Doc Rivers: Worst Coach to Ever Win an NBA Title

Sometimes, a great coach takes a team to the next level and leads them to a championship, bringing the talent together and leaving open questions of just how bad the last guy was that he couldn’t figure it out. Steve Kerr taking over for Mark Jackson and leading the Golden State Warriors to glory in 2015 comes to mind. So does Larry Brown working his magic on the Detroit Pistons to get them to two straight NBA Finals and that 2004 title over a Lakers team that was about to implode. Heck, if you’re old enough to remember it, Dick …

Read More

A Study In Glorious Failure Part 1: Don Nelson

There have, in the annals of NBA history, been great players who never won a title. The mere mention of the concept immediately brings to mind a slew of guys who, because they came through the league during the reign of a team they weren’t on, retired without that elusive ring. Like “every star in the league who wasn’t on the Celtics in the 1960s.” Or “Every star in the league who was in his prime between 1991 and 1998 and wasn’t on the Bulls or Rockets.” Or the stars of the Dark Ages who weren’t on the Lakers or …

Read More

The Bizarre Coaching Career of Bill Fitch

When the NBA named its 50 Greatest Players on the occasion of its 50th anniversary season in 1996, they also named a list of the 10 greatest coaches. And on that list was a guy who had a losing record for his career on the sideline, a guy whose 55-54 playoff record was all but completely the result of coaching in Boston in the early 1980s, a guy who has the second-most coaching losses in NBA history. The guy is Bill Fitch. And how he got to a 944-1106 career coaching record, led only by Lenny Wilkens in losses (and …

Read More

The NBA’s Brilliant 2020-21 Schedule Plan

Earlier this month, when the NBA announced a 72-game season to commence on December 22, I posed the question “when’s the season supposed to end? How are they supposed to avoid cramming in too many games in not enough time like they did when they started a 66-game season on December 25 back in the 2011-12 season?” Well, the NBA seems to have learned its lesson from the mistakes made during and after the 2011 lockout, and they’ve taken a powerful first step toward making the 2020-21 season a success. First off, the planned end of the season is May …

Read More

The Charlotte Hornets’ No Good November

It is often said of a franchise that after the draft, trading season, and free agency, they have high hopes for the upcoming season. Well, bust out the dankest weed you got, Charlotte Hornets fans, because if you think this team’s got any hope, you must be high. It’s bad enough that the Hornets drafted LaMelo Ball (whom I covered in an earlier draft preview when the rumor mill said he was going to go first overall to the Timberwolves and I pointed out that no good would come of Minnesota drafting him.) Turns out Ball has a chance to …

Read More

2013 NBA Draft: Drafting the Decent

Wrapping up Draft Week, let’s take a look back at 2013, the greatest collection of good-not-great mediocrity ever to go in the first round. Sure, the first round produced three All-Stars—Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, and Victor Oladipo—but this was otherwise in hindsight a draft that was so beautifully “blah”, so dreary in its mediocrity, and oh by the way included one of the worst first-overall-pick busts in NBA history (Anthony Bennett) that it goes down in history as a special sort of screwed up. There are no second-round salvations to be had in this draft the way there were in …

Read More

2002: The Last NBA Draft Before The Fever Broke

An old saying holds that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. For the NBA, this was certainly true of the 2002 draft. A year before LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, and a slew of journeymen and role players arrived to haul the NBA out of the Dark Ages, the league barfed out one last wretched draft class to ensure that the league wouldn’t emerge from the doldrums until that next draft class came of age. Yao Ming went first overall to the Houston Rockets, and while in theory that’s a great way to start a …

Read More

2000: Possibly the Worst NBA Draft Ever

As the 2020 NBA Draft wraps up and people who actually follow the college game because they mistakenly believe it provides insight into an NBA player’s potential go nuts over their team’s selections, it’s time to take a moment and look back into the past when great players stepped up to the podium as the beginning of their Hall of Fame journey to greatness… …nah, forget all that. It’s time to go ahead and dig a prime example out of the vault of why the college game is stupid, the NBA Draft is stupid, and you can’t tell a single …

Read More

Remembering the 1986 NBA Draft: Coke Is It!

What do you get when you cross Rasheed Wallace with Eric Clapton? You get the 1986 NBA draft. Because ball don’t lie, ball don’t lie, ball don’t lie…cocaine. The ’86 draft represents a low point in what was otherwise a seemingly uninterrupted 19-year run of awesome for the league, from the 1979 draft (where Magic Johnson went first overall and, after Larry Bird finished his senior season at Indiana State, he finally took up the mantle of having been the sixth overall pick a year earlier and joined the Celtics as a rookie) through “The Last Shot” at the end …

Read More

Anatomy of a Fleecing: How NBA Teams Make Bad Trades

As this goes to press, Twitter is exploding with news that the Milwaukee Bucks traded Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and (get ready, folks) three first-round picks and two future pick swaps to the New Orleans Pelicans for Jrue Holiday. The Bucks are in blatant win-now mode trying to put a Big Three together (and saying in no uncertain terms that Bledsoe is not a Big Three third guy) alongside two-time reigning MVP and 2020 Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo and two-time All-Star Khris Middleton. But in the process, they’ve pretty much told their fans “if Giannis leaves in …

Read More