L.A. Pride is a true sports enthusiast. A former youth, and division II assistant basketball coach, who studied the martial arts, he enjoys and follows all sports, even hockey. His quick wit and insight brings a fresh view to the world of sports. You may not always agree with him, but you will enjoy his highly opinionated thoughts.
Is it me…
Or is coaching overrated? The argument can be made that players play and coaches coach-and it is the players playing that affects the outcome of games. How many coaches have hit that walk-off home run, or made that winning basket, or caught that winning touchdown pass? None!!!!! Yes, I know coaches usually call the play, and either directly or indirectly take credit for the execution of a successful play, but the truth be told players do what they want on the floor. Many times the play the coach called or diagrammed doesn’t even closely resemble what was run. Is it the athleticism of the players, or a bad defensive play, or just dumb luck that allows the play to succeed. Coach Z calls play ABC, the players hear play LMN, and they run XYZ. It happens all the time.
The NBA is in the middle of their semifinal playoffs and the only big name coach still around is Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. The other three coaches are as far from household names as you can get, Vogel- Indiana Pacers, Spoelstra- Miami Heat, and Hollins- Memphis Grizzles. NBA coach of the George Karl, Denver Nuggets, went out in the first round! Vinnie Del Negro was fired from his position as coach of the L.A. Clippers, NBA All he did this year was win his division. But he lost in the first round of the playoffs and the players grumbled. So much for great coaching!
All of the above said, Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees, major league baseball, probably respectfully disagrees with me. As of Tuesday the Yankees were in first place, No big deal you say, because the Yankees are usually in first place. But this year they have played most, if not all of the season, without Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Texiera, Curtis Granderson, and Kevin Youkillis.
Girardi seems to be the exception to the Coach is useless rule. He has managed a bunch of no-name players, along with Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera to first play. He appears to be doing it effortlessly and has pulled all the right strings. Say it ain’t so Joe-the coach is making a difference.
Regardless of which side you line up on, the truth is the coach/manager is hired to be fired. When a coach signs a new contract the only thing missing in the new deal is the termination date. Look at Donnie ‘Baseball’ Mattingly out in Los Angeles. Don, a great Yankee player, and a knowledgeable baseball manager is in danger of losing his job because the Dodgers are under achieving and you can’t fire all of the players, so who do you let go in order to inspire the team-The Coach. Is it fair-NO! But you are only as good as your last win.
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Edited by D. Pride.