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Thread: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

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    Default Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    I dislike O'Brien as much as anyone. I even find the suggestion that he's some genius with stat-based strategies to be a fallacy. If he was, we'd at least be at or above .500 as someone with a numerical edge usually comes out on the right side of 50/50.

    I say this as someone who has money with a hedge fund that is 100% computer driven with literally an office full of Ivy League or equivalent (MIT, Caltech) science and math PHds from every discipline imaginable constantly updating trading strategies that hinge on sub-second timing and predicting what direction investments may go based on what other players in the market are doing (which is why many funds use mechanisms to try and mask their trades and make them anonymous).

    Point being, early on when I gave them money the fund manager told me that day trading, for even the above average investor, is dead. He showed me exactly what really is going on in the background and the reality is it's impossible for pretty much anyone to win at the game versus the type of competition his fund, and many other black box funds like him bring to the market.

    How does that apply to the Pacer's GM position? I strongly feel that in the modern era of sports the most successful teams have GM's that operate under similar levels of quality, intensity, and rigor as top hedge funds. A perfect example is Bill Polian's organization. Yes, it's just produced a single super bowl, but the longevity of success under the circumstances that the NFL has structured salary caps, is impossible to ignore. The same can be said for New England and Pittsburg. These are organizations led by smart GM's.

    Former players are great as NBA coaches. A lot of that is about connecting with the team and being a leader. Yes, there are some strategies and decisions to be made with respect to the game itself, but as we saw when Bird coached, that's a role you can fill with assistants.

    However, you can't fill a modern GM position with someone simply because he was a former player. MJ, Bird - HOF players, not intellectual powerhouses. The irony is, the Pacers were probably on the forefront of this trend back in the day with Donny Walsh. That guy combined deep intellect about the business of basketball with behind the scenes deal making ability at a level that enabled a small market team like the Pacers to compete @ the ECF level for about a decade. Yes, he had some misses, but more often than not he produced the best hits possible given the resources available to the team.

    So, with that said, I'm 100% for the Pacers doing something like hiring Mark Jackson to coach, but please, please get a top-tier MIND behind the GM's desk.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Last edited by SMosley21; 01-27-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Why is there a floating mouse icon in your post?

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Why is there a floating mouse icon in your post?
    I'm glad you said this because I was getting freaked out.
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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Why is there a floating mouse icon in your post?
    It's trying really hard to click on Pritchard's name but has been unsuccessful thus far.
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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Kevin Pritchard would qualify in my book. Like his background: former PG for a 1st class NCAA school, played for smart coaches like Larry Brown and Gregg Popovich in college, worked for a 1st class organization like the Spurs, constantly been promoted throughout his career, and reformed a small market, troubled team like the JailBlazers.

    This is a guy whose resume demonstrates that he's familiar with how top organizations are run from the inside and shows progression and maturity with regard to his title and role. Honestly, the Pacers would be lucky to land him as I can easily see competition for this guy.
    Last edited by indyaway; 01-27-2011 at 01:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    You simply can't compare football and basketball. In football you can release players and save yourself from cap hell. The draft and ability to find good players later in it is entirely different as well.

    In the NBA just a couple of bad decisions can hinder your team for several years. We're not the first team it's happened to. However in our case the bad decisions that led to this mess were on Donnie Walsh (the one your think is a genius) and had to be rectified by Bird (who you think needs replaced).

    Kinda odd.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Pritchard is regarded as one of the pioneers among statistically oriented GMs, so yeah he should qualify under your criteria. For what's it's worth, Morway seems to be filling that role for the Pacers. At least, he attended the Sloan Sports Analysis Conference on behalf of the Pacers.

    Walsh by most accounts isn't a believer in statistical analysis.

    There's a trend now of hiring GMs who are strong in statistical analysis (Sam Presti and Rich Cho being recent examples), but I don't think that should be the only criteria. There's more to being a GM than understanding stats, I think, though of course it wouldn't hurt.


    Quote Originally Posted by indyaway View Post
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    I say this as someone who has money with a hedge fund that is 100% computer driven with literally an office full of Ivy League or equivalent (MIT, Caltech) science and math PHds from every discipline imaginable constantly updating trading strategies that hinge on sub-second timing and predicting what direction investments may go based on what other players in the market are doing (which is why many funds use mechanisms to try and mask their trades and make them anonymous).

