What the hell is with this trend to make GMs coach?

Recently, several teams have made incompetent GMs coach the rosters they've built.  Isiah Thomas, Kevin McHale, Kiki Vandeweghe, etc..    Why?   Why would any owner do this and why would any fan support this?

It's the ultimate in stupidity, but here's how I presume it comes about.

Owner: This team stinks, why did you put together this crap?

GM: No it doesn't, we're having some coaching issues that's holding the roster back!

Owner:  Okay, you're the coach, prove it.

What the owner should do instead is say "Look, you're an imbecile.  You brought together this crap, and it's not working.   If the coach sucks, then that's your fault for hiring the moron in the first place, you're out of here.". 

There is some fan undercurrent for the Bulls to make Paxson the coach.  Ironically, this was fueled more by a Phil Jackson quote describing how Paxson wouldn't want to be the coach.

I just don't get it.   Look, if you think Paxson/Forman/whoever has done a bad job putting the team together then you fire them.   You don't make them head coach for three months to teach them a lesson.   You just fire them. 

 It seems like fans want to "stick it to the GM" in some kind of way to cause them to suffer.  "HAHA! You put this crap together now you have to coach it!!!".   Instead, just get a new GM who would put together a better team now.   Go get a better coach now.   Don't play some game by sticking someone who doesn't have the prerequisites to be successful in that position to prove a point to someone.

That's moronic.   That's breaking your nose to spite your face.  That's not what an intelligent organization does.  Surprise, surprise, not only did this fail the organizations that tried it, but two of the three were considered among the most hapless organizations in sports when they attempted it.

Let's not go out of our way to mimic the decision making process of the Isiah Knicks or McHale Timberwolves here.


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  • In a word...ACCOUNTABILTY.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Don't forget, it worked for San Antonio and Greg Popovich.

    Plus, it does give the GM a chance to PROVE IT, as you said, as well as give the players a wake up call, in regards to their performance. Or perhaps, it gives the owner more time to find a quality replacement.

    Honestly, I don't mind seeing the GM being forced to coach the team.

  • McHale was actually pretty good and had the playing above .500 ball and then Jefferson torn his ACL and was out for the year

  • In most cases, I think it's just a way to push the guy out the door. I can't see it being an effective strategy for success, with obvious exceptions.

  • You are absolutely right. In the normal context, it makes no sense. But it is also accountability.

    In both instances though, Isiah and Kevin Mchale SAVED their jobs. Kevin Mchale got to move back in the GM seat, not once but twice. Isiah even got an extension out of the mess.

    I also think it has to do more with the owner not wanting to outright fire the GM. GM's have much longer staying power and are closer to the owner than coaches are. So that means on average, a GM can go through 3 coaches(including themselves) before he ultimately gets fired. Its a 3 strike rule. So far GarPax is on coach number 2.

  • I think its more like this

    Owner: 'You put this team together, why are they so bad?"

    GM: Its a coaching issue, the coach is not utilizing the roster in the correct way.

    Owner: So you think you can do a better job? You coach this team under your vision then.

    GM: Yessir.

    GM then gets fired.

    Its still moronic, I agree.

  • Well Doug with Isiah Thomas and Kevin McHale I dont blame ownership for doing what they did. Look at the coaches (Chaney, Wilkins, Brown) who couldnt get it done in NY with the cast IT assembled. IT always told the media it was a great group of players and always stood up for them when they butted heads with the coaches so eventually ownership was fed up and basically said these are you guys and you always stick up for them so you coach them. IT didnt want to because he knew deep down that those 3 coaches were right and it proved to be correct. As for McHale he did a decent job at coaching and ownership wanted him back at coach but he didnt want it. As for Kiki he didnt want to coach either but they somehow convinced him and in no way was ownership punishing him because Rod Thorn is the guy who makes all the moves. So basically teams do it because the GMs stick up for their player so much and owenship thinks hey you see more in them so maybe you can get the best out of them.

  • weren't the timberwolves playing well under mchale?

  • Define well

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