OK, I plead guilty to using the above headline at least one time too many. But “Carlesimo Loses Stranglehold On Thunder Gig” would’ve been far, far worse. As alluded to above, Oklahoma City fired P.J. Carlesimo (above, right) after last night’s blowout loss to the Hornets left the Thunder with an Association-worst 1-12 mark. Scotty Brooks has been named interim coach, a development Thunderguru‘s Joe (or if you prefer, Joe The Blogger) is quick to applaud :
It doesn™t surprise me at all that Scotty is the new œinterim coach. I love the interim coach thing by the way. You get the opportunity to see what he can do, without locking him into a long contract. Jeff Van Gundy was an interim coach, Lawrence Frank was an interim coach, Michael Cooper was an interim coach¦The first two were successful, the third is coaching in the WNBA.
Maybe you™ve noticed, but the backup, journeyman, non-star type of players usually seem to make the best coaches, out of the group of former players that get into coaching. Just off the top of my head I think of Rick Carlisle, Phil Jackson, George Karl, Avery Johnson, Nate McMillan etc. They had to work much harder for everything they got. These guys weren™t the guys that got the max contracts, or in some cases even a guaranteed contract at all. Avery Johnson was a third string backup on the Sonics, plucked from the CBA and then later cut, before finding a home in San Antonio. Certainly there have been exceptions to the rule. Larry Bird had some success as a coach, so did Isaiah Thomas, but in general, I like the scrapper for a coach.
What™s great about this, is that the Thunder brain trust had the Cajones to pull the trigger and do this before the season was hopelessly lost, so they can get a look at Brooks, and see if he can breathe life into the lifeless. Not that we are going to turn this thing around and make the playoffs, but just seeing progress should be the goal. If Scotty doesn™t work out, there are plenty of acceptable alternatives, both experienced and not (Avery Johnson is out there. Flip Saunders is out there. Paul Silas is out there, Jeff Van Gundy, etc.)