Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
We all know the primary issue: Can a college coach jump into the 2013 NBA without any kind of NBA experience? Brad Stevens has none whatsoever. He did not play in the league. He has not been an assistant coach in the league. He has not been a video coordinator in the league. He has not even been a “one lump or two?” pick-the-draft-choice-up-at-the-airport gofer in the league. And recent NBA history has not been kind to folks such as him.
You know the list. In the last quarter-century such people as John Calipari, Leonard Hamilton, Tim Floyd, Lon Kruger, and Mike Montgomery have come and gone with little or no success. Rick Pitino? Doesn’t count. He had been a Knicks assistant for two full seasons before taking the Providence job. When he came to Boston it was after once having coached the Knicks. So scratch him from this discussion.
Here’s one people are neglecting to include in this list: P.J. Carlesimo. Best known as a head coach in the NBA for having his throat attack Latrell Sprewell’s fingers, P.J. actually made the playoffs his first three years in Portland, starting with the 1994-95 season. Not much good happened after that until this past season, when he stepped in nicely for Avery Johnson in Brooklyn. But don’t forget that when he first came into the league you can’t say he was overwhelmed. A minor asterisk: He was an assistant on the 1992 Dream Team.
Bob Ryan, The Boston Globe – Brad Stevens has makings of a hit in NBA
Bob Ryan went in depth on highlighting the difficult road college-to-NBA coaches have. Aside from using an obscure SitCom from the 1950’s to relate the C’s/Brad Stevens situation with, it gets deep. He gives pretty much every example, highlighting PJ Carlesimo’s first tenure as head coach with the Warriors as the best example. It’s true the Stevens has a very big challenge ahead of him as well as history not being on his side. It’s easy to say he’ll fail and fail miserably because of all the reasons Ryan mentions. But Stevens will be given every opportunity to do well and you have to look at each situation for each coach. Remember, not every established NBA coaches do well all the time either.
The history since then is pretty clear and unambiguous. The college guys have been abused. I do see Coach Cal’s hand up in the back of the room. Yes, John, you did make the playoffs in your second year. Three-game sweep, I believe. So Danny is trying to buck a three-decade run of coaching failure here. Danny is not stupid, I assure you. He had Brad Stevens targeted from the get-go. He doesn’t need to have the list of failed college coaches recited to him. He’s competed in one form or another against all of them. He just thinks Brad Stevens is the Chosen One.
I won’t go as far to say he was the “Chosen One” but I do agree that Ainge doesn’t just throw darts on the wall when making any major decisions for the team. Stevens has a great support system and is coming to a team that has very little expectations in terms of the win/loss column. I’m more than willing to be patient with him and I’m very intrigued to see what he can bring to the table. It’s all fluid and while Stevens won’t have much pressure right away, things could change fast if Ainge can somehow pull off some major deals to make them a contender very soon again. That scenario is unlikely but say it does happen, well then Stevens’ job immediately changes from “can this guy develop young players (as well as himself) in the NBA” to “can Stevens be the coach of a pressure-packed NBA contender in Boston?” That’s just the point. It all depends on the situation. Right now, Stevens is still in the honeymoon phase.
At the bottom of Gary Washburn’s Sunday Notes, he submits this brief commentary about Rondo:
Just because the Pistons acquired Brandon Jennings in a sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks doesn’t mean they’ve lost interest in Rajon Rondo. In fact, they could eventually use Jennings as a trade chip and seek to acquire Rondo. There are going to be several interested parties in Rondo, and that number could increase when he shows he’s fully recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery
This isn’t exactly a news flash, as it’s obvious several teams would be interested in Rondo especially if he proves he’s the same player he was prior to the injury. I’m not sure Ainge would jump at the chance to get rid of him for Brandon Jennings however. Maybe if it’s a three-team deal of some sorts, but I don’t see Joe Dumars giving up Jennings and more players/picks for Rondo. Either way, the trade rumors for Rondo (as well as basically the entire roster) will be ongoing all season.
The rest of the links: