View Full Version : Coaches: What is the minimum amount of years to produce a contender?

02-10-2014, 06:34 PM
Obviously, this is on the heels of the Cheeks firing. But how many years should a coach be given to, say, at least get a team to the WCF or higher? EDIT: Building from scratch, or a 12 or lower seed.

I assume you have to account for dealing with players/contracts who don't mesh with your scheme, or acquiring players who go with your vision, developing players, implementing your scheme, and tweaking for final touches.

I feel like, at the minimum, a coach should get at least five years, if not six.

02-10-2014, 06:43 PM
I agree with 5

02-10-2014, 07:27 PM
If they have the cash, the first season.

02-10-2014, 08:28 PM
it depends, you need to see growth. I think you can figure out quickly whether or not you are going to like the coach and after 2 years you should get a good feel of whether or not he can be a championship coach

02-10-2014, 08:44 PM
I think coaches aren't given enough time. GM's fire coaches to save their own hides.

02-10-2014, 09:37 PM
I dont think you can put such absolutes on it.

I dont think its fair to say he needs to reach the conference finals by year 5, especially in a league run by superstars.

There just needs to be continued growth and the players need to always be buying into what the coaches are selling.

02-10-2014, 10:00 PM
It's completely situational. Some coaches have rosters that are never talented enough, some coaches get rosters that can reach championship level play almost immediately.

Dade County
02-10-2014, 10:02 PM
I dont think you can put such absolutes on it.

I dont think its fair to say he needs to reach the conference finals by year 5, especially in a league run by superstars.

There just needs to be continued growth and the players need to always be buying into what the coaches are selling.

Yeah, I somewhat agree...

I say judge them after 3yrs, you don't have to judge them by playoff wins or whatnot; but you should be able to make a good evaluation of his body of work.

02-10-2014, 10:06 PM
Firing the coach is a matter of needing a scapegoat for the masses 99% of the time.

02-10-2014, 10:35 PM
So with all of that said, should Ty Corbin be fired?

02-11-2014, 12:07 AM
having a concrete number doesn't make any sense.
obviously it depends on the players you have when you get there.
a coach should have more time if he comes to a team with a core of young prospects vs a team that won't even get to begin their rebuild til contracts clear after a year or so.
but basically a coach should get as long as it takes as long as positive steps forward are shown every year.
5 years sounds about right, but if after 4 years the team has been last place for 4 straight years and keeps getting worse and worse then I probably don't need to see the 5th year

02-11-2014, 12:38 AM
I'm not sure you can look at every situation the same. OP says a team should be given 5-6 years to build a contender starting with a craptastic basketball team. That's never going to happen for a number of reason. First off, bad teams are bad for a reason. Most cellar dwellers today are not going to be contenders in 5-6 years regardless of who the coach is, and it depends WAY more on the GM and personnel changes than it does the coach. It's about improvement more than it's about contending. A terrible basketball team should show improvement every season, or the coach will deserve some blame and eventually get fired.

Each case is going to vary greatly. Some coaches are going to inherit huge messes. Others are going to get super lucky. Kevin McHale, for example, lucked into getting James Harden and Dwight Howard the last two seasons. Is the improvement they're showing as a team because of his coaching or the vast upgrade they've seen in personnel talent? Clearly it's the latter, and I don't think he should get to stick around for another 3-4 years just because the team is now contending.

Here's the way I look at it.... Assuming you don't see any substantial personnel changes, a coach should be given about 2-3 years to show some substantial improvement. If a young, 13-seeded team today is a 9 seed in a couple of years with its young players making progress, than that coach deserves to keep his job. However, suppose you've got a coach of a 4-6 seed today whose team consistently is getting bounced in the first round and doesn't make any improvement in the postseason three years from now. That guy does not deserve to keep his job.

TL;DR... The name of the game is improvement, not contention. And 5-6 years is way too long of a time frame to give a coach to see substantial improvement in a basketball team.

02-11-2014, 01:42 AM
for a head coach, all he needs are players that that mesh with his system, not head cases who will destroy the chemistry and go their own way. superstars,like Anthony, always impose their wills on the team, which will be a head -scratching issue for any coaches. I always respect the coaches more than players because they definitely have played basketball and have gone through a lot of, usually unseen difficulties .They have their understanding of the game,which is usually profound and far- reaching .based on what they have seen and done, they have their own system and philosophy. That being said, if a GM assemble a team which is made up of the players the coach need, the coach can fully utilize not only the players, but also his own talents. He can cater to different players without sacrificing his own style, and therefore develop diverse game plans to tackle different situations.
Give a wise coach trust, confidence and consistent support and let him start from scratch, i see him develop a contender in 5 years, give or take. It's all about patience and devotion. A GM should give unwavering support to the coach, like let him have a stronger say on who should trade for, who is a number one offense option and who should handle a certain circumstance. Dont be bothered by the abysmal opinions of some leaders because they may not watch the players practice and play all the time but collaborate with other GMs and talk business, which sometimes will lead to bamboozle cases, like landing unneeded pieces while giving up valuable rotation players.

02-11-2014, 07:56 AM
Well there's no finite number that can be universally applied and the coach is only one part of the equation, but something like this depends on the players/front office and the expectations of the ownership. If your team has a veteran group with little flexibility on player contracts than of course the mindset should be ASAP (see New York/Brooklyn). On the flip side with a team like Orlando which is full of young players on rookie deals with some vets on short-term contracts, 2-3 years of improving performance would be a proper expectation.

02-11-2014, 12:43 PM
I think that's the general consensus here and outside, that you can gauge if the coach's scheme is going to work and you should be able to tell if there has been improvement within the first 2-3 years.

02-11-2014, 01:24 PM
Depends on how the team was constructed.

If the team was constructed Miami Heat style (Trades for star players to win now) you don't have any leeway and you prob need to win a title/make a deep playoff run in the first 2 seasons minimum.

If the team is going through a full re-build(like Boston) Then you should get 4 years minimum like Brad Stevens(believe he has a 5yr deal)

02-11-2014, 07:39 PM
If you are starting from scratch, ie: Phoenix, I would say 4-5 years.

Figure the first year you are recovering from losing a star or getting out of bad contracts.
Second and 3rd year you draft high if all goes to plan.
3rd and 4th year the young players develop and you sign some free agents to fill gaps.
4th and 5th year you hope the team is ready assuming the talent is ripe.

I think Detroit should have gone young initially with the talent they had. At this stage, with the personalities they have (Jennings and Smith mainly), it might be best to reel in Hollins and see what he can do.