Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Monty out, Nellie in

You really have to admire the Golden State Warriors franchise.

I can see the logic now:

“We haven’t been to the postseason since 1994, right? What was going on back then? Don Nelson was the coach, right? You know what we should do! Let’s bring him back!!!”

Nelson is 66.

He left Dallas because, and I’ll use his own words here, “"I just think it's time," Nelson said, showing little emotion. "We want to win games and we want to get better, and I didn't see us doing either of the above since the All-Star game."

He left so they could get better. Great.

And you know what, they did.

Now, that’s not to kill the Nelson with the first name Don who uses only one n. Nellie has made a career of turning around mediocre teams, and this roster has the potential for that pattern to continue.

But, Nelson’s first go-around in Golden State ended with a rift between him and Chris Webber. Can he get through to Baron Davis and Jason Richardson?

The bigger question here is why any NBA team would even look to a college coach at this point. Mike Montgomery was an absolute disaster in Golden State, and the funny thing is that everyone knew that would happen.

Here are the great college coaches who have made the leap to the NBA recently in addition to Montgomery: John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Jerry Tarkanian, Lon Kruger, and Tim Floyd.

The results have not been pretty.

Throw in Montgomery’s record and combined they are 500-792. That would be a 39% winning percentage.

I know Coach K is great, and he’s clearly proving he can coach NBA-level talent at the World Championships, but seriously, if he had taken the Lakers job that franchise would probably be in disarray.

NBA teams, please stop hiring college coaches. It’s pointless.

A little like bringing back a burnt out 66-year-old coach who has never won a title.

The Warriors will probably improve, but what difference will it really make? I hope Nellie already has his successor in mind.


SS said...

I completely agree. Can you even name a college coach that has been mildly successful in the league? But then again, does it really matter in Golden State. Any team with Baron Davis as your leader is already in trouble.

mike d said...

If only they had Dee Brown..now that would be a team to watch!