    Point being, early on when I gave them money the fund manager told me that day trading, for even the above average investor, is dead. He showed me exactly what really is going on in the background and the reality is it's impossible for pretty much anyone to win at the game versus the type of competition his fund, and many other black box funds like him bring to the market.
    (OT) I'm happy for you that you have the $$$ to sink in a hedge fund, but you should know even geniuses can make mistakes. Look up Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) for an object lesson.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    I will make my decision about Bird when he uses the expiring contracts/cap space this next year. He's had to suffer through the ill effects of taking those contracts, he should get the first shot at turning them into something.

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  16. #10

    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by xBulletproof View Post
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    You simply can't compare football and basketball. In football you can release players and save yourself from cap hell. The draft and ability to find good players later in it is entirely different as well.

    In the NBA just a couple of bad decisions can hinder your team for several years.
    All the more reason why it's critical to have a high IQ person at the helm

    We're not the first team it's happened to. However in our case the bad decisions that led to this mess were on Donnie Walsh (the one your think is a genius) and had to be rectified by Bird (who you think needs replaced).

    Kinda odd.
    I'm going by results while on the job. The Pacers, w/ Walsh, were competitive over a long enough period of time to be able to judge the effectiveness of the GM

    How are the Knicks doing now w/ Walsh at the helm? They were, by all accounts, in worse starting position than even the Pacers in terms of talent and contracts. Now, once again, Walsh's decision making in reforming that team is being witnessed.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by judicata View Post
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    I will make my decision about Bird when he uses the expiring contracts/cap space this next year. He's had to suffer through the ill effects of taking those contracts, he should get the first shot at turning them into something.

    Can we trust the guy to spend wisely with that space?

    We can probably attract a top level Pritchard/Presti esque GM right now since he can hire his own coach. And will have cap space to work with.

    Probably won't be able to lure a top guy if we let Larry spend our cap space on Murphy, Dunleavy, Foster and Scalarine this offseason.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by aaronb View Post
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    Can we trust the guy to spend wisely with that space?

    We can probably attract a top level Pritchard/Presti esque GM right now since he can hire his own coach. And will have cap space to work with.

    Probably won't be able to lure a top guy if we let Larry spend our cap space on Murphy, Dunleavy, Foster and Scalarine this offseason.
    Can we really trust Pritchard?

    He's the guy who gave Brandon Roy an 80 million dollar extension due to media pressure even though they KNEW he had major knee problems that would only get worse.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by indyaway View Post
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    How are the Knicks doing now w/ Walsh at the helm? They were, by all accounts, in worse starting position than even the Pacers in terms of talent and contracts. Now, once again, Walsh's decision making in reforming that team is being witnessed.
    Knicks have already had their cap space year. Pacers will get their chance next year. Comparing this year's Knicks to next year's Pacers would be a fairer comparison.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    So are you saying they cheat. Computer systems while complicated and smart, are only as effective as there web connection. There is a premium for server space near the stock exchange. The difference between a "great" fund and a crap fund can simply be the location of the server. While legal what is really going on is organizations with fast computers and premium server space gameing a flawed system. Computers act at a speed humans can't touch.

    Walsh walked away from this team leaving the mess we have been cleaning up Birds entire time with the job. I don't blame Walsh for Jo's knee, but his last move as a member of the Pacer organization was (i believe) acquiring Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and there long expensive contracts.

    Quote Originally Posted by indyaway View Post
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    I dislike O'Brien as much as anyone. I even find the suggestion that he's some genius with stat-based strategies to be a fallacy. If he was, we'd at least be at or above .500 as someone with a numerical edge usually comes out on the right side of 50/50.

    I say this as someone who has money with a hedge fund that is 100% computer driven with literally an office full of Ivy League or equivalent (MIT, Caltech) science and math PHds from every discipline imaginable constantly updating trading strategies that hinge on sub-second timing and predicting what direction investments may go based on what other players in the market are doing (which is why many funds use mechanisms to try and mask their trades and make them anonymous).

    Point being, early on when I gave them money the fund manager told me that day trading, for even the above average investor, is dead. He showed me exactly what really is going on in the background and the reality is it's impossible for pretty much anyone to win at the game versus the type of competition his fund, and many other black box funds like him bring to the market.

    How does that apply to the Pacer's GM position? I strongly feel that in the modern era of sports the most successful teams have GM's that operate under similar levels of quality, intensity, and rigor as top hedge funds. A perfect example is Bill Polian's organization. Yes, it's just produced a single super bowl, but the longevity of success under the circumstances that the NFL has structured salary caps, is impossible to ignore. The same can be said for New England and Pittsburg. These are organizations led by smart GM's.

