In the past couple weeks, there have been tons of rumors regarding who will take over the coaching position for the Nets next year. As I opined in the fan mail last week, the Nets have needed a REAL coach since December. With that being said, here's my run-down of the possible coaching candidates. Just to note, the college coaching candidates have all publicly denied being interested in coaching the Nets, which makes sense given they are in the middle of a season and are currently recruiting for next year. However, it should be known that all college coaches are egotistical scumbags, and nobody would be shocked if they stabbed their respective colleges in the back. At the end of each candidate, I'll put a rating, indicating how satisfied I'd be with this coach taking over the Nets.
Duke's Coach K has been referred to as the Nets' number one choice. Mikhail Prokhorov wants to make a splash, and luring away college's "top prize" would do so. He also has the respect of many of 2010's top free agents due to coaching the United States basketball team in 2008.
However, I don't trust college coaches in general. Aside from Larry Brown, no college coach has had any significant NBA success. The game is completely different. Furthermore, Coach K's alumni haven't done much either, as only one Dukie has an NBA championship ring (Danny Ferry, as a 13th man on the Spurs). Plus, he's a Dukie! I don't follow college sports that much, but I do know one thing: Duke sucks!
Approval Rating: 6/10
Rick Pitino/John Calipari
Both these guys are cut from the same cloth in my mind. Like Coach K, they are highly coveted college coaches. Unlike Coach K, both these guys have proven that they are NBA failures. Pitino has failed miserably in both New York and Boston, but he does say success is a choice. Maybe failure is too, and the third time will be the charm.
I'd stomach Pitino over Calipari, my sworn enemy. Calipari already tortured Nets fans in the past. He constantly brings up in interviews how he would have drafted Kobe Bryant. It is such a revisionist look at history. Let me just say this, Coach Cal: Kobe would not have stayed long in New Jersey. He didn't become mega-Kobe until year 5, and by then I'm sure he would have bolted via free agency (ala Tracy McGrady). Furthermore, by saying this, you are inadvertently throwing Kerry Kittles under a Greyhound. Kittles was a soldier for your Nets teams and holds a special place in Nets fans' hearts. So quit your complaining. At least Nets fans don't need to wonder where Chris Douglas-Roberts got his bad attitude from.
And just to wrap this up: Rick Pitino paid for his mistress to have an abortion. John Calipari has gotten two college programs suspended. I'll pass.
Approval Rating: Pitino 4/10, Calipari 2/10
Since Calipari is being brought back up, why not Byron Scott? Now, if you've followed my blog, you will notice I take occasional pot shots at Lord Byron. And that is because I hate him. He never watched game tape. He never made in-game adjustments. He was notorious for taking naps before games.
But he did one thing very well: he delegated responsibility. The Nets' coaching staff from 2001-2003 was stacked in assistant coaches, as Eddie Jordan and Lawrence Frank went on to have notable careers. Byron let Jordan run the offense and Frank run the defense. And it worked! I always thought Frank's assistants were never this strong, and his refusal to delegate is what eventually made the Nets lose.
Is delegating responsibility enough to rehire Byron? No. Then why bring him up? Well, the man is EXTREMELY LUCKY! Seriously, his career has been boosted by falling ass-backwards into playing with and coaching three of the greatest points guard spanning three decades - Magic Johnson (as a player), Jason Kidd, and Chris Paul (as a coach). With Byron on board, I have no doubt the Nets would end up with John Wall.
Approval Rating: 3/10
Jeff Van Gundy
Van Gundy has been cracking wise on ABC for a while that it is tough to remember that this guy was once a highly respected coach. He has a .575 winning percentage, and has been to an NBA Finals (in the awful 1999 season, but still). However, I get the feeling that Van Gundy would be better off with a more veteran team, as it is tough to recall the youngsters that Van Gundy has turned into superstars. I do like him, and I think he will succeed as an NBA coach in the future. But I'm not quite sure he will fit entirely with the Nets.
Approval Rating: 7/10
Yes! This is my man! Everybody I talk to seems to have a negative opinion of this guy, and I'm not entirely sure why. In just 3 full seasons, he has a .735 winning percentage and made the NBA Finals once. He has the reputation of being high strung, very honest, and very demanding. Which is exactly what this team needs! There has been too much immaturity, selfishness, and backstabbing in the Nets organization. The Nets need someone to go in there and crack heads. I believe Avery can be this guy.
Approval Rating: 8/10
Kiki Vandeweghe, Year 2
NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Approval Rating: -45/10