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What are teams looking for in a head coach?

June 15, 2013

Ron Boone spoke with 1280 while attending Craig Bolerjack’s charity golf event on June 14. During the interview, the topic of the Jason Kidd hiring and head coaching gigs came up.

1280: What does the Nets’ hiring of Jason Kidd say to journeyman assistant coaches like Brian Shaw and Patrick Ewing that have “paid their dues”?

Boone: That’s tough, and because Brian Shaw definitely should be a head coach somewhere. And I think he will be this year, and he’s paid his dues as you just mentioned…Now, does he interview well? What does, what can he bring to our community? That type of thing, other than, comes into play other than just coaching a basketball game.

Patrick Ewing, I’m, I know him, don’t know a lot about him as, I know he worked with the big men. Not really sure if he could be a head coach. I’m, you know, just don’t know that much about him, but you know, if you don’t interview well, I think with a lot of these jobs, you know, it gets, it becomes tough.

1280: A lot of teams out there, they’re so, they want to win the press conference. They want a coach that’s so overly charismatic to come in and you know, just take the fan base by storm. And Jason Kidd’s got the resume where he’s gonna do that, where Brian Shaw, you know, I’ve heard from other GMs that he just doesn’t interview well.

He may be a heck of a head coach, but there’s so many GMs out there that they just want to get off to such a big start that they’re concerned that you know, they won’t have that momentum going for ’em with a guy like that.

And the reason why Tyrone Corbin has never been offered a head coaching job that involved an interview becomes clearer…

Between 2007 and 2010, Corbin interviewed with the Seattle SuperSonics, Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, and New Orleans Hornets. Although he was linked to the head coach opening in Atlanta (which he played more games for than any other team in his career), Atlanta never asked for permission to interview him.

When Jeff Hornacek was hired by the Phoenix Suns, Suns GM Ryan McDonough said that they’d been looking for a great communicator, and that the team was also impressed with Hornacek’s creativity in drawing up plays both utilizing the Suns’ roster and situationally.

Can you imagine how Corbin’s interviews went?

GM: So Tyrone, tell me how you would utilize the strengths of our roster to win games.

Corbin: They just gotta get better, man.

GM: …

Corbin: Look, they just gotta get better, man. They just gotta continue to compete and stay together.

GM: All right…Uh…Given our roster, tell me what you would draw up if we’re inbounding the ball, down by 1 point with 28 seconds left and no timeouts.

Corbin: Easy. Throw the ball into the post and yell at the other guys to clear out.

GM: And?

Corbin: That’s it. We score, game over.

GM: Er…ok. What about if we’re on defense, down by 2 with 16 seconds left and 2 timeouts?

Corbin: Points, seconds, timeouts…That’s just a numbers game, man.

GM: Are you serious?

Corbin (impatient and snippy): Have you ever coached at this level? Have you ever been an NBA coach?

GM: …

Corbin: It is what it is.

GM (stands up): Thanks for coming in, Ty. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brent E permalink
    June 16, 2013 8:02 am

    I was discussing with my wife Ty’s main struggles as a head coach. We discussed lack of creativity, slow to make changes, unable to recognize or properly value talent in terms of distributing minutes, no defensive consistency in game plans, and an offense that lacks movement.

    Looking ahead to next year, it appears Lindsay and KOC have told him there needs to be an emphasis on defensive improvement. There are also many indications we are going with a young team that will force them to develop the players to some degree. I haven’t been impressed with Corbin as a coach so far, but if the Jazz are committed to him I see some signs that this could be a good year for him to fix those problems. No vets to lean on, pressure from the front office to improve certain areas, could be a recipe for an improved coach.

    *hides from incoming flying objects*

    • June 16, 2013 9:50 am

      I’m sure that the front office has told Ty where he needs to improve…my question is whether he can. He implemented his new force baseline defense three years ago and it’s gone nowhere. He has shown very little improvement since he got the job and the team has always provided excuses for him (got the job under difficult circumstances, lockout, injuries, so many free agents, etc.) These are things EVERY coach has to deal with.


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