    Former players are great as NBA coaches. A lot of that is about connecting with the team and being a leader. Yes, there are some strategies and decisions to be made with respect to the game itself, but as we saw when Bird coached, that's a role you can fill with assistants.

    However, you can't fill a modern GM position with someone simply because he was a former player. MJ, Bird - HOF players, not intellectual powerhouses. The irony is, the Pacers were probably on the forefront of this trend back in the day with Donny Walsh. That guy combined deep intellect about the business of basketball with behind the scenes deal making ability at a level that enabled a small market team like the Pacers to compete @ the ECF level for about a decade. Yes, he had some misses, but more often than not he produced the best hits possible given the resources available to the team.

    So, with that said, I'm 100% for the Pacers doing something like hiring Mark Jackson to coach, but please, please get a top-tier MIND behind the GM's desk.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by spazzxb View Post
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    So are you saying they cheat. Computer systems while complicated and smart, are only as effective as there web connection. There is a premium for server space near the stock exchange. The difference between a "great" fund and a crap fund can simply be the location of the server. While legal what is really going on is organizations with fast computers and premium server space gameing a flawed system. Computers act at a speed humans can't touch.

    Walsh walked away from this team leaving the mess we have been cleaning up Birds entire time with the job. I don't blame Walsh for Jo's knee, but his last move as a member of the Pacer organization was (i believe) acquiring Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and there long expensive contracts.
    in portlend Rich Cho in Birds role now

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by The Rocker View Post
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    in portlend Rich Cho in Birds role now

    ?

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by spazzxb View Post
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    ?
    Rich Cho clean house after Pritchard

  24. #18

    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by spazzxb View Post
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    So are you saying they cheat. Computer systems while complicated and smart, are only as effective as there web connection. There is a premium for server space near the stock exchange. The difference between a "great" fund and a crap fund can simply be the location of the server. While legal what is really going on is organizations with fast computers and premium server space gameing a flawed system. Computers act at a speed humans can't touch.
    They don't cheat, they constantly optimize trading strategy. And yes, they have ultra-premium server deployments globally for all markets and instruments they participate in. Again, big reason why, on average, a day trader will now come out behind because quite frankly an individual can't stack up against systems like this for short-term activity. My personal stock purchases are made either for long term dividends and slow growth and buy/hold for "months" being short term for me. Aside from satiating some desire to gamble, I won't bother day flipping stocks anymore.

    BTW - there are quite a lot of black box / pure quant trading outfits but they'll rarely even have a website. This is a super discreet world where these funds literally put up the periscope from time to time to look around for talent or take in capital and then go back under where they practice serious levels of security and obscurity to avoid anyone getting any intelligence on who they are and what they're doing. The website of the fund I'm in is marginally better than an old Frontpage template and hasn't changed since 2001 aside from their job openings page.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by indyaway View Post
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    They don't cheat, they constantly optimize trading strategy. And yes, they have ultra-premium server deployments globally for all markets and instruments they participate in. Again, big reason why, on average, a day trader will now come out behind because quite frankly an individual can't stack up against systems like this for short-term activity. My personal stock purchases are made either for long term dividends and slow growth and buy/hold for "months" being short term for me. Aside from satiating some desire to gamble, I won't bother day flipping stocks anymore.

    BTW - there are quite a lot of black box / pure quant trading outfits but they'll rarely even have a website. This is a super discreet world where these funds literally put up the periscope from time to time to look around for talent or take in capital and then go back under where they practice serious levels of security and obscurity to avoid anyone getting any intelligence on who they are and what they're doing. The website of the fund I'm in is marginally better than an old Frontpage template and hasn't changed since 2001 aside from their job openings page.
    When I said cheat I was referring to having a technological adavantage that trumps anything the competition can do. If your lag is to great ,the skill of computer programmers, MIT grads, and the like aren't going to help you becuase the server locations create an unfair paying field. Life isn't fair and its all legal but daytrading its nothing like running the Pacers.

    Aside from clarifying my use of the word cheat I like your post.

  26. #20

    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Agreed that daytrading isn't like running the Pacers, but I believe that GM's in the modern era need to be a lot more intellectually sophisticated to be successful. While you can chuck a former player straight into being a head coach and maybe get good results (Avery Johnson for example, Doc Rivers, etc) I don't believe that's the case with GM's. That position requires both high amounts of brain power as well as the ability to hire and delegate responsibility to other top tier people that round out the management team of an organization.

