At the end of the day I had a hard time telling the difference between Isiah and JOB... They were both pretty dayumed bad. Both seemed more like mad scientists than basketball coaches with a firm grasp of coaching a solid base and melding team chemistry.
As for players wanting to play for Isiah... Perhaps less talking to JO and more talking to Best and Rose might be warranted before that determination is made.
Here's the thing though- Isiah never should've been a head coach. Walsh rolled the dice with Bird and it worked but he went to the well once to often with the Isiah gimmick hire and rolled snake eyes. There was very little reason to think Isiah would be a good coach on a team that had just played in the finals, but one that would be making some changes.
OTOH, O'Brien could've been a scriptwriter for Coach Norman Dale's lines in Hoosiers. But he turned out to be a maddeningly confusing, walking contradiction. He'd talk solid fundamental basketball and then encourage anything BUT solid, fundamental basketball. It was mixed messages for the fans and mixed messages for the team. And then a supreme stubbornness to boot. So he coached a bad brand of basketball regardless of what he spoke. And his use of players was questionable at best.
I suppose for me I'd say the tipping point to choose O'Brien as the worst Pacer coach was his tenure (too long!) and the fact he was experienced enough he should know better. Isiah sucking shouldn't have came as much surprise. It probably would've been a bigger surprise had he not sucked. But O'Brien's 'coaching awfulness' is hard to explain with a man that has been around the game as long as he has. I can only explain it by thinking maybe he thought the Pacers were down enough it was the perfect petri dish for an experiment he'd been building towards with his whacky mad scientist basketball theories.
Or else senility...