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Thread: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    This article from Indystar.com got me to thinking and realizing that we are almost a third of the way through the season. 27 games is really 1/3, but we are close enough. And I don't think we've had a thread that is just about O'Brien.

    When the Pacers hired Jim O'Brien I was shocked, not because he wasn't a good coach, but I just figured he wasn't in consideration (for whatever reason), but I'll tell you, I am so glad he's our coach. He's a better coach than Sam Mitchell or Stan Van Gundy (the two most mentioned candidates) Nothing Jim has done has surprised me - although he is getting the Pacers to run more than he did with his teams in Boston or Philly. The defense is exactly what I figured it would be and I'm thrilled with that. I love that he works the guys hard, and that he practices the team hard.

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...plate=printart

    Pacers' surprising start
    O'Brien obsesses over winning
    Pacers coach spends so much time at work watching video, he even dreams about it
    By Mike Wells
    mike.wells@indystar.com
    December 19, 2007


    Don't tell Jim O'Brien it's just one of 82 games. Definitely don't tell him losing is almost tolerable if the team plays hard. He gets offended.

    Losses are the two-ton boulder on O'Brien's shoulder, the perpetual motivator that keeps him up at night. He's too exhausted to watch film when he goes home, but too worked up to sleep. So he usually wakes up every hour, recapping what went wrong.

    That obsession is part of O'Brien's personality, one his players are quickly adopting.
    "That's Jim," said assistant Lester Conner, who was also on O'Brien's staff in Boston and Philadelphia. "Jim's not a person that believes in sitting around talking it up with (the media) like other people do. His number one objective is winning and doing what it takes to get the job done."

    O'Brien warned Pacers fans (and players) that this is how it would be.

    Remember the preseason advertising campaign?

    "Here, the game is about teamwork, dedication and passion," O'Brien said in the campaign. "It's about doing what's necessary to win. That's what I coach. . . . Hard work, preparation, and the will to win. There's no other way to play."

    Seemed boring . . . until the Pacers knocked off Dallas, Denver, Orlando and Utah. His philosophy has led to a surprising 13-12 start going into tonight's game against his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, at Conseco Fieldhouse.

    The Pacers beat New York on Monday night, their eighth road victory this season. Mechanical problems on their charter plane forced them to spend an extra night in the New York area. O'Brien probably slept well -- "it feels good that we've really taken care of business on the road," he said -- but he never sleeps long.

    Every day starts with a 6 a.m. film session.

    "I watch so much video and think about it so much that I dream this stuff constantly," he said. "It's a little scary about how much you think about it to get to where you want to get."

    O'Brien arrived in Indiana with a no-nonsense reputation. Allen Iverson, who had his best season under O'Brien with the 76ers, told the Rocky Mountain News earlier that his former coach is a "big-time disciplinarian, throw-back coach."

    O'Brien has one set of rules. They apply equally to Jermaine O'Neal and Courtney Sims, and everyone in between. He preaches details -- defensive stance, running through on the fast break -- and effort. O'Brien doesn't chastise his team publicly, but he will hold them accountable behind closed doors, like when he gave his team an earful before the Nov. 10 game against Denver.

    His calm-yet-commanding duality was on display in the hours after Jamaal Tinsley was shot at Dec. 9.

    O'Brien urged the public to remember that Tinsley was a victim -- yet also admonished his player's party-going ways and said Tinsley made a "wrong decision" by placing himself in harm's way. Tinsley said he appreciated the manner in which O'Brien assessed the situation.
    As do his teammates, who have made the most of the freedom -- and the accompanying responsibility -- that comes with O'Brien's approach.

    "He's up front, he tells you how he wants things, what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong and really tries to communicate and teach and tries to leave no stones unturned," said Mike Dunleavy, who is having his best season. "We practice hard, he's demanding. His number one priority is to get everybody better so collectively we can have a good team."

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    I have to say I agree. I liked him in Boston and Philly and thought he did not get a fair shake in either place.

    I would love to see the Pacers become more consistent but they are getting there. The D this year has been way better than under Rick who is supposedly a defensive coach. And the offense has been a lot more fun to watch. It seemed for so long coached would teach one or the other but the teams that won titles played both. Nice to see us head down that road for a change.



    (edit) we did both from 94-00 its nice to be back to that. We may even have a better defense right now we just need to make our shots.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Ragnar, not sure if you would agree with me, but when you look at the games the Pacers have lost (except for just a few, where they just didn't play well) they have played well in the losses except for a horrible quarter or horrible 6 minutes where they completely fall apart.

