by Zachary Husser
Dear Lovers of NBA Basketball,
I played basketball on every level except in the NBA and I know I’m a very good analyzer of players, referees, assistant & head coaches. I’ve observed and graded many coaches over the past four decades based on the players they have and didn’t have. I’m well read when it comes to who is a great player and could become a great player in the NBA. I also have had my eye on potential great coaches as well as guys who get chances over and over and are not good NBA coaches. I put Mike D’Antoni in the latter category. He has coached a few NBA teams as well as European professional teams. Now, D’Antoni, based on his European Coaching record is a great European professional basketball coach, but he’s a terrible NBA coach. His teams will win games during the regular season because of the run and gun philosophy, but in the Championship series, D’Antoni’s teams are rendered useless. They can’t do the Run & Gun because you need defense, rebounding, and half court offenses to Win NBA Championships. Everything I just mentioned is what D’Antoni coached teams don’t and haven’t been able to do in his entire NBA career.
D’Antoni’s coaching revitalized the Suns (253-136), but crippled the Knicks (121-167)-cs
I state that the Laker Ownership and Management made two mistakes by hiring two guys named Mike as their head coaches in the last two years. One was the recently fired Mike Brown and now they’ve repeated a bad choice again by hiring Mike D’Antoni. The guys are not average NBA coaches. I have feelings because I don’t like to see anyone get fired, but I say make smart choices in your initial selection and you’ll have head coaches for a long time. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Management has got it right because they hire head coaches that average over ten years or more when hired. Time and research is taken at the initial search and results in stability along with Winners! The Lakers should contact the Steeler Management team and take some lessons.
In concluding, I believe the Lakers should have hired Jim Cleamons as their head basketball coach when Phil Jackson retired because of bad health and other reasons. Cleamons is a championship assistant coach that was with Phil Jackson during the winning of rings in Chicago and Los Angeles. He would have presented continuity, knew the players and they knew him, but a different voice from Phil Jacksons. However, Laker Management decided to take retread Mike D’Antoni and Mike Brown rather than give Jim Cleamons a shot at becoming a great NBA Coach. I say something odd is going on in the NBA when it comes to selecting head coaches. The NBA OKC Thunder took Scott Brooks, an assistant with little coaching experience over many assistants in the NBA with a long resume of success. I throw Patrick Ewing and Jim Cleamons in the mix that just got overlooked as well as jumped over by Owners of NBA Teams. I say it is what it looks like! Racism is alive and well in the selection of NBA Head Coaches.
I’m saying this based on my research and because I love the NBA Game and Black assistant coaches deserve the same chance that Scott Brooks and Mike D’Antoni received. Even Doug Collins of ’76er’s was out of Coaching for many years and Ownership gave him the chance to come back before they used a current NBA Black assistant with time served and a proven record a chance to be head coach in the City of Brotherly Love! The truth speaks for itself. Why aren’t Black qualified assistant coaches getting the same opportunities and benefits as the retreads and those with lesser qualifications??? I Love The NBA Game!