So Reggie Theus was officially canned today, making six coaches who have lost their jobs before January, an NBA record (or at least it feels like it should be.) Since this is a trend-heavy league, that can only mean more coach axings are on the way. Here are the coaches JDS likes to be fired, maybe, before the year is over.
Jim O’Brien, Indiana Pacers
Why he might be fired: The team is awful and currently in the midst of a six game losing streak. While this isn’t surprising given the makeup of the Pacers’ roster, he’s been scapegoated for a mess that wasn’t at all his fault before (see his tenure with the Sixers.)
Why he might not: He did lead them to W’s over the Celtics and Lakers. After they traded Jermaine O’Neal, it was made clear the Pacers were in full rebuilding mode. It doesn’t make sense to fire a coach for not winning with a team that wasn’t built to win right now (though that didn’t stop Minnesota or Sacramento.) Also, now is the perfect time to build a little momentum, as Indiana doesn’t play a team with a winning record until December 28.
Odds of packing his knives and going: 3:1
Marc Iavaroni, Memphis Grizzlies
Why he might be fired: Because he was supposed to be canned after last year. This team has no identity, and that lands on his shoulders. They’ve got enough legs on their team to run, but then they stop to plod along in a half-court style. Also, because this organization is a mess and should be contracted.
Why he might not: OJ Mayo and Marc Gasol are having solid rookie seasons, and the team is actually putting together a nice little win streak. They’re winning above their dirt-poor expectations right now, so the front office should at least let Iavaroni lose a solid month worth of games before canning him.
Odds of packing his knives and going: 5.5:1
Don Nelson, Golden State Warriors
Why he might be fired: The bottom has officially fallen out. Whatever momentum they had left over from their playoff run in 2007 is long gone. This team is just one bad decision after another, and Chris Mullin and Robert Rowell are engaged in a power struggle in which no one wins, one side just loses more slowly. Teams that have no direction on the court and two directions off it usually fire their coaches. Also, their horrible, horrible play.
Why he might not: He just got a contract extension (though that probably doesn’t mean anything.) It’s not like he’s the one who signed Maggette to that wretched deal. Rowell seems to like him more than Mullin, and he’s probably going to end up running the team after this season. Plus, injuries.
Odds of packing his knives and going: 6:1
Larry Brown, Charlotte Bobcats
Why he might be fired: Picture it. MJ wakes up, wipes the Velveeta crumbs out of his eyes and picks up the paper (because what does he care about the internetz.) He notices this team that he kinda runs is up shit creek and he decides to take action. He cancels his tee time, puts down the cigar and goes to work. He looks at his roster, realizes Larry Brown is completely out of place with this team and starts carefully dismantling the whole thing, starting with The Bronze himself, UNC ties be damned.
Why he might not: Ha, just kidding. That will never happen.
Odds of packing his knives and going: 15:1 (fired,) 2:1 (quits)