    I don't know why that is happening and if it will continue. I realize with this style of play there are going to be a lot of 12-4 runs, 18-5 runs within games, both ways - but it seems like there have been times when they just fall apart. Not sure if it fatigue, or still learning the system, or reverting back to some bad habbits - or just what it is.

    But if they can learn to control and avoid the really bad parts of games, this team (if key players stay healthy) can be really good. I'm talking about second round of the playoffs good, I'm talking about homecourt advantage in the first round (not as good as Pistons or Celts, but I think as good as any other eatsern conference team)

    What I like most about this team is the ability that I've noticed in recent games of being able to really turn the defense up in the second half of games and they have also shown the ability to play with extreme effort. Two other impressive things, 7-5 on the road and being 2-0 in the 4th game in 5 nights
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 12-19-2007 at 11:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    I'm happy to get on board with this.

    The several statements of O'Brien's that I've put in my signature are a tribute to him.

    He is a smart, honest man of character and conviction. I'm delighted that honesty, character and conviction are getting respect and results.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    JOB is the man who must must be a foreseeable choach who must have limited sleep time start 6 am flim time but hey i would do that if i was paid millions of dollars .. he right choach for pacers so far he make tinsley a god right now but granger getting me worried some way trade murphy will be nice in system he anit that good
    IF YOU A PACER FAN DONT BASH TO THE PACERS..!!!!!

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Ragnar, not sure if you would agree with me, but when you look at the games the Pacers have lost (except for just a few, where they just didn't play well) they have played well in the losses except for a horrible quarter or horrible 6 minutes where they completely fall apart.

    I don't know why that is happening and if it will continue. I realize with this style of play there are going to be a lot of 12-4 runs, 18-5 runs within games, both ways - but it seems like there have been times when they just fall apart. Not sure if it fatigue, or still learning the system, or reverting back to some bad habbits - or just what it is.

    But if they can learn to control and avoid the really bad parts of games, this team (if key players stay healthy) can be really good. I'm talking about second round of the playoffs good, I'm talking about homecourt advantage in the first round (not as good as Pistons or Celts, but I think as good as any other eatsern conference team)

    What I like most about this team is the ability that I've noticed in recent games if being able to really turn the defense up in the second half of games and they have also shown the ability to play with extreme effort. Two other impressive things, 7-5 on the road and being 2-0 in the 4th game in 5 nights
    I do agree with you. I see progress and I think they will be better by the end of the season and dangerous in the playoffs. I don't see us making the finals but I see us making the 2nd round and playing well in it. We don't have a reliable big game guy and you need that to make it further. This team needs a killer and we just don't have that yet

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by sportsmusicxboxpacer View Post
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    JOB is the man who must must be a foreseeable choach who must have limited sleep time start 6 am flim time but hey i would do that if i was paid millions of dollars .. he right choach for pacers so far he make tinsley a god right now but granger getting me worried some way trade murphy will be nice in system he anit that good
    Huh?

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnar View Post
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    I do agree with you. I see progress and I think they will be better by the end of the season and dangerous in the playoffs. I don't see us making the finals but I see us making the 2nd round and playing well in it. We don't have a reliable big game guy and you need that to make it further. This team needs a killer and we just don't have that yet
    You are correct there, we don't have a reliable big game player, and that has cost us a few games this season already. It is more noticeable against the good teams who have a player like that because late in close games is when you really need that one player. Tinsley tries and JO tries, but neither can do it when the defense knows what is coming. Where as a player like Lebron James, sure the Pacers know exactly what the Cavs are going to do late in a close game, but we couldn't keep James from either getting an easy shot for himself or a teammates

