Is summer really here yet? The thermostat in my house says “yes!” My truck parked outside of the garage (I don’t park in there, The Queen does, and if you’re married, you KNOW who The Queen is) with the windows up agrees, especially if I happen to be getting into it in the middle of the day. The NBA Playoffs? They say “no”, summer doesn’t begin until they end. So we can’t call this the summer doldrums. Shall we call it the late spring, my-team-lost-sooner-than-I’d-hoped-but-still-somewhat-expected doldrums? Of course, I see that some of us are in full mid-summer form, raising their canniblogging (copyrighted term, circa MannyT) capabilities to new levels. You know who you are!
Search Still On
No word from master poker player Rick Sund on a new coach. I guess when it was reported that he would be taking his time, that’s precisely what was meant. Or am I being impatient? Does it really matter how quickly Sund picks a new guy to man the rudder? Or is taking longer and “doing your homework” the way to go? Could a flurry of hires by other teams cause Sund to pull the trigger quicker than he’d like? The Philadelphia Sixers have tabbed Doug Collins as their new sideline stalker, and both New Jersey and Chicago have been reported as wanting to make a splash in this part of the market. Will that even have an effect on what Sund does? Chances are, all of the teams that are looking for new coaches (Philadelphia the exception) are going to do their due dilligence and not make moves that are rash, despite the media driven posturing. In fact, nobody except Philly has made a final move, so perhaps Sund isn’t so slow after all…so far.
Superfluous Soap Opera of Stupendous Summer of Superstars
How many times have you heard of the Summer of 2010 free agency class? Probably more than you’d care to count, considering the noise surrounding it started over a year ago. So rather than talk about it the same way everybody else has, I figured I’d try to come up with the most ridiculous title to such a discussion as I possibly could. Something tells me that A) I outdid myself, and B) Somebody who has never posted here will confirm this suspicion in a most unflattering fashion. Viva La Blogging!!
Okay, back to the topic at hand. While the conversation in media circles has been usually about which star free agent player will go where, things have taken a turn for the more…oh, I just about can’t find the words for it. And THIS time, it’s not simply some columnist or pundit somewhere trying to think up something new and clever to say. No, this latest batch of preposterous possibilities comes from the free agents-to-be themselves (Dwyane Wade being the mouthpiece in this case). Or so it has been reported. Personally, I think the idea of the top free agents of this summer getting together to discuss their future destinations is either nonsense. Or could there be an unseen nugget of truth to Wade’s statements? Hey, don’t take my word for it, check out Atlanta Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham, as he weighs in on the matter and tells it like it is.
Speaking of Wade, here’s an interesting statement he made, adding an NBA players perspective on coaching, to the mix. The below excerpt is from the original article that started all this noise about the star free agents conferring together:
“I don’t necessarily get into all the coaches stuff,” Wade said. “I feel the coach is only as good as his players. There are some great, great coaches around who can squeeze a lot of life out of their players, like Jerry Sloan. Every year he proves that.”
Now while some of us fans would probably like to latch onto said statement and use it as a “fact” to bolster their opinion on the subject, let’s remember that this is how a player sees it (a different perspective). More specifically, this is how ONE player sees it, not to be confused with or assumed to be the opinion of all NBA players. But it’s an interesting statement all the same. I feel that his assertion that a coach is only as good as his players is both true, and yet incomplete. But then he goes on to mention how there are some truly great coaches who can do a lot with their players. Would that not suggest something different than the idea he posed in his first sentence, suggesting that the level of the players determines the caliber of the coach? I do think so. What might his complete thought be on the matter? I’m guessing you’d be hard pressed to get that, especially from a player of Wade’s level. He’s well paid and things are built around him. He either won’t have much to say out of caution, or because he doesn’t really care as much as you’d think. Or maybe neither idea is on the mark. You might get something completely different from a guy who is coming off the bench, and playing for his third or fourth team in his seven years of NBA experience.
So is either idea correct? Or is it a mix of both. Maybe Wade is saying that the average coach is only as good as the players you give him to work with, but the truly great coaches can do much more with what they are given. That makes sense to me, at least to an extent, whether I agree or not. It’s a perspective, not something written in stone. Then again, what if you give an average or mediocre coach a great player or two? Will that raise the ability of the coach to do what he is supposed to do? Does it change his knowledge of the game? Does it influence his ability to make in-game decisions, exploit matchups, counter the opposing coaches’ and teams’ strategies and tactics? Or are all of those things intangibles that a coach either has, or doesn’t have, and can either learn or not learn? Are the players merely average, worse, or better tools to work with in trying to accomplish a goal (winning)?
If that is true, then what makes a truly great coach who can maximize what he has, different than his peers? Hawks fans, and basketball fans in general – What do you think?
On A Side Note…
David Stern continues to keep what seems to me like an unnecessary choke hold on the Lebron Sweepstakes. Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon finds himself the latest victim of breathing a single word about even liking the idea of acquiring Lebron James. Predictably, Mark Cuban was the first (imagine that), and may not be the least. Tampering? What tampering? Saying you wouldn’t mind having Lebron James on your team is tampering? Wouldn’t anybody say that? And not that I’m complaining, but why did Cuban get a $100,00 fine, but Gearon only gets $25,000? Is Stern putting a price on the type of words you use, or can the ASG simply not afford as much? Okay, okay, the last was a low blow (and a JOKE, I repeat JOKE), that I couldn’t resist. What can I say, I’m just another fan suffering from the doldrums described in the first paragraph of this post.
Summer of Sund continues….