As the NBA regular season winds down, we know there will be coaching change made. There are every year. So let’s take a look at ones who likely won’t be back for the start of next season:
Doug Collins, Philadelphia 76ers- The Sixers were a playoff team a year ago. They won’t be this year. That’s usually a recipe for a coaching change. As with most coaching changes, there were circumstances that were beyond the coach’s control, but yet it will not help him keep his job. The Sixers traded for Andrew Bynum and in the process gave up Anrde Igudola. Bynum has not played at all. That’s not the coach’s fault.
But, the Sixers appear to have quit as evidenced by a recent humiliating home loss to an awful Orlando Magic team. Collins appeared to be at the end of his rope afterward. There is a good reason for that.
Mike D’Antoni, Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers are making quite a push for the playoffs and will probably make it, but unless they make a very deep playoff run, Mike D’Antoni is going to be on the hot seat. Anything less than a championship in Laker-land is a failure. Losing over 35 games is a disaster. If the Lakers fail to make the playoffs, which is entirely possible, D’Antoni will be gone the next day. If they do get into the playoffs, it might give him another year, but he will be on the hot seat. To get him off the hot seat the Lakers will probably need to get to the Western Conference Finals.
Lindsey Hunter, Phoenix Suns- Hunter is an interim coach so anything short of the Suns catching fire and playing out of their minds, he was only here to finish the season. They aren’t doing that so he will be gone.
Lawrence Frank, Detroit Pistons- The Pistons are a proud franchise. They have stunk the last few years. Their fans will not stay patient forever. They will want to see the team make some changes after another dismal year. That starts with a new head coach.
Byron Scott, Cleveland Cavaliers- Cleveland was a total rebuilding project when Lebron James left for Miami. Byron Scott was hired three years ago to oversee it. The Cavs have gotten a bit better, but if they show some improvement in year four, such as approach the playoffs, Scott’s time could be up. An expansion team might give a coach a five-year plan. An already established team with fans who were getting used to winning? Four is likely the limit.
Keith Smart, Sacramento Kings- When the Kings move to a new city, adopt new color and a new name, they will probably want to start over with a new coach. Not that it would be out of bounds to fire Smart even if the team were to stay in Sacramento. They are terrible yet again. That’s not necessarily Smart’s fault, but he hasn’t made them better, so…
Monty Williams, New Orleans Hornets– The Hornets have stunk for three years under Williams. Fan attendance is not good. They will need to make a move. Adopting the Pelicans as a the team nickname isn’t going to be enough.
Look for new coaches to take over most of these teams, if not this year then the next. Who will replace them? We would look for Stan Van Gundy to wind up with one of them. Mike Brown could end up with one of them too. We would not be shocked to see a top college coach such as John Calipari or Bill Self end up at one of them. If Cal can get Lebron to join him in Cleveland next year, that would not shock us.