Three coaches already gone; Kings waiting
The first time Byron Scott was fired, Lawrence Frank took his job. Now they're both looking for work, and the NBA's coaching carousel is...
The first time Byron Scott was fired, Lawrence Frank took his job. Now they're both looking for work, and the NBA's coaching carousel is already spinning in three cities.
Scott was fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Frank was ousted by the Detroit Pistons and Doug Collins resigned as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, all three Thursday, a day after the end of the regular season.
And now the wait continues to see what happens in other cities, such as Sacramento, Toronto and maybe even Atlanta.
"There's a lot of things I want to enjoy," Collins said. "I think it's every man's dream to be able to live that life that you've worked so hard to try and live. That's what I want to do."
Collins essentially chose his own fate, though he could have stayed on the 76ers' sideline if he was so inclined with one year and $4.5 million left on his contract. He will remain with Philadelphia as an adviser and will surely play a role in what the team decides to do with its roster this summer.
Scott and Frank weren't as fortunate.
Scott was hired by the Cavaliers about a week before LeBron James decided that he wanted to leave Cleveland and join the Miami Heat. James' Heat team won 66 games this season alone; Scott's Cavaliers teams combined to win 64 in three seasons, and owner Dan Gilbert said the team's lack of significant growth on the defensive end played a big part in the coach's downfall.
"I feel like a piece of me is missing now," Cavs star guard Kyrie Irving said, not long after the news of Scott's dismissal broke. "The relationship I have developed with him was very special. I'm just hurt. I'm trying to get over the loss of my basketball father."
Plenty of big names may try to return to the sideline this offseason, with speculation surely going to revolve around the likes of Phil Jackson, Stan Van Gundy and Mike Brown.
Sacramento's ownership situation could affect Keith Smart's future, Dwane Casey in Toronto might be in trouble and some coaches of playoff teams might not be safe either.
The Kings finished 28-54, missed the playoffs for the seventh straight year and head into another offseason with the roster the same as the franchise's future off the court — uncertain.
"Since I've been here, it's been the same thing, every year the same thing," said center DeMarcus Cousins, drafted fifth overall by Sacramento in 2010. "I'm tired of it and I know the fans are tired of it."
The Kings have some big roster decisions to make this summer — but can't until an ownership group is stabilized. Even the man charged with making those decisions, general manager Geoff Petrie, has a contract about to expire.
Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas, a Tacoma native who starred at Washington, has been in an awkward spot all season — torn between the fans he has grown to love in Sacramento and his roots back home as a Sonics fan. He said he planned to stick around Sacramento until a decision had been made, but the vote keeps getting pushed back.
"It's very weird because you just don't know," Thomas said. "I might have shot my last basketball at Sleep Train Pavilion. So you just never know; that's the scary thing about it. You might not see these fans. I might not be in this community anymore, you never know. A lot of things are up in the air, and that's what stinks."