Thursday, July 4, 2013
Behind The Scoreboard
Grizzlies go with Joerger
It is high time for the ole’ coaching carousel to start spinning, humming and spitting out old coaches and making room for new (or different) ones. The overall playoffs had barely begun before the musical horses dismounted coaches. More than a few were hard to figure.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ coach’s future had been enshrouded in an air of suspense even before the regular season came to a close. Lionel Hollins was not seen as a favorite of the new regime when the franchise was sold. Hollins didn’t make a stir because his contract was expiring and he, like countless others, thought that he had built a Gibraltar-solid resume with the Memphis team. That was all discounted when the new managing group didn’t even make him an offer. Instead, they selected David Joerger to pick up the reins. Joerger is not a new recruit; he not only shadowed Hollins, but he came with quite a bit of horsepower. Will it translate into a Western Conference title? He and the Grizz (and the administering hierarchy) will have to answer that question.
One of the very high profile changes would have to be Doc Rivers moving all the way across the nation to the Los Angeles Clippers. Rivers had brought a great amount of respectability to the Celtics’ camp during his tenure and his departure sent shock waves across the Eastern seaboard. The deal had some tricky connotations. Doc had three years and $21 million remaining on his contract. The Celtics thought it was time to rebuild the team which won its 17th NBA title in 2008 under Rivers, who took control four years earlier. Since the owners tried to broker a trade involving active players and an active coach, a deal which Rivers disagreed with, the NBA commissioner, David Stern, who by the way, is retiring in February 2014, had to take over. Stern’s tenure has encompassed 30 years. How they resolved the Rivers salary issue is not known, however, the Celtics did get a high draft choice out of the deal.
Probably no one was more surprised than George Karl when he was released by the Denver Nuggets. After all, Karl had been the Coach of the Year. If you recall, Karl was interviewed by Memphis.
Another big headliner a couple of weeks ago was the hiring of Jason Kidd as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. One of the top point guards in NBA history, he retired in early June after 19 NBA seasons.
This list is by no means complete and I am sure that the coaching carousel has not spun its last turn.
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