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  1. #1
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    Will the NBA ever become a coach's league?

    We all know that the NBA is a player's league. It's been the case for many years. It's always owners vs players. As if the coaches have no say. In almost every situation, the coach is not really a basketball coach but some ex-player. We're seeing now inexperienced "coaches" such as Kerr and Fisher being treated as prime candidates for teams that want to contend, being paid a lot of money while the Cavs have slowly poached a top 10 (globally) basketball coach in David Blatt.


    Why should the NBA become a coach's league? The answer is San Antonio Spurs. It's a coach's team. Every player in that organisation accepts that the coach is the law. In some cases there are some powerful GMs, like the Heat with Riley and now the Knicks with ex-coach Phil Jackson but they're using inexperienced coaches for their teams. Spoelstra has the results of course but that's for another story.

    The NBA teams have the resources to sign whoever coach they want and assign to him whatever coaching help or scouting teams he wants. They key to success is to give the keys of the organisation to a good basketball coach and he can eventually make the team gel and play well.
    We're also seeing this to some extent in the NCAA. Most colleges have kept their coaches for ages and they are actual basketball coaches in their majority, not ex-players who know almost nothing about coaching other than being coached for 15-20 years during their career.

    I'm hoping the Cavs stick with Blatt even if the players don't react positively to him. My guess is that they will not really want to play for him if he's going to coach the way he wants but they'll force him to adapt to the NBA. If they let him do his job, he has the potential to become part of NBA's history.

    Basketball is a coach's game and the NBA being the biggest basketball scene in the world should reflect that imo. I'm actually surprised that there aren't more teams looking into Popovich type of solutions for their franchise.

  2. #2
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    Probably not, players are too overpaid and too spoiled from years in AAU to accept it on the whole. It's too bad because it's the reason I'm a bigger fan of NCAA basketball by NBA by a lot. The game is a lot prettier and it doesn't have the years of rules-tweaking and official-tampering that make the NBA rigged to a certain extent. I know a lot of basketball fans who feel similarly as I do.

    I would imagine if some of the better Euro leagues were more readily accessible that I would watch those more than I do the NBA - at least during the regular season. I like the NBA playoffs, even though the officiating can be both puzzling and maddening (a stark contrast from every other major sport).

    But the regular season is a joke. When you only have to compete with hockey for much of the regular season and yet Thursday nights are your best draw - something is just wrong with your product. Either make it more difficult to make the playoffs or quit rigging the sport for superstars so that we can achieve some semblance of parity. I think this will be Silver's goal and legacy to the NBA - and I say this as a person who has been extremely critical of Silver thus far.

  3. #3
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    No, at the end of the day its still a basketball game, coach can only do so much and fans still look up to players. Its unlikely people will wear a popovich jersey if they can choose lebron.

  4. #4
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    Yes, when Nike decides it's time to have 15 foot billboards of coaches rather than players.

  5. #5
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    Becoming a coach's league does not mean that you have to change buying player jerseys with wearing a coach's suit or whatever. You can still buy a Lebron jersey. But Lebron (and any player for this matter) needs to shut up and listen to his coach.
    It's all about the franchise's attitude. When you have players bigger than the teams you know you're heading in the wrong direction. And when you have coaches that aren't really coaches, the superstars will not really care about showing any respect to them.

  6. #6
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    I doubt ever. coaches are far more replaceable than players

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by diu9leilomo View Post
    No, at the end of the day its still a basketball game, coach can only do so much and fans still look up to players. Its unlikely people will wear a popovich jersey if they can choose lebron.
    That's not what "coach's league" means.

    There will always be stars. Think NFL, for example. Great coaches are able to sustain systems by assembling pieces best suited to what they want do.

    I think the last lockout put the NBA on a path to this model. The success of coaches like Pop just proves out that this is a model to move towards.

    David Stern turned the NBA too far to the superstar and one can clearly see that this model also lead to a decline in ratings historically:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...ielsen_ratings

    Of course basketball as a sport has declined somewhat by transitioning from fundamentally skilled professionals to the more athletic model we have today. The influx of the High School athlete hurt the game, obviously, which in turn hurt the ratings.

