You know seeing Tony Dungy coach the Colts to a Superbowl makes me wonder, if he was an NBA coach in the same situation over the years would he have been fired? Heck I was wondering during the Pats game a few weeks ago, man if the Colts lose does that mean no more Dungy? In the NBA, I think that it would be a real question.
However it seems that in the NFL coaches last longer. Dungy has only been in Indy 5 years however he probably would have been fired easily if he was in the NBA. You look at Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants and Marty Schottenheimer of the San Diego Chargers and many people speculated that both of these guys would be fired after this year but both franchises decided to stick with them.
Here is a list of NFL coaches who have been with their current team more than 5 years.
- Brian Billick (8)
- Bill Belichick (7)
- Andy Reid (8)
- Jeff Fisher (13)
- Bill Cowher (15)
- Mike Holmgren (8)
- Mike Shanahan (12)
- Joe Gibbs (15)
I think that is all of them.
Here is the list of NBA coaches who have over 5 years experience with their current team.
- Gregg Popovich (10)
- Jerry Sloan (18)
I don't count Phil Jackson since he was away for a year.
It is insane at the rate that the NBA goes through head coaches. I mean Dwyane Casey was just fired and his team, who sucks, was above or right around .500 and in the playoffs in a very tough Western Conference. They were overachieving IMO.
If you think about other recent firings like Rick Aldeman in Sacramento and Flip Saunders in Minnesota, these guys are good coaches. Flip is the same coach that won 58 games in 03-04 and was a game below .500 when he was fired midway through the next year. Rick Aldeman, same thing with him. Stan Van Gundy, he turned that team around and then once they got Shaq and started to struggle Pat Riley came right in to take the spotlight. SVG is not a bad coach and should not have been fired.
I just find it amazing at the rate that NBA coaches get fired. It's like what Larry Bird once said, that an NBA coach can only last 3-4 years and then their philosophy is done. Well at one time I agreed with that, but I really think that is just an excuse to make some stupid change. An NBA coach can last and the most successful franchises over the years will have had the same coach and they would be Utah and San Antonio.
To me, teams need to give coaches more time and stop being so damn impaient. I think that a firing like the one of Isiah Thomas was justified a few years ago. I, personally, didn't see any potential in IT as a head coach. However the firings of some of these guys who are good coachs who just may have had a bad team or the team may just be struggling then the coach gets fired. (Casey, Saunders, Aldeman, Van Gundy, Terry Porter, Byron Scott, etc.)
I mean look at who some of these guys were replaced with. Eric Musselman, Terry Stotts, Lawrence Frank, Randy Wittman, etc. Are you telling me that these guys are really better than the people they replaced?
NBA coaches deserve more time. It will pay off in the end. Just look at the NFL. It's proof. And it may be a different sport but it's the same damn concept. You have a coach, who has a certain philosphy, and you try to get players that fit into it.
I think this is a reason why there is a lack of good quality teams in the NBA. It's hard to keep anything going in the right direction when you get a new coach every 3-4 years or more. That's why when you think about it, there really isn't a true rivalry in the NBA right now. The last one was probably Sacramento and Los Angeles.
The quality of NBA basketball would improve if coaches were given more time.