

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    If you hire George Karl to lure free agents, then yeah, hope is lost. Calipari is a unique coach. Nobody else has the connection to players that Cal has.

  • WFNYKirk

    I think Jackson commands more respect from his players, who defended him.

  • WFNYKirk

    I guess in today’s high coach turnover game, the coach best equipped to recruit players is enticing. I just don’t think Cal is that great of an actual coach/tactician. He’s a great recruiter and a good motivator. He’s also a bit of a scum bag.

  • WFNYKirk

    You never disappoint, mg.

    Thanks for adding a couple new names to the discussion. Pack does sound intriguing.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    He does seem like a bit of a scum bag. But that stuff doesn’t matter in the NBA.

    And I even agree that he has some questionable strategic moves. But in the NBA, I don’t think coaching wins Championships. I think talent is the single most important thing. He’s by no means a bad Xs and Os coach, IMO. But there are better. But what he can bring to a team in terms of talent acquisition is what makes him most intriguing to me.

  • Steve

    I’m not sure if you missed my point or are just being snarky. If they hire Cal because he has demonstrated an ability to entice teenagers to a college campus, they’re going to find that there’s a big difference between that and the NBA.

    Guys in the NBA don’t go play for a coach. They play for the biggest paycheck or a winner.

  • Steve

    Kobe went to the Lakers because he whooped on their current players in a his workout in LA. Any recruiting suave they had was from their position as a storied franchise that was in a good position to win, and had nothing to do with Del Harris.

  • mgbode

    fair enough and deserving of being mentioned. he developed and nurtured a close relationship with Curry that Brown never had with Kyrie.

  • mgbode

    I didn’t mention Del Harris. I mentioned recruiting players as it pertains to the draft. If you don’t think Worldwide Wes would at least attempt to help Calipari recruit players in the draft and free agency, then you don’t know WwW.

    And, Kobe specifically maintained that he HAD to be traded to the Lakers. If I was a team, then I would have called his bluff (Calipari coincidentally considered that before selecting Kerry Kittles – whoops!).
    :)

  • mgbode

    I am going to disagree. Coach Cal wouldn’t go to a team that he didn’t have assurances that he could recruit players to (so we are likely out of the running).

    But, he assuredly would be able to recruit players. We are talking about guys who have spent most of their AAU days looking up to WorldWide Wes and Coach Cal who is embedded in those circuits. It’s why he gets the best players and he isn’t going to lose all of that if he jumps to the NBA.

    It’s a unique situation, but it doesn’t matter. It would take the Lakers with enough cap space for 2 max FA’s and LeBron being one of them for Coach Cal to give up on next year’s Kentucky team. They have the talent and experience to possibly go undefeated.

  • mgbode

    Glad to offer my opinion and throw some names out there :)

  • Steve

    That Lakers-Hornets trade was worked out before the Hornets selected Bryant. When Charlotte went on the clock there was no bluff to be called. There was no recruiting suave. There was an already talented team that was close to adding Shaq that told a 17 year old kid that they wanted to draft him.

  • Steve

    So the plan is to hire Cal so that in 8-10 years or so, the current 16 year olds playing AAU will sign with the Cavs after their rookie contract expires?

    He is going to lose a lot of that if/when he jumps to the NBA because the market to add players is so vastly different.

  • mgbode

    the Lakers met with him, told him not to work with other teams, had him tell other teams not to draft him (and that he would play in Italy if they did) and the Nets STILL almost took him at #8. the bluff was that Kobe would play in Italy if someone other than the Lakers took him.

    the fact Kobe was willing to do all of that for them shows how much they successfully recruited him.

    oh, and yeah, we drafted Vitaly Potapenko one draft slot higher than that Charlotte pick.

  • mgbode

    how about we back-date 8-10 years and see if Coach Cal had a heavy hand in AAU. Why yes, yes he did (and at Memphis of all places). So, for at least the next 8-10 years, he would have a free agent recruiting advantage.

    thank you for making my point.

    top10 recruiting class:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005%E2%80%9306_Memphis_Tigers_men%27s_basketball_team

  • Steve

    Kobe had already worked out for at least the Clippers and maintains that he didn’t go there solely because of Elgin Baylor’s reluctance to take a HS kid.

  • mgbode

    yes, before the Lakers successfully recruited him to cancel the rest of his workouts, etc.

