NBA / Dec 15, 2008 / 4:04 pm

Losing Will Not Be Tolerated

When the Sacramento Kings fired Reggie Theus this morning, to me, this action sent a strong message to other coaches throughout the NBA – losing will not be tolerated.

Whereas coaches have always been given a grace period in the past, whether it was dealing with a young roster or injuries to a team’s key players, GMs nowadays seem to have little patience when it comes to the bottom line.

Looking at the League from the bottom up, if more losses than wins means you’re out of a job, the next coaches statistically in line for an ESPN studio gig are Mike Dunleavy (Clippers), Larry Brown (Bobcats), Don Nelson (Warriors), Jim O’Brien (Pacers), Marc Iavaroni (Grizzlies) and Scott Skiles (Bucks).

Of this group, Brown (7-17) and Skiles (10-15) are in their first season, and should be immune to dismissal; O’Brien (43-62) and Iavaroni (31-75) are in their second year, and have programs in serious rebuilding mode; and Nelson (97-91) is in his third season with the previous two accompanied by winning records.

Out of all six, the veteran Dunleavy and O’Brien should potentially have the most to worry about. While off to a 6-17 start, Dunleavy has a 181-252 record in his sixth season at the helm for the Clippers. With one winning campaign in five seasons, the waiting period should be over. On the other end of the spectrum, with an All-Star in Danny Granger, the Pacers are underachieving and should be better than their 7-16 start.

While the six head coaches that have been fired so far this season is a league record before Christmas, it will be interesting to see if Santa Claus delivers any more pink slips before the new year.

Do you see another coach being fired before Christmas?

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    McHale… Ivaroni… don’t deserve to be fired, but their teams are going no where this year.
    Actually McHale does deserve it…

  • K Dizzle

    I think a lotta these teams are on crack. Threatenin to fire coaches don’t make players play harder or improve squads. What these clowns don’t realize is that if you fire your coach, maybe you should have a better coach in the wings. They usually don’t. If Indiana even thinks of firin a respected coach like Jim O’Brien, he’ll be scooped up by another team before the meeting’s over.
    if I’m Baron Davis or Danny Granger, I’m still tryin to win, still gonna put up my numbers, but coachin got nuthin to do with the fact that the Lakers, Celts, Cavs, Hornets, Jazz, Rockets, Magic, Hawks and 10 other teams are just better than us. We can hang around, even get a lucky tip, but for every game we win, there’s 5 losses comin.

  • Sheedfan87

    That’s funny because as soon as I found out about Theus, I thought to myself that Dunleavy’s next. Nelson, Brown and Skiles should be safe, but I’d be worried if I were Iavaroni and O’Brien. I think Iavaroni’s safer because the Grizzlies are so young and they’ve actually been playing well recently, but like you said, there’s no reason for the Pacers to be 7-16. This trend is getting a bit ridiculous though, because I’m not sure what these people expect from the coaches. It’s not as if the Thunder, Wizards or Kings are going to magically start winning by hiring a new coach.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWt3-kPBQ4A&eurl=http://bulletins.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=bulletin.read&authorID=179548284&messageID=6252245954&MyTokeniurl=http://i1.ytimg.com/ fallinup

    Coach’s will forever and always be the first to take it in the chops when a GM or owner makes a stupid decision. Damn shame in some cases.

  • Mikey F Baby

    Get rid of Curry in Detroit! A rookie coach in charge a team this experienced and talented is a complete waste. He seems to make mistakes everytime the Pistons take the floor.

  • Blue

    i’m with fallinup…
    the GMs should be the first to get fired when a team isn’t playing well!! for kevin mchale to have the power to come in and fire the coach because he thinks he’s not doing a good enough job is just crazy!

    and tell me…with six coaches out, why is avery johnson still out of a job, and why hasn’t mark jackson gotten a more serious look…WTF?

  • buck

    skiles isn’t going anywhere. i think he’s actually doing a decent job. any bucks fans round here?

  • vinny

    dunleavy will not get fired-no way that cheap ass owner(sterling-who is the worst owner in the history of sports!!) is going to pay him all that money for not coaching(which he might as well do considering how much he sucks as a coach!!)

  • len-e

    exactly agree k dizzle

  • http://www.geocities.com/dagomardeg Dagomar

    The Pacers are underachieving? They have a good small forward, half-decent points, half-decent big men, and a weak bench.

    Frankly some of these coaches are getting fired because the rosters suck, and that’s on the GM. Firing a coach is a bit of a desperation move; it allows the GM to blame the team’s failings on the coach, and blame whatever happens for the rest of the year to getting used to a new system under a temporary coach.

    Look at Theus’s firing. Okay, not the greatest coach in the universe, but the roster flatout sucks. Who should be getting the blame?