Houston got rid of one steady, veteran coach because of some ongoing clashes with management.
But for his replacement, they seem to be looking at veterans as well, according to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
Adelman was troubled that organization wouldn’t offer an extension during season. Two names to watch for job: Mike Brown and Stan Van Gundy.
Stan Van Gundy?
Yes, he still sort of has a gig down in Orlando (and has another year on that deal). Yes, he has taken them to the NBA finals and deep into the playoffs. However, if the Magic exit in the first round of the playoffs this season, and maybe even the second, they may look to move him. Understand that the Magic are in full “we have to keep Dwight Howard” mode and if they think dumping SVG will make Howard happy then they won’t bat an eyelash. It’s not a smart move, but they may do it.
Mike Brown we mentioned before. The former Cleveland coach was a defense-first guy who racked up a lot of regular season wins with LeBron James as the key guy, but the roster would get exposed at some point in the playoffs. Still, the vibe around the league is that this guy can coach. If not Houston, he’ll land somewhere.
Of course, Houston may go unconventional after all. Wojnarowski, talk to us:
Others believe Rockets want to go unconventional and try to unearth the next big coaching star. Well, who doesn’t? Easier said than done.
The Rockets own current assistant Elston Turner is considered a guy who is going to get a head coaching gig one day. The problem is you get the feeling the Rockets want more of a shakeup than bringing in a current assistant. But stranger things have happened. Like the Magic even considering getting rid of Van Gundy.
In a move that is not shocking — even though the thought of an NBA season without him on the sidelines is — Rick Adelman has been let go by the Houston Rockets, according to multiple reports.
This was expected. Adelman’s deal was up and not expected to be renewed. The Rockets missed the playoffs two seasons in a row and there have been rumors that ownership wanted to make a change. Adelman and Rockets management were not on the same page in terms of trades and other player moves.
Of course, Adelman was saddled with a roster of quality role players designed to go around Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, before injuries robbed those two of their primes. What he was able to do with the remaining players was admirable — they won 43 games this season, finishing over .500 — but it was not enough for management.
As Jonathan Feigen reported in the Houston Chronicle, Adelman was not expected to be broken up about this.
Adelman, 64, had expressed ambivalence about remaining in coaching, but said last week that he has not lost his desire to coach. He had been openly frustrated with decision-making during last season that led to a trio of trades over his objections that seemed designed to aid future seasons.
“I’ve talked this over with my wife and we have a pretty good idea what we would do either way,” Adelman said last week. “It’s OK either way. There are definite things I want to know if I were to have the opportunity to come back.”
Adelman has said he would coach again in the right situation.
The choice of who is next for Houston now falls to GM Daryl Morey in maybe the biggest move of his young but rock-star like career (at least among the stat-heads).
Some names out on the coaching carousel: Former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, former Hawks coach Mike Woodson, Dallas assistant coach and former Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey, Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank and Spurs lead assistant Mike Budenholzer. Morey may choose to go another direction, but it is unlikely he would reach into the college ranks.
Now that the Pistons are safely in the hands of Mr. Tom Gores (pending NBA approval), the team can finally move forward. But what does that mean for the management and coaching? The Detroit Free Press reports that the architect of the 2004 championship team and the team that made about a billion Conference Finals in a row, as well as the man who spent the GNP of a large first-world country on Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon, will return to the organization, now free to pursue a true rebuilding effort.
Joe Dumars isn’t going anywhere. It’s believed Gores has told him that he can remain president for as long as he desires. It’s difficult imagining Dumars walking away after getting an owner who is as committed as he is in restoring pride to an organization reduced to rubble under Davidson’s two years as keeper to Bill Davidson’s basketball legacy.
via Drew Sharp: Pistons can finally go back to work | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.