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnar View Post
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    The D this year has been way better than under Rick who is supposedly a defensive coach.
    a lot of people post this on here but how did this get started? when the hell did rick become a defensive coach? rick always had a strong defensive coach to work with (like harter in the years with portland and indiana under bird, mike brown thru the brawl and kevin o'neill thru the peja trade... then was stuck with person as a defensive coach last season). now if you want to say that the way rick runs an offense requires a strong defensive effort then i agree that is what the grind-it-out style is about (slowing down the offensive game to A) eliminate mistakes and B) wear down the opponent on defense then play strong defense on the other end since you're already limiting your own offensive possessions). but rick carlisle is NOT a defensive coach.
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    I love having him here. Barring unforeseen, major issues that we just don't know about him yet, I wouldn't be upset if we "Jerry Sloan-ed" him and made it clear when new players come in that our coach is here to stay.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    I love O'Brien's style, and I think he's doing a great job. I think the Pacers are a surefire playoff team, but they really need the right matchup to make it to the second round. I can't see them beating Boston, Detroit, or Toronto in a series. Boston and Detroit have too much talent. Toronto is built to absolutely destroy a defense like ours.
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by avoidingtheclowns View Post
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    a lot of people post this on here but how did this get started? when the hell did rick become a defensive coach? rick always had a strong defensive coach to work with (like harter in the years with portland and indiana under bird, mike brown thru the brawl and kevin o'neill thru the peja trade... then was stuck with person as a defensive coach last season). now if you want to say that the way rick runs an offense requires a strong defensive effort then i agree that is what the grind-it-out style is about (slowing down the offensive game to A) eliminate mistakes and B) wear down the opponent on defense then play strong defense on the other end since you're already limiting your own offensive possessions). but rick carlisle is NOT a defensive coach.
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    P.S. And I agree. Good post.
    Last edited by McKeyFan; 12-19-2007 at 11:49 AM.
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
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    I love having him here. Barring unforeseen, major issues that we just don't know about him yet, I wouldn't be upset if we "Jerry Sloan-ed" him and made it clear when new players come in that our coach is here to stay.
    I believe 3 or 4 years is the self-life for almost all the coaches at least for any one franchise. Obviously Sloan and Popovich are the exceptions - that is very rare. I would also make an exception if there are major personnel changes over the years.


    I want to comment about the idea that Rick Carlisle is or isn't a defensive coach. I agree he's always had someone with him to coach the defense, so in that sense maybe he isn't a "defensive coach" per se. But as a head coach he decides how much to emphasis defense, how much time to spend on it, and whether or not to make substitutions based upon defense, the head coach decides what to say in the media - and Rick always emphasized defense, so as head coach, I think he is a defensive coach
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 12-19-2007 at 12:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Too early to talk about playoff matchups. If we go on a tear at the end of the year and get hot and play with confidence, anything can happen.

    Back to the point, JOB has made this team buy into his system, and when they see results (wins), they will continue to follow him throughout the year. If we really hit a rough stretch and were 7-8 games under .500, I could see how a guy like JOB would wear on people and he could fall out of favor.

    Winning cures all.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    I'm delighted that honesty, character and conviction are getting respect and results.
    That's spot on.

    This franchise has been crying out for some leadership in that area. I'd add the word "courage," which is where Donnie and Larry have really slipped up, IMO. Rick too.

    I'm encouraged that the areas where we are weakest are areas that can be improved.

    - We have a hard time reaching 3-point shooters, but JOB says this will improve as the season goes on, as players become more attuned to the many rotations in the defense.

    - We lead the league in fouls, but this too should improve as we master the defensive scheme.

    - We've had a few injuries here and there in practice. I'm hoping this will taper off as guys get used to the tougher regimen and their bodies adjust.

    - Standing and watching the offense from the perimeter seems to be slowly occuring less and less. I'm hopeful players will continue to learn how to move and cut as the season goes on.

    - Similar to the last point, JO is becoming more and more assimilated into the fast tempo offense. This one still worries me, but I'm hopeful that we see major improvement as the season goes on, and that JOB eventually moves him into a smart shooting, assist making machine.
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I want to comment about the idea that Rick Carlisle is or isn't a defensive coach. I agree he's always had someone with him to coach the defense, so in that sense maybe he isn't a "defensive coach" per se. But as a head coach he decides how much to emphasis defense, how much time to spend on it, and whether or not to make substitutions based upon defense, the head coach decides what to say in the media - and Rick always emphasized defense, so as head aoch, I think he is a defensive coach
    That is exactly what I was going to post. (Only I would have said it worse.)

    Also...Jimmy is cash money. Love the guy. It's really, really, really nice to have a team with an identity. Sure, we have had an off-court identity for some time now, (I laughed on a Sportcenter highlight joke for the first time in years a week or so ago when Tinsley dove into the stands for a loose ball and the anchor was like "That's one time when you actually don't mind a Pacer going into the crowd") but I'm talking about the type of identity Kenny Smith is always ballhooing on about.

