While some NBA coaches are fighting tooth and nail to get their teams playing their best in the playoffs, other coaches are also fighting to keep their jobs.
They say that coaching at any level is a results-based job. The stakes don’t any higher than they do in the NBA where even winning the Coach of the Year award in the same calendar year doesn’t guarantee you a job (sorry, George Karl).
Sure, coaches will try their best to work with what they are given to improve the franchise that employs them, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Anything from clashing with players, not getting full support from management, not getting enough time to develop a team, or just plain not having good enough players sends these coaches from their dream job on an NBA bench to the unemployment line.
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Regardless, these coaches know what they sign up for and their fate is based on what they do with a roster that is changing every year with players whose motivations may be self-preserving rather than team centric – a notion that if left unchecked dooms a lot of coaches.
Time is also a factor that works against these coaches. Franchises and fan bases at times irrationally demand quick turnarounds and instant success, when it actually takes time for concepts to sink in and team chemistry to develop. When this doesn’t happen, it is not the players, who are getting paid millions of dollars more than the coaches, who are at fault. Nope, from managements prospective, it is the coach, who is not getting the players in correct position and is way more expendable who gets the blame and the axe.
As a result, it seems to be an annual tradition at the end of the year where coaches are always on the verge of losing a position they fought so hard to obtain due to so many external factors that may not always have to do with basketball. Here are the coaches who are fearing for the jobs the most in no particular order.
Left out are the names of interim coaches who were brought into the spotlight midseason. Seems unfair for them to be in the hot seat before they even had a chance to warm it up.
Next: Steve Clifford