Dumars may very well have had a plan in place to remove the logjam at shooting guard created by Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon, but was undermined by the ownership situation. The behavior of the players this season, especially the veterans, created an untenable situation to be sure. But with an owner who wants to move forward, Dumars might be able to pursue an actual plan. Then again, even if Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince were moved, that wouldn’t excuse the money Dumars committed to Villanueva and Gordon. He overpaid for those players, there’s no way of getting around it. With Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, and Austin Daye a solid set of building blocks going forward, Dumars would do well to admit his mistake and try and move one or both of them. Once the CBA is figured out, teams would flip to have Gordon, and the Pistons could go on with a true rebuilding platform. Those decisions are the ones that will have the most impact on whether Dumars’ chance with new ownership works out.
As for coaching? Well…
John Kuester became an inexpensive alternative.
Players aren’t dumb. They saw an owner who wasn’t fully engaged and committed to doing whatever necessary to provide the best possible winning environment. They got a Blue Light Special who was in over his head as a coach. Kuester was doomed from the start in terms of winning his players’ respect
via Drew Sharp: Pistons can finally go back to work | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.
If Gores decides to keep Kuester, it will not be a good start to his ownership period. He should have just figured a buyout into his price for the team. Kuester deserves a second chance somewhere. Just not with Detroit. It’s a new day. It’s time for the Pistons to move forward.
Doc Rivers almost left the Boston Celtics last season, but after coming within a quarter of an NBA title, and with the core of his team back, he decided to return and make another run at it.
But will he walk away this summer?
A lot of people in the coaching fraternity think he will, reports Mark Stein at ESPN.
Although Celts president Danny Ainge and the veteran trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were able to lobby Rivers last summer to come back for one last run together, pessimism reigns in Boston when it comes to successfully lobbying him again. Word is Doc is determined to free himself up to see his Duke-bound son, Austin, after work commitments prevented him from watching his other three children as much as he wanted to see them compete in various sports.
Rivers has always been sincere about wanting to spend time with family, this isn’t the usual façade around a coaching change. Rivers might take a year or three, then return in the spot of his choosing.
But walking away from these Celtics would also be hard for Rivers. His contract is up. If he does leave Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank and legend Kevin McHale are the logical choices to succeed him.
Stein also lists other coaches who may be leaving (Phil Jackson, although that is basically a done deal) and those on the hot seat including Rick Adelman, Keith Smart, John Kuester, Jay Triano, Paul Westphal and others. Oh, and Erik Spoelstra if the Heat have an early playoff exit.
Yesterday, the Pistons staged a “sleep-in protest” of John Kuester, with five pistons skipping practice. Kuester responded by benching those players for last night’s game against the Sixers, and wound up playing just six players. In a shocker, the Pistons lost by a healthy margin. But that wasn’t the surprising part. Kuester was ejected from the game for arguing with officials. And the Pistons who were benched, including Tracy McGrady, Rodney Stuckey, Ben Wallace, and Austin Daye showed the proper respect for such a thing happening to their coach in his hometown in front of his daughter. By laughing. Check out the video.
Not cool, Pistons.
But that’s not all. ESPN reports that the players’ had organized such a move before the All-Star break, but were persuaded not to by assurances Kuester would be fired over the break. After he was not fired, Rip Hamilton not traded and denied a buyout opportunity, the players were moved to go through with whatever they thought yesterday would accomplish. The result is about as close to a mutiny as you’re going to find.
The players’ biggest mistake here was surrendering the high ground publicly. Kuester’s a losing coach who obviously has lost the team. Simply following that line to its natural end would remove him. Even going to the media would have resulted in a better result than yesterday’s fiasco. Because now the media and fans will turn on you. They’ll abide discontent, they won’t abide quitting. If the players were avoiding the press for fear of a fine, that was a pointless pursuit because they’re sure going to be fined or suspended now.
Kuester has not been a good coach in Detroit, but the players shouldn’t have done this. It does make you wonder, though, what would drive a group of veterans, who, whatever their reputations, have always shown up to work, to take such drastic measures. As executive management, Joe Dumars has to punish the players. But he’s also got to look to the source of such behavior.
The only real victims here are Pistons fans.