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Thread: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

  1. #51
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

    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...
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

  2. #52
    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

    Just looking back through Pacer playoff data...and Jim is the only coach except for George Irvine to never make it to the playoffs...and Jim's tenure was longer than 8 coaches and shorter than only 4. I think that...and Jim's attitude...tells us a lot about why he's not too popular.....

  3. #53
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

    O'Brien is clearly the one who drove me away. Irvine didn't, Versace didn't, Isiah didn't. But I was also younger then so I was willing to invest in the team with the hope of a better future. With Jim, I decided I already had plenty of other things to do. I still think those three were worse than Jim.

    What's the difference between those three and Jim? - Jim's had some success elsewhere. Irvine, Versace and Isiah have been either (a) such failures that nobody else would touch them, or (b) failures everywhere else they've been.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  4. #54
    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    O'Brien is clearly the one who drove me away. Irvine didn't, Versace didn't, Isiah didn't. But I was also younger then so I was willing to invest in the team with the hope of a better future. With Jim, I decided I already had plenty of other things to do. I still think those three were worse than Jim.
    Yeah, I think this is a very important point. When you are younger your BS tolerance is a little more because you usually don't know any better.

    I actually think vnzla81's head would have exploded in the Versace period.
    BillS

    "Every time I pitched it was like throwing gasoline on a fire. Pkkw! Pkkw! Pkkw! Pkkw!"
    - Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh

  5. #55
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

    I think Versace lost respect from his players quicker than any coach we ever had, because of his fake persona. That happened very early on. I forget a lot of what Versace did basketball wise. He loved the corner three. He also I think used a halfcourt trap from time to time.

    Overall though I think Versace's biggest problem's were his personality. His system wasn't really bad - although I admit I forget a lot of the stuff.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 08-24-2012 at 11:24 AM.

  6. #56
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

    Versace didn't have an 'x and o' problem.

    Remember what happened the day after Versace was fired, and Bo Hill was promoted?

    Reggie Miller signed the contract extension that he'd been sitting on since the summer.

    Remember, kids, during the Dick Versace era there were plenty of rumors that Reggie wasn't going to re-sign after his rookie contract because "Hollywood" wanted to play alongside Magic and the Lakers. He practiced with those Lakers guys all summer long and would have been a natural fit for Showtime.

    The best I can remember of Versace's technical basketball strategy was a focus on transition defense. Which I always thought was weird, because while transition defense is important, I wouldn't rank it so high that it was supposed to be the team identity.

    Sure, this was the era of Showtime, Run-TMC, and Fat Level/ Alex English Nuggets and if you weren't ready to run with them, they'd drop 130 points on you without much effort.

    But "transition defense" as a team identity -- in the era of Showtime, Run-TMC, the Bad Boys, the run-and-gun Nuggets, and the Celtics earning their Tommypoints. THOSE were clear team identities.

    The other thing he did was tell Chuck Person not to rebound, not to use his midrange game, not to distribute, but just parked him at the three-point line. And Chuck's numbers began fall across the board during that period. However, Reggie used his floater and midrange game a lot, moreso than under any other coach probably.

    Versace just didn't know when to shut up, and while he was entertaining, he wasn't respected for very long. He was probably a riot to talk to. Fans would frequently enjoy post-game conversations with him at Iria's (or whatever the Italian restaurant over by MSA was at the time?)
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  7. #57
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

    OH yes he stressed transition defense. In fact I agree with him on that. Not to make it a team identity, but it should be a given that you are a great transition defensive team. IMO the first thing to install in training camp and insist throughout the year.

    Yes he was fun to talk with, but as I mentioned earlier, he came across as very fake to me-

  8. #58
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    but it should be a given that you are a great transition defensive team.
    Exactly. Everybody "should" be good at this so it doesn't make much sense as a team identity. That was clearly part of the rationale for keeping Rifleman at the three-point line. He never had blazing footspeed and Versace didn't want him going after the offensive glass.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  9. #59

    Default Re: So who was the worst coach in Pacer history?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyMac View Post
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    Larry Staverman.
    Thats my uncle. hahaaaaaa

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