    I don’t get why you are being so steadfast on this one. It’s not that important, but you are clearly wrong.

    There are a few other examples of this happening in the NBA draft (notably with us and Daniel Gibson. Also, Spurs getting Blair to give his medical records to ONLY them).

  • Steve

    Well if we can get a distinct advantage to get Kareem Cooper, I guess I don’t see how we can pass on that.

    Again, the market is so vastly different. You don’t get to pick and choose all the rookies you want, promising them to get to play together, and then maybe sending them around the corner for a handshake with a booster.

    Not to mention that priorities change for 16 year old AAU kids as they become 26 year old professionals.

    First and foremost, this team needs to hire a coach that can develop young talent (Calipari may possibly fit this bill, but since no one has bothered arguing it, I’m going to assume many think of his coaching acumen like I do – decent enough for college but not the pros), and secondly they need one that can give Irving and whoever else needs it a swift kick in the rear.

    Ability to convince FAs to come here should be further down the list of priorities, and even when you get there, other factors like managing the cap, talent on the rest of the roster, and desirability of your market play important factors. Gaining a slight advantage when going after the Chris Douglas Roberts of the world pale in comparison to what a guy like Hornacek just did.

  • mgbode

    and now you are changing the conversation. you said there was no way he could recruit for the draft, so I gave an example of where it has happened (actually 3 examples).

    you said he would only have a recruiting advantage in FA 8-10 years after players graduate, so I went back 8-10 years to show that we are well within that window.

    now, you are going off yet another tangent about what we should be looking for before those points in a coach. and, I agree with many of your points. but, I agreed with them in the beginning, I was just noting the areas where I disagreed based on prior history.

  • Steve

    The only time Bryant (his agent actually) said anything about definitely going to LA was after the Hornets picked him, when the trade was already completed.

    He worked out for the Sixers (despite them knowing they were already taking Iverson at #1), the Clippers, the Celtics, and probably more. And in regards to any threats to play in Italy:

    “Naw,” Kobe countered, “had the Nets drafted me, I would’ve played there and wouldn’t have tried to force a trade. I was 17, bro, I just wanted to ball.”

  • Steve

    I’m baffled that you think “hey, we’ll take a chance on you in the second round so we can get a non-guaranteed contract” is a noteworthy example of recruiting.

    I maintain that any notable recruiting advantage among professional athletes. There’s a lot more outside of his control at this level. The Cavs get one chance at top talent in this draft, not as many shots at as much as they want.

    But yes, my primary opposition to Calipari has to do with the other direction I went.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I kind of feel like you’re not familiar with just how powerful of a figure Calipari is in the NBA today. His connection with World Wide Wes is a HUGE deal. Calipari isn’t only close with Kentucky players who played for him. He has a huge influence, connection, and friendship with many NBA stars, most of whom didn’t play for him. Calipari is a very powerful figure in basketball today across the board.

    I don’t know for sure that he would or wouldn’t be a good coach. But this list was about saying who we would want and who we would be ok with. My original point was just that I would be fine with them hiring Calipari.

  • Steve

    I kind of feel like you are not familiar with what I’m familiar with. I get how big of a deal Calipari is, I really do.

    My argument has never been that Calipari wouldn’t be able to buddy up (or hasn’t already) with important people around the NBA. It’s that there are so many other moving parts to building a team than just being able to buddy up with athletes. And more importantly, though apparently a tangent, should not be the primary goal of this front office.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Well, if you get it, then I guess we just have to agree to disagree. I think Calipari would be able to land plenty of big free agents no matter where he coaches.

  • Steve

    Rumors that there might be a serious shake-up in Memphis. The guy I, and mgbode, liked last year, Joerger, may be available soon.

  • Steve

    I guess my only follow up is how are you so convinced of that when no one around the NBA apparently is? If Calipari could truly land “plenty of big free agents”, which is either incredibly nebulous or incredibly bold, how has he not been worth throwing $50M at? If he can convince all-stars to move to crappy rosters in cold weather cities, hes a huge market inefficiency.

  • mgbode

    yes, yes, if Joerger is available, then he moves to the front (or at least near to it) of the line.

  • mgbode

    I know that he said that. As it was a bluff, but that doesn’t make the threat less real.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/columns/story?id=6255802