Saturday, May 05, 2007

NBA suffering from high expectations?

One particular belief of mine, that I'm often surprised isn't so universal as ethical values go, is is that I don't think people should be fired without due cause. This even extends to NBA Basketball Coaches even if they get paid millions of dollars, I think it's unethical to fire them when they don't deserve it.

For instance, why did the Pacers just fire Rick Carlisle? The Pacers had an off-year, big deal. Why do GMs respond so melodramatically to one off-year like it's the end of the world and fire coaches who have proven to do more good than bad to the team (i.e. Byron Scott in N.J. mid-season after leading his team to the finals twice, George Karl in Milwaulkee for one bad season, Paul Silas in Cleveland for one 12-game losing stretch with Cleveland, Flip Saunders). The Pheonix Suns made the playoffs in 2003 than were one of the last place teams in 2004 before being ranked #1 in 2005, so they had an off-year and became great*.

I think it's these high expectations that if you don't win a championship, you've failed. Rick Carlisle built up the Detroit Pistons to the team that upset LA in 2004 to win it all and had made the playoffs 2 out of 3 seasons. The 2004-2005 season was especially hard to pull off for Indiana considering suspensions (one of them season long) to their three best players, and they also managed to win a playoff series to an extremely formidable Detroit team.

*Granted they had a new point guard coming in but Stoudamire and Marion were on both teams.

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