Rating Head Coaches?
There was a story today in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram claiming Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks was a better coach than Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.
The reasoning was that Carlisle has done more with less than Pop who has been blessed with two Hall of Famers and a talented roster throughout his coaching career.
It pointed out that Popovich had a horrendous record when he took over for Bob Hill in the season before the advent of the likes of David Robinson and Tim Duncan.
Carlisle has won one world championship and the other night drew even with the Oklahoma City Thunder 1-1 in their opening round series winning on the road by one-point.
Popovich meanwhile, has had first-rate players and two big men in Robinson and mostly Duncan en route to five NBA titles.
Here’s my point: Why do we have to rate head coaches? What measuring stick do we use? But why do we have to go ballistic in putting down Gregg Popovich?
The usual barometer is championships won. That’s why Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach and Popovich are rated at the top. But they aren’t the only great ones.
There are others, and we won’t take the time, you all know who they are, who are considered truly great NBA coaches.
I’m sure if you ask Pop, he’d tell you Carlisle is an outstanding head coach in the pro ranks.
But come on! The hardest thing to do in sports is WIN! Harder to win championships. There is nothing automatic when it comes to having outstanding talent and winning, winning consistently.
Gregg Popovich is one of the greatest heads coaches the sport has ever seen. He gets his team to play unselfishly, with a strategy and plan that has worked to success for nearly two decades.
I was fortunate to have been part of the Spurs TV broadcast team for three years, and got a glimpse of the workings of not only Pop but a brilliant organization. How he handles his team, and how they go about their business.
So while we can salute Rick Carlisle and what he has accomplished with what he has, which is not chopped liver by any means, let’s not make comparisons, especially with a man like Gregg Popovich, who is as good as it gets.