These last few months, I have personally witnessed a high school coach and an NBA coach both doing some stupid shit. On the pro side, we have Coach Woodson of the Knicks. On the High School side, we have Coach Caldwell of MacCallum High School.
As far as Coach Woodson, I see what happens in the game, and I hear what he and the players say to the press. In Coach Caldwell's case, I saw what happened on the court, and heard what happened on the bench, in practice, and in the lockerroom via my Stepson, who played on the team until he recently quit.
Using my phenomenal fly-on-the-wall Knicktion instincts, I'll attempt to prove that... uh... both these coaches kind of suck.
What is the job of a coach?
To win, right? Not always! For the high school coach, there is that little inconvenient matter of helping young people become better players and better people and learn to become part of a team. Cough. But Coach Caldwell, doesn't seem to be all that concerned with that, which seems to be par for the course for school coaches. So lets just say that the goal for both coaches is the same, even though it really isn't. IS WINNING A GAME REALLY WORTH CRUSHING MY STEPSON'S DREAMS COACH? Ahem. Excuse me.
Anyway, the job of the coach, even in the NBA, is not always to win! For example, let's say it's early in the season and your star player has a fractured leg. If you put him in the game, he might help you get a few more points or stops before his leg fracture turns into a compound fracture. So you'd win one game, but lose your star player for the season, and have no chance to win a championship. In this case, it would have been better to lose that game.
For my next example, I'm going to bring in another coach, the fantastically salaried Mack Brown, soon to be ex-football coach of the UT Longhorns football team. A few years back, the Longhorns were playing great. Colt McCoy was the quarterback. McCoy set all kinds of records that year. The reason he set all kinds of records is that Brown kept him in the game, every game, to run up his stats and run up the scores.
Come the national championship game, McCoy got hurt early in the game. Brown had to send out his backup, Gilbert. Gilbert hadn't played AT ALL despite a whole bunch of blowouts. So he was really unprepared. And then Brown, realizing this, didn't let him throw a pass, and had him just handing off the ball. Then he got a little bolder and called for a shovel pass, which was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Gilbert almost brought them back, but didn't. Brown coached to win by a lot when it didn't matter, to win awards and records for his quarterback, but not to win the ultimate prize.
Early in the high school season, in pre-season, Coach Caldwell threw his tallest players onto the floor. He ended up with a lineup of 4 small forwards and a center. A couple of those tall guys had no idea how to grab a rebound. One of them was a great shooter, but the other guys had no idea how to get him good shots. They gave up a whole bunch of open shots and fell behind early.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
The last game I watched, the starters all did fancy dunks before the game. During the game, no one got close to attempting one. I think my slightly shorter stepson could have come in and provided some good hustle and defensive discipline and communication for a few minutes. But in the interest of winning this pre-season game, he stayed glued to the bench. The team lost anyway. They lost every game I watched.
Similarly, in the early part of the season, Tyson Chandler got hurt, and Raymond Felton was struggling with injuries. As a result, perimeter defense and interior defense suffered. On the bench, there were two young guys who might have been able to help. I mean, maybe this is just me, but if my defensive lynchpin is out, and my point guard is hobbling and my perimeter defense sucks balls, and I've got a couple of young fellas on the bench that have shown that they like to get after it defensively, and it's early in the season, I'm going to take the opportunity to see what those guys can do.
Or you can take your current rotation players, stretch them to the limit, and ask them to do things they've never been good at.
But if you play your young guys, if you give them a chance to do something, early in the season, then later in the season, when someone gets injured or in foul trouble, those guys will be more ready. That's coaching for the long term. Very few coaches seem to have the ability to do that.
The thing is, not having trust, and coaching for the short term, out of fear of losing, actually LEADS TO LOSING. AGAIN and AGAIN. I mean, really, good teams learn to play their roles and trust each other and play without fear. Who should coach these guys? Maybe the guy that coaches without fear, who trusts his guys.
Why are there so many coaches, at so many levels, that coach with fear and don't trust their guys? And why do they make so much fucking money even when they suck at the very things a coach needs to do?
At least Coach Caldwell isn't rich. At least theirs that.