Kobe Bryant’s reaction here on the Jim Rome show on Showtime was pretty typical of players in the NBA after watching the video of now former Rutgers coach Mike Rice — they say they wouldn’t have put up with that.
Some certainly wouldn’t have. Kobe is likely one of those.
But some would have — the college sports dynamic is that the coach has all the power. Not just over playing time but over your scholarship and where you can transfer to if you try to leave. People with power can be abusive. You can bet Mike Rice is not the only college coach acting like this right now.
But I thought Kobe’s tweet referenced by Rome was spot on.
I heard Duke and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski talking this summer about how players now were different. He’s an old military guy — and he runs a strict practice — but his point was that players today want to know why they are asked to do something. They’re not just going to say “how high” when you ask them to jump, they want the reasoning. Coaches need to build up that trust.
And there’s nothing wrong with that — whether it’s myself with the other writers here at PBT; my bosses with me; virtually every work situation out there explaining context is a good thing. People are more likely to buy in and work hard if they know why, if they get a glimpse of the big picture. The smart coaches have learned that. Kobe learned the most from a very, very smart coach.
Spurs demolish Thunder to take Game 1 of second-round series
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
Hawks get another playoff shot at King James and Cavaliers
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
ESPN sources say the Warriors, meanwhile, plan to go outside the organization at season's end for a replacement to add to the current staff.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
Luke Walton's contract to coach the Lakers will be for five years and about $25 million.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.