Tag: Mike Fratello


Mike Fratello believes the time for a European head coach in the NBA is coming

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Mike Fratello coached 17 seasons in the NBA, and is currently coaching the Ukrainian team at Eurobasket in Slovenia.

He knows as much about the international coaching landscape as anyone, and believes we’re not far away from seeing a European head coach land a job in the states roaming an NBA sideline.

From Mark Woods of ESPN.com:

Fratello, 66, prominent now during the NBA season as a broadcaster, has been traveling across the Atlantic in a basketball capacity for more than two decades, conducting clinics, sharing his knowledge and broadcasting games back to home.

But since his appointment with the Ukrainians in 2011, he’s gotten a firsthand insight into the abilities of his European counterparts. And it is, he claims, only a matter of time before the door is kicked open for them to pursue job openings in the NBA.

“It’s coming,” he told ESPN.com. “We’ve had more people from other European countries moving into positions of prominence in the NBA in front offices. We now have people from other countries who own teams in the NBA, presidents, general managers. Assistant coaches, scouts, who represent many countries.”

The most decorated European head coach in recent history, Ettore Messina, has had flirtations with NBA jobs, but has never been able to come to terms to secure a head coaching position.

Mike Brown, in his brief run as head coach of the Lakers, was able to retain Messina as a consultant for the 2011-12 season. But Messina returned to Europe to coach CSKA Moscow in the summer of 2012.

Fratello goes on to discuss the trust an NBA front office would need to have in bringing in a European head coach unfamiliar with the NBA game, due to the limited practice time available, among other things. But given the expansion of the game internationally, it’s hard to disagree with Fratllo’s basic assertion — a European head coach will make his way to the NBA at some point; it’s only a matter of time.

Jerry West found Mike Fratello’s offense dull, too

Jerry West Mike Fratello
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More and more bits from Jerry West’s autobiography are leaking out (here’s a good roundup via KD). With each one, I can’t wait to read the book more and more.

While a lot of the anecdotes tie to his time as a player and GM with the Lakers, the Commercial Appeal found some stuff about his time with the Grizzlies.

What it shows is that West is like you and me — he didn’t like Mike Fratello’s offense, either.

“The problem I had with Mike Fratello had to do with the type of offense he wanted the team to run — a very slow, controlled game — and I tried to tell him that he needed to reconsider this,” West wrote. “I warned him, ‘Everyone is killing me, Mike. The agents with players’ complaints, the fans, the press. This is not what we should be doing.’ But Mike was very stubborn; he was convinced that his approach was correct.”

He also reveals that he had two stalkers while in Memphis, one who went so far as to buy a wedding dress and that forced him to hire a security guard as well.

West was able to build the Grizzlies into a three-time playoff team while he was GM, the Grizzlies were no longer a laughing stock. But he admits he made mistakes (drafting Drew Gooden over Amare Stoudemire is the biggie). What he really was unable to do was to bring in the superstars — Magic, Worthy, Kobe, Shaq — that he was able to find and draw in Los Angeles. And I’m not sure even West could have pulled that off.

Mike Fratello to coach Ukrainian national team

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The Czar (of the telestrator) is headed to the old Soviet bloc.

Mike Fratello, the former NBA coach and current TNT color commentator, will coach the Ukrainian national team at the European Championships this summer, according to the Associated Press.

Hopefully they like slow it down, grind it out, defensive basketball that Fratello was known for in stops with Atlanta, Cleveland and Memphis.

Ukraine is in Group D with Slovenia, Russia, Belgium, Bulgaria and Georgia for the championships that start at the end of August and run for two weeks.

Mike Fratello: "Hey, look at me! Look at me!"

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Every national television commentator with a basketball background is currently being mentioned as a possible head coach somewhere — Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Avery Johnson, Doug Collins…

Everyone but Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller.

Fratello tells the New Orleans Times Picayune he’d like to be interviewed too.

On Tuesday, former NBA coach Mike Fratello emerged as the newest candidate the Hornets plan to interview, according to sources. But Fratello said by telephone that he has not been contacted by the Hornets.

“I’d love to talk to them if they want to talk, ” Fratello said. “I’m sure there’s a lot of people who’d like to talk to them. I’m just sitting here hoping that somebody, somewhere, thinks I’m the right person. I’d love to talk to somebody about potential jobs that are out there.”

Really, is there a better coach to manage the gifts of Chris Paul than the coach who slowed the game down and uglied it up more than any other coach in the regrettable late 1990s? Still, he makes more sense than a couple names circulating on everybody’s list.

And can we start a campaign to get Reggie Miller considered for head coaching jobs? Anything to get him out of the booth.