It is truly amazing how otherwise extremely intelligent people can become wholly mis-directed when they watch and attempt to decipher correctly what has actually happened on a basketball court, concerning the success or failure of a specific team in a particular season.
Let’s summarize where I think the problem lies in Charlotte.
- Larry Brown was one of the few coaches we found to have a statistically significant impact on player performance (Brown’s impact was only significant at the 10% level). Yes, Wallace has declined. But I am not sure that is about Brown (I am not sure why that has happened, but I don’t think it is about Brown).
- Even if Wallace had not declined, though, the Bobcats were not likely to be as good as they were last year. This is because MJ hasn’t been able to find very many productive players.
And now we hear Jordan really wanted Brook Lopez and he might want Baron Davis. If these stories are true, that again doesn’t speak well of the talent evaluation skills of Jordan. Remember, Jordan once drafted Kwame Brown with the first pick in the draft (a player who is once again with Jordan in Charlotte) and Adam Morrison with the 3rd pick (a player who Jordan could easily have again). So the track record is not encouraging. And it is this track record that leads me to think the problem in Charlotte wasn’t the person making the dinner, it was the person buying the groceries.
Let me close by saying I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Holidays!! And although Phil Jackson doesn’t want to work on Christmas, I think most NBA fans are happy he is. Jackson should also remember if he coached the Bobcats, he probably wouldn’t be working on Christmas (yes, Jackson is good, but even the Zen Master couldn’t save this collection of players). But then — like Larry Brown (and now Paul Silas) — Jackson would have other issues to worry about.
Larry Brown has been a very successful basketball coach over the course of his Hall Of Fame career.
Last season, Larry Brown did a terrific job coaching the Charlotte Bobcats to their first ever playoff appearance, by putting his players in the best possible position to accentuate their individual – and, therefore, collective – strengths while, simultaneously, minimizing their respective weaknesses.
This season, however, Larry Brown stopped doing that … primarily because the cast of players at his disposal was no longer to his liking … and by Game 28 on the Bobcats’ schedule had, instead, become a major factor behind the poor performance of the players on this team, many of whom were no longer listening to what he had to say as their head coach.
Responsibility for what has happened with the Charlotte Bobcats, so far, this season, lies with the following individuals, in this specific order:
1. Michael Jordan, i.e. the person who pays for the groceries;
2. Rod Higgins, i.e. the person who buys the groceries;
3. Larry Brown [and his coaching staff], i.e. the cook who makes the meals;
4. The Leaders amongst their collection of 14 players, i.e. the primary consumers of the meals;
5. The Followers amongst their collection of 14 players, i.e. the secondary consumers of the meals.
The operation of a successful NBA franchise is based upon a “top down” leadership model with 5 specific levels.
Hopefully, Michael Jordan’s recent decision to replace Larry Brown – i.e. the embodiment of an ‘unhappy camper‘ – with Paul Silas – i.e. the embodiment of a ‘happy camper‘ – will mean that the Bobcats have now found a head coach who is more in tune with the specific strengths and weaknesses of the individual players on THIS TEAM, for THIS SEASON and beyond.
Each year in the NBA is different from those which have preceded it.
Unless a team has the right coach … who is actually the ‘right fit’ for its specific collection of players … it has zero chance of reaching its ‘maximum capacity’.