    We have a style. Teams have to adjust to us. We're not just another stop on a road trip. We proactively set tempo. When we have a game against Milwaukee or the Clippers or New Jersey, we're not playing them...they're playing us. (If that makes sense.)

    Much more importantly, I love the fact that our team is run by a dude that spends the whole game crouching at half court like a lepruchan plotting to steal pots of gold, only ever deviating from this caper to pick up timely technicals like Norman Dale.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Here's what I like about Jim. We have 6 players averaging double figures (5 of them average over 13ppg). We have 3 players averaging over 6ppg. We have seven players averaging over 4 rebounds per game. It seems that everybody has an equal opportunity here. We don't have star players carrying most of the load like in years past with Reggie Miller, Jermaine, Ron Artest, Jalen Rose, and Rik Smits. We have the majority of our roster contributing now. Nine of the 15 players on our roster have scored 20 points at least once this season. When you have 9 players capable of scoring 20 on any given night, who needs one guy that averages 25ppg? We have 9 opportunities every night to find the 20 point scorer if it's necessary.

    I don't think we've struggled because we don't have that star big game player. I think we've struggled because it takes a lot of work to make a group of 15 guys work as one unit offensively and defensively. When you have 2 or 3 guys that carry most of the load, then it's not as hard to adapt the rest of the team to those 2 or 3 stars. But a team with 2 or 3 guys that carry the load is 1 or 2 injuries away from sinking. I think this is why we did so well without Jermaine, why we've done so well without Ike, why we started so well without Shawne, While we did so well without Murphy, and why we did so well without Jeff Foster, and Quis too.

    I'd rather have a group of 9 guys that can light it up on any given night, than invest in 2-3 guys that can light it up every night. There aren't too many teams built like the Pacers. The more we gel the more we'll win.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Evan the reason there are not as many teams built that way is that they are not winning titles. You need an every night big game guy to win a title. You also need a 2nd players who can step up. We have a couple of those 2nd level stars in Jermaine and Jamaal and a couple of other great supporting guys like Dun and Danny. But until we get a big game player we wont win a title.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I want to comment about the idea that Rick Carlisle is or isn't a defensive coach. I agree he's always had someone with him to coach the defense, so in that sense maybe he isn't a "defensive coach" per se. But as a head coach he decides how much to emphasis defense, how much time to spend on it, and whether or not to make substitutions based upon defense, the head coach decides what to say in the media - and Rick always emphasized defense, so as head coach, I think he is a defensive coach
    emphasizing defense and coaching defense are mutually exclusive. if rick was a defensive coach ours wouldn't have looked as terrible as it was last season. o'brien, with the same set of players essentially, has taken a terrible defensive team and improved it -- not revolutionized, but changed it enough. i agree that carlisle, given his offensive style, needs a strong defense. the problem is that rick isn't a defensive coach -- which is why the loss of mike and kevin (specifically mike) was a major blow to the pacers and why sticking a guy like chuck person in there was never going to work. stick harter or mike brown with carlisle and you're going to have a great team. but carlisle has to have a defensive coach by his side to be really successful.
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    In ancient documents, there were no paragraphs and no differentiation in capitalizing was used.

    I love your retro style.




    P.S. And I agree. Good post.


    actually i spend my days focusing on proper writing (since i do media relations, it would be both proper and highly manipulative writing). with the interwebs i get to escape that type of hullabaloo. besides... capitalization and rules of syntax are for wusses.
    This is the darkest timeline.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan_The_Dude View Post
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    Here's what I like about Jim. We have 6 players averaging double figures (5 of them average over 13ppg). We have 3 players averaging over 6ppg. We have seven players averaging over 4 rebounds per game. It seems that everybody has an equal opportunity here. We don't have star players carrying most of the load like in years past with Reggie Miller, Jermaine, Ron Artest, Jalen Rose, and Rik Smits. We have the majority of our roster contributing now. Nine of the 15 players on our roster have scored 20 points at least once this season. When you have 9 players capable of scoring 20 on any given night, who needs one guy that averages 25ppg? We have 9 opportunities every night to find the 20 point scorer if it's necessary.

    I don't think we've struggled because we don't have that star big game player. I think we've struggled because it takes a lot of work to make a group of 15 guys work as one unit offensively and defensively. When you have 2 or 3 guys that carry most of the load, then it's not as hard to adapt the rest of the team to those 2 or 3 stars. But a team with 2 or 3 guys that carry the load is 1 or 2 injuries away from sinking. I think this is why we did so well without Jermaine, why we've done so well without Ike, why we started so well without Shawne, While we did so well without Murphy, and why we did so well without Jeff Foster, and Quis too.

