Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sam Vincent: One and Done

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/26/2008 No comments
Sam Vincent has been fired. The Charlotte Bobcats head coach was officially let go today after just one season. Michael Jordan, managing member of basketball operations, made the announcement. It's a move that was widely speculated over the past week and a half after the Bobcats completed their season. But doubts that Vincent would return began even longer ago as it became apparent that the Bobcats would not be making the playoffs.

I feel bad for Vincent. Sure, in professional sports the head coaching position is the most rewarding yet thankless job around, and people go into it knowing that they are loved when they win and hated when they lose. But the reason I feel bad for Vincent is because he should've never been hired as the Bobcats head coach in the first place. He wasn't ready. His only NBA coaching experience was one year as an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks, the season before the Bobcats hired him.

So what the Bobcats did was set him up to fail in a position that he might one day be very good at. If he would have stayed on as a Mavericks assistant a few more years, he would have gained much more valuable experience—with a winning team at that. The Bobcats have made it difficult for Vincent to ever again get a top spot with another NBA team. Many guys only get one shot. This might have been Vincent's.

It was Jordan's decision to hire Vincent, and it was his decision to fire Vincent. We're watching you, MJ. This looks a lot like a move you made when you were running the Washington Wizards, when you hired Leonard Hamilton, who resigned after one season with a 19-63 record. You're the shot caller and it's time for you to call better shots.

Jordan's saving grace may be that Larry Brown is rumored to be interested in the Bobcats' coaching job. Minus his tumultuous year with the New York Knicks, Brown is a proven winner. He would certainly be great for the Bobcats' roster of young players. But I'm not certain he would work well with Jordan and Bob Johnson as his bosses.

This is going to be an interesting offseason.


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