The times we live in are tough for coaches
No, I don’t think Avery Johnson deserved to get fired in Brooklyn, I think it was a bit of an over-reaction from ownership who had placed unrealistic expectations on a roster that is, in my opinion, good but far from great.
It’s forever thus, though.
Should anyone have been surprised, really?
As we mentioned in Nothing But Net, once the CEO started apologizing and the players started openly questioning strategy and each other, it seems Johnson was doomed.
Is he a bad coach?
Is he a great coach?
I wasn’t a big fan when he was in Dallas, there seemed to be some level of “control” he exuded that made me sit up and take notice but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t do the job. It meant that he needed to work on his craft and get better.
Was he? That’s really not for me to say but I think he was done in by the failings of the roster and what people thought he should do.
Dwane brought up an interesting point when we were talking about Johnson yesterday. Not surprisingly, he came to the defence of the fired colleague.
“It takes time, I don’t care who you are … when you put a new team together full of superstars, it takes time. Put a young team together and build it, it takes time. That’s nature of our business.
“I know Avery will bounce back, he’s a very good coach, whoever coaches that team is still going to have the same issues, that team’s not going to change, they have one of the highest payrolls in the league and a lot of a talent, it’s just going to take time. It’s unfortunate but it’s our business.”
He’s right, of course, but time is a luxury few will give in this age of instant gratification. Too bad, but it’s the world we live in.
“That’s what happens when expectations are out of whack. It’s unfortunate but I think Avery’s a very good coach. You put a team together – it’s a lot like Miami, I mean Miami struggled the first year and everyone was calling for Spoelstra’s head. They stuck with him, they won a championship.”
You know, the first time I came to New Orleans, and I don’t remember exactly what season that was, I wasn’t a fan.
I found Bourbon Street – at least the bottom down by Canal – too much, too loud, too dirty, too Caligula-like. It was over the top like I’d seldom seen over the top and, frankly, I couldn’t wait to get out of here and on to some other place.
And, yes, it’s still dirty and loud – we were out there one on New Year’s Eve and it was crazy – but now I’ve come to appreciate the other parts of the city, or at least the downtown, and it’s pretty much a “don’t miss” when the schedule comes out.
You can dine at a lot of hole-in-the-wall places that are great, you have to see the show at Preservation Hall if you can and if you walk far up Bourbon and find Fritzell’s, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve been there twice now – introduced to it by Stumpy’s sister who lives here – and seen the same house band.
You tell me if they’re any good.
We’re driving back from practice and someone notices the Sugar Bowl logo on the Superdome that’s next door to the arena (Florida against Louisville for those who care) and we start chatting about days we’ve been in the States around bowl time.
And I know I talked about guys with pigs heads on cheering for Arkansas at the Cotton Bowl that year but I’d totally forgotten the one time we were in New Orleans around Sugar Bowl time.
Had to be the mid-2000s, I’d guess around 2005 and Hawaii was playing. I tell you, you have never seen anything until you’ve seen a bunch of out-of-place Hawaiians wandering up the bacchanalia that is Bourbon Street in their Rainbow Warrior garb.
It was like they’d been dropped on another planet.
That was the same year the Timmy Chang kid was the all the quarterback rage and the next time I heard of him, I was writing an Argo story and he was the backup in Hamilton.
All it took was a mad dash concourse to concourse at O’Hare after a delay at Pearson that caused some major angst but Super Wife and Super Son got here mid-afternoon.
Their bags, of course, got here about 2 a.m., well after the shopping spree for replacement clothing had taken place.
Okay, test time.
How many of you, despite history suggesting otherwise, have looked at the schedule and started adding up the wins.
New Orleans, Orlando and then six straight at home against
Portland, Sacramento, Oklahoma City, Philly, Charlotte and Milwaukee.
Come on, be honest.
Some of you see six wins, some I bet ever see seven.
Oh, you sillyheads.
As we all know, or should, games are games unto themselves, teams jump up and play well out of nowhere, the Raptors can play poorly at the drop of the hat.
There are no “sure” things and no one knows what more than Dwane Casey.
“We’re a work in progress, we’re a rebuilding organization, we’re building, trying to get there and there’s no team where we can look at the schedule and say, ‘hey, that’s a W.’
“Teams may do us that way but we are not in a place to say that. We have to play as a desperate team. If we don’t play desperate and play hungry, like somebody’s trying to take something from us, we can’t survive.”
Heed those words as the next couple of weeks or so unfold, would you?
Way late but I need some mail, please.
Not sure what the schedule will be with the odd Saturday night game (is anyone else been screwed up all week with what day of the week it actually is) but there will be mail.
And knowing you all, there’ll be a lot of it.
Okay, it’s 6 a.m. when I start this, I’m about to tuck into this $30 breakfast buffet here (sorry, boss) and the people are still blaring Christmas carols in the lobby?