    Finals ratings will always do generally well BUT where the NBA really needs to improve is during the regular season and that's where the "coach's league" concept can really improve things.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by diu9leilomo View Post
    No, at the end of the day its still a basketball game, coach can only do so much and fans still look up to players. Its unlikely people will wear a popovich jersey if they can choose lebron.
    I'd wear a Popovich jersey.

    The idea of a coach's league, or rather not a player's league, revolves around the idea of promoting team fandom vs. individual player fandom. Root for the jersey, regardless of who is wearing it. Coaches then become more prominent to the fans. It's easier in sports where players wear helmets and could be unrecognizable in street clothes.

  9. #9
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    If you want to enjoy a coach's league watch college.

  10. #10
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    we all love pop,but lets not act like coaches are all pop.so its not a good idea to run a league as if that were the case.coaching really isnt as important as its made out to be.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by abe_froman View Post
    we all love pop,but lets not act like coaches are all pop.so its not a good idea to run a league as if that were the case.coaching really isnt as important as its made out to be.
    With all due respect, that may be the dumbest thing I've ever read on PSD.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmaest View Post
    With all due respect, that may be the dumbest thing I've ever read on PSD.
    how so? you can still fair well with a bad coach(heat getting 2 rings and a 4 finals appearances with spo,brooks hasnt kept the thunder from being good,ect.),but a great coach cant do much without the talent

    we overly glorify the 5 or so good/great coaches in the league ,but thats, in part, due to the lack of them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksorBust View Post
    If you want to enjoy a coach's league watch college.
    There are many arguments to be made that College Basketball is a better version of the game than the Professional level. The players may not be as good, individually, but the way the game is played--with all the ball movement and everything else--is arguably better at the NCAA level.

    I can't look this up from where I am but I'm pretty sure the NCAA draws higher ratings than the NBA as well. I would have to believe March Madness does at the very least.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by abe_froman View Post
    how so? you can still fair well with a bad coach(heat getting 2 rings and a 4 finals appearances with spo,brooks hasnt kept the thunder from being good,ect.),but a great coach cant do much without the talent

    we overly glorify the 5 or so good/great coaches in the league ,but thats, in part, due to the lack of them.
    First off, I blame Spoelstra for this Finals loss and last season was more about the Spurs than it was about anything the Heat did to win.

    BUT the Heat also had officiating on their side for all 4 of these Finals runs, if we're being honest, AND they took advantage of a weak Eastern Conference.

    But let's take your example and go the other way. Indiana is a better "team" top to bottom than Miami is. Wouldn't a really good Coach have beaten Miami the last two seasons?

    We've seen evidence already where Carlisle & Popp embarrassed Spoelstra with superior coaching and "less" talent. (Top to bottom Miami was more talented than Dallas for sure. I think you can make an argument that they're more talented than SAS.)

    Again, point being, superior coaching would have beaten Miami multiple times. Hell if Chicago had one more guy who could actually score, they would have beaten Miami in the playoffs. If the Knicks had one more guy who could play defense, Woodson would have out-coached Spoelstra too.

    Talent matters BUT Coaching can take advantage of weaknesses and scheme to the team's strengths. OKC with a better Coach should have won the last 2 titles.

    It's ignorant to discount coaching.

    Edit in: Fact is I could easily make an argument that the reason the NBA isn't as good as it was in previous years is because of the coaching and not the talent. In 1988 there were arguably a dozen or more really good coaches. Today there's maybe 6. That's it.
    Last edited by jmaest; 06-23-2014 at 03:55 PM.

  15. #15
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    I think in some instances it is already.

    When you get an established coach that has won, he gets free reign.
    nobody ever fired Phil, or Riley, or Pop, and when those guys have had problems, the player either goes, or adjusts hims play/approach.

    But for those who haven't proven themselves, the owners usually go for the players, though we've seen instances where the GM/coach is favoured. Don Neslon, for instance, was allowed to stay and Chris Webber was trade (WOW). There was clearly some tension between Melo and Karl, and Denver kept Karl. Likewise, the Magic kept SVG when Dwight asked to have him fired. And GSW ownership fired Jackson despite support from his players, so the 'players' opinions didnt matter as much as the GM's.

    I would agree that for the most part it is a player's league, but for the coaches that prove themselves, most teams will go with the coach over the player.
    Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?
    Because he heard the refs were blowing fowls.

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