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Thread: Article: Nuggets coaching situation, Mike Brown mentioned

  1. #1
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Default Article: Nuggets coaching situation, Mike Brown mentioned

    Mike Monroe: Popovich's boot gives Carlesimo big chance
    Web Posted: 01/02/2005 12:00 AM CST

    San Antonio Express-News

    Was it really a coincidence that Gregg Popovich got thrown out of a game for the first time all season on New Year's Eve in Los Angeles and in the first quarter, no less just a couple of days after P.J. Carlesimo's name surfaced as a candidate for the head coaching job in Denver?

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    Carlesimo, head coach of the Warriors for three seasons, is Popovich's No. 1 assistant, so when Pop got tossed, Carlesimo had to take over. He did a masterful job of it, too. The Spurs trailed by eight when Popovich made his forced exit. They won by 19, meaning they outscored the Clippers by 27 in the 37 minutes Carlesimo coached.

    Was Popovich giving Carlesimo some "screen time" to "audition" for Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe?

    The answer is: Don't be absurd; of course not. But the timing of Popovich's ejection sure was beneficial for P.J.

    Carlesimo has yet to hear from Vandeweghe and the Spurs haven't been asked for permission to speak to him, both a courtesy and a requirement. But Vandeweghe has let it be known that Carlesimo is on a pretty short list of candidates to replace Jeff Bzdelik, whom he finally fired on Tuesday after months of wanting the opportunity.

    The Denver Post reported that Carlesimo, Jazz assistant Phil Johnson, Mavericks assistant Del Harris, Lakers assistant Frank Hamblen and former Sonics and Bucks coach George Karl were on Vandeweghe's list. Johnson has taken his name out of consideration and Harris has let it be known he prefers to remain one of the league's highest-paid assistants, so Vandeweghe's list is even shorter now.

    The timing could be critical if Vandeweghe wants someone who already is on another NBA bench. Just as Johnson make it clear he would not abandon Jerry Sloan in Utah, the suspicion is Carlesimo's loyalty to Popovich would preclude a mid-season departure, as well. Vandeweghe likely will have to wait until the offseason to make the change for anyone but Karl, who is free and clear and anxious.

    Expect former Spurs assistant Mike Brown, now assistant head coach in Indiana, to be in the Denver mix eventually. Brown is going to make some team an excellent head coach some day, but the fact he never has been a head coach likely will keep him from getting the Denver job because Vandeweghe just had a bad experience with a longtime assistant who never had been a head coach.

    That's not Brown's fault. Just reality.

    Michael Cooper has the Denver job on an interim basis, so he is on Vandeweghe's list, too. However, Vandeweghe didn't do a very good job of concealing the fact he has serious doubts about Cooper's long-term viability in the first seat on the bench. Vandeweghe didn't do a very good job of concealing his displeasure with the job Bzdelik was doing, either, which makes you wonder why he brought him back to coach the Nuggets after his first season, let alone the second. To say Vandeweghe mishandled the entire situation would be a gross understatement.

    It doesn't help Cooper's hopes of getting the job on a permanent basis that he is alleged to have told Bzdelik, on the day he was hired, that he did not intend to abide by several of Bzdelik's rules for his assistants. That included Bzdelik's insistence that all his assistants spend plenty of time watching film. Supposedly, Cooper also told Bzdelik he had his own dress code, which did not include wearing shorts at practice.

    Carlesimo lost his job with Golden State after the Latrell Sprewell choking incident, which is why you don't often hear his name mentioned when coaching vacancies occur. But Carlesimo is one of the league's most congenial personalities, and Spurs players seem to have a genuine fondness for him. One of them occasionally needles him by threatening to "Sprewell" him, but that just means the needle is wielded with authentic affection.

    This much is certain: As much as they would hate to lose Carlesimo, everyone in the Spurs basketball operation believes he deserves to be considered for future head coaching vacancies. That includes Popovich, but don't expect him to give Carlesimo more "audition time" anytime soon.

  2. #2
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Northside Bias

    Default Re: Article: Nuggets coaching situation, Mike Brown mentioned

    I still say Coop should keep the job, but he probably won't turn that team around to Kiki's liking. Therefore, my money's on Del. Karl and PJ aren't player friendly, and Johnson and Hamblin doesn't have head experience.
    Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

  3. #3
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Default Re: Article: Nuggets coaching situation, Mike Brown mentioned

    Good! I hope they don't steal him away from us.

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