Monday, November 24, 2003

Team Bad = Coach Gone That's pretty much how it works in the NBA. The Bulls fired Bill Cartwright this morning. He was hired a little under 2 years ago, and had a 51-100 (.338 win%) in what was his first stint as a head coach. and to show what a volatile industry this is, Cartwright was the longest-tenured coach in the Central Division. With a new GM this year, and with expectations deseveredly high, this season was known to be make or break for Cartwright. With weekend losses to the Lakers and Kings, the Bulls' record dropped to 4-10, which is unacceptable for Paxson and to the Fans. And while it ideally should be deemed the players' fault, the team is still underperforming given the talent on paper, and that usually means the coach gets the boot. In his 2 years as coach I was never proven by Cartwright that he could actually coach. That doesn't mean he can't be a good coach, I just didn't see the team being especially motivated, or his tactical decisions and player rotations making much sense. Assistant Pete Myers will coach the team on an interim basis, and Pax hopes to have a new coach in place by the end of the week. I think it is obvious that Pete Myers will not be coach the rest of the year, and that the new coach will not be someone from within the organization. I don't know if it was Jerry Krause (looking for loyalty) or Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf (looking for cheap) who set the hiring policy, but looking at the previous coaches (Doug Collins, Phil Jackson, Tim Floyd, and Cartwright), they have all been first-time head coaches who were brought up in the organization (or in Floyd's place, Krause's fishing buddy). There's nobody in the organization now ready to take over, and this team needs a coach that fans know *can coach*. That may seem obvious, but we never knew if Floyd could coach, or if Cartwright can coach. Now Tim Kraus, along with many others I'm sure, are saying the obvious choice is Doc Rivers. Doc's made it known that he doesn't want to coach this year, but like any coach I'm sure he can bow down to the almighty dollar to come back. This seems like a good option, yet like I said when he was fired, I'm not even sure if Doc Rivers can coach. My first choice to coach is a veteran of the NBA, or 'retread' if you will, to come in here and see if these kids can actually play. Its hard to see if Eddy, Tyson and Jamal can play or if they have just not been properly coached all this time. Just please lord (or Pax), don't hire Isiah. UPDATE(3:37): ESPN's Peter May has a big list of candidates, broken down by category. I, for one, vote for the 'crusty young guy' or 'crusty old guy'. Either way, somebody crusty. Trade Talks As it was becoming apparent that Cartwright's time was up, the writing's been on the wall for Jalen Rose. I still defend trading for Jalen in the first place, and defended him in this preseason when it was debated whether he'd be willing to be a secondary player on this team. This year though he's not playing well and seems to still be playing selfish ball. But I think more important than all that is Paxson's realization that him and Jamal Crawford cannot co-exist in the same defensive backcourt. (And may mean Crawford moving to the 2)Combine that realization with his attitude and contract, and Rose looks to be traded sooner rather than later. From what I've been reading, the Toronto deal rumored since Friday isn't off yet, and will still look to be Paxson's best option rid himself of Rose. I won't speculate on names, since there have been about 20 linked to all the deals, but I still expect something to happen between these two teams, for reason of desperation if anything. Personally, I would like to see Antonio Davis and Morris Peterson to be included in any deal. Lots happening in Bulls-land, and no I don't see it as pulling the plug on the season, but a great chance to improve the team. Really, I do!