As sad as it is, in the modern day NBA, superstar players have more power than they deserve.
Midway through the 2011-12 season, New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony clashed with Coach Mike D’Antoni, and shortly after, D’Antoni stepped down midway through the year. Assistant coach Mike Woodson filled in, and this season has led the Knicks to an NBA best 4-0 start.
Over this past 2012-13 off season, former Orlando Magic All-Star Dwight Howard reportedly lobbied for head coach Stan Van Gundy to be fired (which he eventually was), and then left and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lakers coach Mike Brown was fired after a lackluster 1-4 start, prompting questions as to why he was let go after just 71 regular season games with the team. With seconds left in the 95-86 loss to the Jazz, ESPN cameras caught Kobe Bryant starting angrily in the direction of his coach. The disgusted star left the bench with five seconds remaining and stormed into the locker room, so distraught after yet another Lakers loss.
Howard and Bryant are putting up 22.4 PPG and 27.2 PPG, respectively, but they are just about the only contributors. Players have admitted to not yet grasping Brown’s Princeton Offense, which is a not only a knock on the coach, but on the players, as well.
Assistant coaches said they were”shocked,” when they heard about the firing. Magic Johnson said, “[I] feel bad for Coach Mike Brown, who’s a great guy, but don’t think he was the right guy for the job in the first place.” Van Gundy said that split was,”the most ridiculous firing in the history of the NBA.” As you can see, reactions and opinions around the league are vastly different.
No hard evidence has come out that would indicate that Bryant had a hand in Brown’s firing. However, that look he gave his coach said a ton, and may have been all the management needed to see to realize the team needed to move in another direction.
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