    I'd rather have a group of 9 guys that can light it up on any given night, than invest in 2-3 guys that can light it up every night. There aren't too many teams built like the Pacers. The more we gel the more we'll win.

    AMEN!!!!

    Preach it.

    I love this exact same thing.

    Also I want to add that from what I've seen so far he has been a coach that for the most part players can work their way into and out of the rotation. Even O'Neal was told to park it for a few games until he got to a better physical shape. While I'd like to see Jermaine held to the same standard as every other player in certain aspects I understand why they don't. Although I believe that Jermaine is more acountable now than he was over the past four years.


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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    thought i'd bring this thread back to jimmy.

    Pacers' O'Brien glad he's got game

    By DICK JERARDI
    Philadelphia Daily News
    jerardd@phillynews.com

    NEW YORK - It was 90 minutes before his Pacers team was going to play the Knicks on Monday night. In the cramped visitors' locker room at Madison Square Garden, with his players dressing for the game, Jim O'Brien was oblivious to his surroundings, staring at a computer screen with basketball stats while occasionally looking up at tape of Saturday's Knicks-Nets game.

    With O'Brien, it has rarely been about anything but the game. A coaching lifer since he graduated from Saint Joseph's in 1974, O'Brien, for the first time in his adult life, was without the game for the 2 years after the 76ers fired him in 2005.

    Did he have a few minutes to talk?

    "I'm meeting with the media at 6:15," he said quietly, making it quite clear this was the time for business and that would be the time for questions.

    Fifteen minutes later, he met with the media in the hallway. After answering a few perfunctory questions about his team, O'Brien was asked about those 2 years without hoops. How did he manage?

    "I hung around with a beautiful woman down in Florida and just had the best 2 years of my life," he said. "Was able to spend a lot of time with my wife Sharon's family, Jack Ramsay and his wife Jean. Spent a lot of time with Jack McKinney and a bunch of guys from St. Joe's. It was a great sabbatical."

    Did he miss it?

    "I did, but I didn't miss it so much that I let it ruin a good time," he said. "I'm enjoying this immensely. Being in the locker room setting with a coaching staff that I really like and respect, just being around guys and a group of people that are all pulling in the same direction is a wonderful feeling."

    The O'Brien/Sixers story was a strange one from the start. What looked from a distance like local boy comes home to coach hometown team never evolved that way. What might have been a feel-good story never was.

    So, whose fault was that? Depends upon whom you talk to about it.

    O'Brien might have a theory, but he is not sharing it.

    "It's water under the bridge," he said.

    Did anybody tell him why he was fired?

    "Not necessary," O'Brien said. "I can't remember last week. I sure as heck don't worry about what happened a couple of years ago."

    Tonight, O'Brien will coach against the Sixers at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. He won't be looking back.

    The coach was prickly with the media that covered the Sixers, often questioning their questions when a little elaboration might have gone a long a way. There were whispers about him not getting along with some people in the organization, but never anything substantiated.

    What is known is this: The Sixers improved by 10 games in O'Brien's one season. They made the playoffs. They have not made the playoffs since he was fired.

    "He's a very good coach," former Sixers president and general manager Billy King said. "He reminds me of [Bill] Belichick. That's what came to mind. He really is just focused on trying to win. He's not anybody's friend, not the players, not the media. It's just, 'How many games can I win?' "

    When the Pacers decided to hire O'Brien in May, King told the team's CEO and president, Donnie Walsh, "he was making a great hire."

    So what went down here?

    When asked last week whether Sixers chairman Ed Snider would talk about why O'Brien was fired, Comcast-Spectactor vice president of public relations Ike Richman wrote in an e-mail: "Mr. Snider is out of the office this week and portions of next week. Therefore, he's unavailable."

    After finishing 35-47 in the awful East last season and missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade, the Pacers went looking for a new coach.

    Larry Bird, the Pacers president of basketball operations, had five phone conversations with O'Brien. They met on May 31. And Bird hired O'Brien that day.

    If you want personality, O'Brien might not be your guy. If you want someone totally dedicated to the game, he could very well be your guy.

