Next Man Up, like communism, is nice in theory but doesn’t work in reality. It has been given far too much positive attention by the media during the past 20 years and too many franchises have wasted money on coaches and too many coaches have wasted time coaching subs with the goal of trying to turn water into wine.
When Chris Paul gets hurt what happens? The Clippers lose. No amount of coaching by good coaches or level of expectations by anybody will make Austin Rivers or Raymond Felton anything close to Chris Paul. Only a moron thinks that expecting a blade of grass to turn into a Porsche will make that happen. Too many coaches, executives, owners, and sports writers think like that.
While Blake Griffin was out due to injury and suspension last season the Clippers played well. A great player’s loss is most keenly felt against better competition in the playoffs. Last season in the playoffs the Grizzlies were useless without Conley and Gasol and the Clippers turned to stone after losing Griffin and Paul. After the Cavs lost Irving and Love it was just a matter of time before a not that good Warriors team ran them over. With Love and Irving the Cavs toyed with the last season’s not ready for prime time Warriors and added insult to injury by helping them self destruct and gag it away in historical fashion.
Many Lakers’ fans remember how awful things got against the Pistons in 89.after Magic and Byron were both sitting rather than playing. That Pistons team was incredible like every 80s championship team and a fully healthy Lakers team still might well have lost. The 80s featured the NBA at its zenith.
That Pistons team was better than any NBA team since the last Lakers championship team and would have beaten the 14-15, 15-16, and 16-17 Warriors to a pulp. Laimbeer, Rodman, and others would have turned Green into a quivering mess scared to come on the floor and Thomas would have eaten Curry for lunch. Rodman, still young and fearless and everything you want a player to be, would have put Durant in his back pocket and had spare time to remind Klay how tough he isn’t. Even at this stage in his career Green can’t handle tough defenders or too much pressure. The Pistons were all about defense and pressure. Chuck Daly would have shown overrated gee whiz pampered child Steve Kerr how a great coach who wore his hair like a man and not like a high school kid works.
Phil Jackson has always been out there and had more than a little parasite in him. He latched onto Jordan and Bryant and the Lakers. He tried to latch onto the Bulls but owner Jerry Reinsdorf was too tough and smart for that. Phil was the goofy kid smart, wise classmates avoided I’m high school and the dangerous young adult people with brains were scared of in college and during the early years of his NBA career.
Phil’s Knicks roster is too old and doesn’t really mesh. Watch how defenses clamp down on them or real guards like Thomas and Lowry and DeRozan just outscore them in the playoffs. Many could have built a better roster for a lot less than Phil makes. He describes himself on his Twitter profile as, among other things, a coach. He hasn’t coached in a long time and won’t coach again. He isn’t well grounded and won’t take Knicks’ fans where they want to go. He’d rather bother LeBron than do the hard work of trying to make trades and scouting. Enough idiots think no rings Carmelo is the Truth and that a team that might win 50 games this season is worth spending big money to watch so why should Phil or any other employee feel the need to do real work? Ever get the feeling you’ve been swindled?
This piece was written by Jim Swigart. Jim has been seriously writing for at least eight years and previously wrote about music for a now defunct online magazine for about two years. Jim briefly blogged about sports for an online site and currently blogs weekly about sports on his own site.
His academic background is in business and math. He has done numerous work tasks besides writing. My interests include exercise, sports, music, and politics.