The NBA Coaching Carousel; and Why it Makes No Sense

Josh CoxCorrespondent IJune 7, 2008

The NBA coaching carousel seems to never end, and most of the moves make absolutely no sense.

The first example of this is the Chicago Bulls. Last season, Scott Skiles took the Bulls to the postseason. This season, they got off to a rough start, and he was fired. After the season, John Paxson decided to pursue Doug Collins, who hasn't lasted more than three years in any of his NBA career coaching jobs.

My question is how is Doug Collins an improvement?

Same thing goes for the Dallas Mavericks. Being a Pacers’ fan, I saw up front a few seasons of a team that was coached by Rick Carlisle. In recent seasons, I've also paid much attention to the Dallas Mavericks’ franchise.

In my opinion, Rick Carlisle is not an improvement over Avery Johnson. Yes, I realize that the Mavericks could not win in pressure situations. But they were consistently one of the best teams in the NBA under Johnson, and their lack of consistency in the playoffs was because of the constant choke-jobs from their star, Dirk Nowitzki, not their coach.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that the story is going to be any different for the Mavs this season under Carlisle.

A third example came up today when the Phoenix Suns tabbed Terry Porter as their head coach. Porter led the Bucks to the playoffs in his first season in Milwaukee, but then he was let go the next year when he failed to duplicate the result.

Mike D'Antoni has coached the Suns since 2003, and he did an amazing job leading that team to the playoffs every year. Again, I realize they failed to produce an NBA Championship, but maybe the players or the GM deserve some sort of blame, instead of making the head coach into the scapegoat.

The New York Knicks deserve some credit. Yes, I said the Knicks. They are the one team whose coaching hire actually impressed me.

They upgraded from Isiah Thomas, the worst coach in the history of professional basketball, to Mike D'Antoni that same guy who led Phoenix to the playoffs the last few seasons.

This leads me to think that NBA executives have no reason for their coaching changes, and that they're solely making them for the purpose of change. I'm going to tell them, if you're going to make a change, at least make an improvement in the process.