    I believe Bird has neither of those qualities, and that's nothing against him personally, but all his playing greatness adds very little to the metrics that I'd use to hire. It's a nice to have, but far from they key criteria I'd be looking for.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by indyaway View Post
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    Agreed that daytrading isn't like running the Pacers, but I believe that GM's in the modern era need to be a lot more intellectually sophisticated to be successful. While you can chuck a former player straight into being a head coach and maybe get good results (Avery Johnson for example, Doc Rivers, etc) I don't believe that's the case with GM's. That position requires both high amounts of brain power as well as the ability to hire and delegate responsibility to other top tier people that round out the management team of an organization.

    I believe Bird has neither of those qualities, and that's nothing against him personally, but all his playing greatness adds very little to the metrics that I'd use to hire. It's a nice to have, but far from they key criteria I'd be looking for.

    Agreed,

    And in some ways the Stubborn determination he was famous for as a player. Is really a detriment to him being an effective GM.

    Sometimes a franchise needs to move backwards, if running straight into a brick wall isn't the best option.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    some qoutes from portland board (realgm)

    Of the last 4 Blazers GM's the most successful have been the ones with business acumen rather than basketball scouts. Whitsitt and Patterson were business gurus and hired basketball scouts to evaluate talent. Whitsitt built great teams and drafted well and Patterson drafted Roy and Aldridge. While Nash and Pritchard were basketball scouts that turned into busts as GM's. So, I’m happy to see another business guru as our GM.

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    This was very poor timing on Allen's part, but I'll be interested to hear what comes out in the next couple of days. KP has been a great turn around specialist, but he had a track record of rubbing other GMs the wrong way. Maybe one of the reasons behind this decision is it became clear that he would not be able to get the team to the next level with the bridges he's burned around the league?

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    as I said, Jaynes said it came from KP's agent

    Jaynes, perhaps surprisingly, seemed to be implying that KP certainly isn't blameless in this thing at all

    The first thing Jaynes said was that he interviewed Steve Patterson a couple of days ago. In that interview, Patterson was perplexed why KP got all the credit for the 2006 draft. In other words Patterson maintains that KP wasn't nearly as responsible for Roy and Aldridge as the prevailing storyline of the draft would indicate. Whether or not that's Patterson blowing smoke Jaynes didn't know

    The second thing Jaynes made of point of saying, or at least implying, was that in each draft, the Blazers have a "war room" where there are several people working on the decisions and deals that have gone down on draft day. Jaynes implied that KP wasn't nearly as responsible for all the draft day moves as he's taken credit for. I guess the fact that KP is gone while the 2 main scouts have received contract extensions might lend credence to the idea that KP has taken and received a bit too much credit

    The 3rd thing Jaynes said was that KP had engendered resentment in upper management and especially with Paul Allen because KP was a little too quick to throw Allen under the bus. Jaynes offered two examples. One was that the KP was taken off the Brandon Roy extension negotiations because of a lack of progress. When the contract was signed, KP made a point of basically saying things that he'd have completed it sooner by giving Roy the max. Jaynes said that the Blazers were concerned about the length because of the condition of Roy's knees. (a scary though as a Blazer fan) A legitimate concern as we saw at the end of this season

    The other example was the Ime Udoka/Patty Mills decision. KP made a point of saying he'd have preferred Udoka but "ownership" chose Mills. Jaynes said that these public statements of KP that pointed the finger at PA, instead of simply towing the company line were some of the nails in KP's coffin (my words)

    (I'd add that the things KP's agent said about Paul Allen and the Vulcans when Penn was fired were pretty antagonistic. I said at the time that KP should shut his agent up. Only a fool wouldn't think that PA resented the hell out of what that agent said)

    in any event, I don't know how true all the things that Jaynes said are. I don't have a high opinion of him. I will stipulate that he's got some sources so he may have cast the situation accurately

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    Default Re: Forget the coach - team needs a modern GM

    Quote Originally Posted by The Rocker View Post
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    some qoutes from portland board (realgm)

    Of the last 4 Blazers GM's the most successful have been the ones with business acumen rather than basketball scouts. Whitsitt and Patterson were business gurus and hired basketball scouts to evaluate talent. Whitsitt built great teams and drafted well and Patterson drafted Roy and Aldridge. While Nash and Pritchard were basketball scouts that turned into busts as GM's. So, I’m happy to see another business guru as our GM.
    This. Pritchard has done absolutely nothing. Bird has done a great job. Walsh did a good job overall, but not so much near the end of his tenure here.

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