Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Scott Skiles...of 'NBA Jam' fame Man, he was a beast in that game. Anyway, Skiles is leading the candidates so far for becoming the next head coach of the Bulls. I have to say I like the idea a lot. But there are reservations, since he is indeed kind of a nut-job. Skiles is well-known as a hardass when it comes to coaching, but he alienated the players he coached in Phoenix and was known to have taken losses really hard. However, his personality is certainly something these kids on the team could use, even if they dont like it. Maybe he's even mellowed out a bit. But if this guy does come into town and runs things his way, he can't have players like Jalen around to whine(and its looking like he wont be). But more importantly than Jalen is that whoever comes in here (unless they stick with an interim) is the last chance for Crawford, Curry, and Chandler to get their acts together. My Man Sam(tm) spells it out all plain and simple-like:
Now Paxson also must make a trade—whether it's Jalen Rose, management's favorite future former Bull, or Jamal Crawford, Eddie Robinson, Marcus Fizer or Donyell Marshall, the new usual suspects for a daring heist. It's time to push everyone closer to the edge of the plank and make them watch someone go over. But even that might not matter to enough players, which may be the larger problem. That's why someone tough—like former Suns coach Scott Skiles—could become the Bulls' new coach. It's time to hold everyone accountable. No more strolling out of the arena without shoes, as Curry tends to do at times because, he said, his feet bother him. No more showing up assistants, as Marcus Fizer did recently, quietly drawing a big fine from the team. Cartwright tried—and deserves credit. He called them out. He sent them home from practice when they didn't work hard or talked back. He fined them, benched them. He was one of the league's toughest men when he played. He was a leader and a three-time champion, who endured years of struggle with injuries and bad teams in New York without complaint. He's a mensch. Even outside New York. But he takes the fall for being too nice. He tried to talk to Rose and Robinson and Fizer. Paxson doesn't appear as tolerant. Much will be asked of him now. He could have waited out the season. This was Krause's team and Krause's coaching staff, after all. Less than a month into the season, Paxson fired the coach and tried to trade the starting backcourt. Those kids had better be ready. This may be their last chance. They won't be able to get another coach. It's their turn to go next.
While I don't see Scott Skiles as the coach to lead this team eventually to a championship (god it sounds a lot crazier to say that now than it did a month ago), he is the kind of coach to save this season and get them to the playoffs. The kind that will finally let the fans see if these guys can actually play, or if rebuilding plan #2 is a failure.