What do Doc Rivers, Brian Shaw, Scott Brooks, Jeff Hornacek, Jacque Vaugh and Jason Kidd all have in common? They’re all former NBA guards and current NBA coaches.
The Warriors just fired Mark Jackson and hired Steve Kerr. Phil Jackson is even courting a barely-done-playing Derek Fisher for the Knicks’ vacancy. The Cavaliers short list for coaching candidates: Alvin Gentry, Lionel Hollins and Tyronn Lue. See what I’m getting at here?
NBA decision makers apparently equate dribbling experience with coaching potential, as the trendy thing to do these days is hire whichever former ball handler is available. I’ve done the research. Kevin McHale (PF), Terry Stotts (SF) and Monty Williams (SF) are the only non-guard coaches in the NBA. Even the guys with only Division III (Frank Vogel) and high school experience (Brad Stevens) were guards.
This begs the question: Why aren’t there more big men coaches?
Prevailing logic says the guards are the most cerebral of basketball’s positions. Students of the games, they are. Right? I don’t know, does ‘coach Brandon Jennings’ sound like a good idea to you?
I guess Derek Fisher was a “point guard,” but the guy never averaged five assists per game for a season in 17 years. Yet he’s still the frontrunner to land the Knicks job. I won’t even comment on the fact that front-office noob Phil Jackson got fined $25,000 for “tampering” with Derek Fisher during a news conference last week.
Meanwhile, you’ve got Knicks legend Patrick Ewing pouring his seven-foot heart out on CBS Radio:
“I’d love to go back to New York. I’m not sure what is going to happen in terms of who they’re going to have fill that void, but if I get a call, I’m ready.”
Why hasn’t Ewing gotten a call yet? It can’t be lack of experience. Ewing has been an assistant coach since 2003, tutoring no-name scrubs like Yao Ming and Dwight Howard in the ways of the low post. Maybe big men are just too hard to boss around from a front office perspective? I know I’d have a hard time telling coach Karl Malone how to talk to the press.
Ewing spoke more on this apparent “bias against big men,” pointing out that the frontcourt players captain the defense the same way the point guards do the offense. Here’s to hoping that one day we get to see Rasheed Wallace hounding refs in a dapper jacket and dealing with the media for 82 games a year.