    He played at Roman Catholic and St. Joe's. He was an assistant at Wheeling Jesuit, Pembroke State, Maryland, Oregon and St. Joe's. His first head-coaching job was back at Wheeling Jesuit. He definitely paid his hoops dues.

    He was a Knicks assistant with Rick Pitino. He became the head coach at Dayton. When that did not work out, he went back with Pitino and was his righthand man when Kentucky dominated college hoops in the mid-1990s, winning the championship in 1996 and losing the title game the next year, in overtime.

    When Pitino went off to run the Celtics, O'Brien went with him. When Pitino gave it up, O'Brien became the Celtics head coach and won in the only place Pitino could not win.

    In his first full season in Boston (2001-02), the Celtics made the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 14 years. Who can forget that barrage of threes that blew out the Sixers in Game 5? The C's were in the second round the next year. Then, during the 2003-04 season, O'Brien resigned after a new Celtics regime decided it wanted to rebuild with youth and got rid of many of the players that had helped him win. The Celtics became instantly hopeless until being revived in a big way this season with a different plan.

    King hired O'Brien in the spring of 2004. And, after that one season, he was gone again.

    Legendary defensive guru Dick Harter, 77, was with O'Brien in Philly. He is back with him in Indiana. There is very little that Harter, the head coach at Penn, Penn State and Oregon before his long NBA run, has not seen or heard.

    Sitting courtside before the Pacers game with the Knicks, Harter was asked about the man who could not call him fast enough when he got back into the league.

    "He works very, very hard preparing for games," Harter said. "He's a very sound basketball mind and he teaches it very, very well. I've been around very good basketball minds, but none better than Jimmy."

    When asked what went down in Philly, Harter said, "I would have no thoughts on that."

    O'Brien has helped revive point guard Jamaal Tinsley's career. Tinsley, a double-figure scorer only twice in six seasons, is averaging 14.8 points, just off his career best, and orchestrating a high-powered offense.

    "He's been looking to be able to be let loose," O'Brien said.

    The coach is often tight with answers, but gives his players quite a bit of freedom.

    Mike Dunleavy, whose career had been stuck in neutral, scored a career-high 36 points against the Knicks and is averaging a career-best 17.4 points. By the way, the Pacers smashed the hopeless Knicks, 119-92, while making 11 threes. They are 13-12.

    The Pacers averaged 95.6 points last season. They are averaging 104.5 points this season. They made 481 threes last season. They are on pace to make 650 this season. O'Brien learned the value of the trey from Pitino and never forgot it.

    O'Brien may have won in Boston where Pitino could not. What he could learn from his friend is that it's not a sin to share his basketball knowledge when he gets legitimate hoops questions. Pitino not only can coach it, he is willing and able to explain it. That is not really what Jim O'Brien does.

    But he can definitely coach it. His record tells you that. It is why Bird, the ultimate bottom-line guy, hired him. And it might be why the Pacers find their way back into the playoffs.

    http://www.philly.com/dailynews/spor..._got_game.html
    This is the darkest timeline.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    And beyond his coaching abilities, JOB sets a very good example of what
    it means to be, and act like a professional.

    How can anyone not respect and look up to his leadership?

    JOB already gets my vote for Coach of the Year - hands down.

    And Kudos to TPTB for bringing in a Coach that fits what we've been
    needing to a tee, rather than just trying to get someone with big name
    recognition. Well done TPTB.



    Last edited by RamBo_Lamar; 12-19-2007 at 01:36 PM.

  24. #24
    Member LoneGranger33's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Not to dissent with the prevailing view on this thread, but I'd say he's a better pre-game coach than he is an in-game coach. We had some serious collapses - and given up way too many career nights - that need some addressing. Overall, I'm glad we're finally above .500, but I think the way we've worked we really should be hovering around .600 by now.

    Would I trade him for any coach in the NBA? Probably not.
    Is there room for improvement? A lot.

  25. #25
    Member Ragnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Jim O'Brien. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneGranger33 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Not to dissent with the prevailing view on this thread, but I'd say he's a better pre-game coach than he is an in-game coach. We had some serious collapses - and given up way too many career nights - that need some addressing. Overall, I'm glad we're finally above .500, but I think the way we've worked we really should be hovering around .600 by now.

    Would I trade him for any coach in the NBA? Probably not.
    Is there room for improvement? A lot.
    You are completely ignoring just how dysfunctional this exact same group of players was last season. Its going to take a few more weeks IMO before they get it completely together.

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