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Coaches Matter, But So Does Perspective

I think we can all accept that in his current frame of mind, Kenny Natt is not an NBA head coach. He doesn't have the offensive chops, the defensive chops, the motivational chops. He does not appear to have the chops.

The Kings are bad and should be bad. But what's the difference between the way these Kings are playing and the way the Timberwolves played under Randy Wittman at the end of last season? Or the Bucks with Larry Krystowiak? Or the Sonics with P.J. Carlesimo? Or the Bobcats with Sam Vincent?

Ah yes ... Sam Vincent. Currently working in the D-League. That brings us to Ailene Voisin's told-you-so on the Bee's blog this morning.

The latest from the woulda, coulda, shoulda category, and reminding everyone that the winning coach in Arco Arena last night - Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown - practically begged Geoff Petrie for an interview two offseasons ago. And Petrie, who historically is very conservative when hiring coaches, said no thanks. [...]

[G]iven how far the mighty Kings have fallen, along with the fact that Larry is affordable these days because of the Knicks' cushion, Geoff probably regrets not extending the invitation. (Joe and Gavin Maloof were ecstatic about Brown's interest, and were ready to offer a contract before Geoff talked them down). [...]


Small-market franchises need to be smarter and strike it big when they can. This was one of this times. This was a blown opportunity.

The Bobcats under Larry Brown this season: 23-35, a 39% winning percentage.

The Bobcats last season under Sam Vincent, a universally accepted disaster, now coaching anonymously in the D-League: 32-50, a 39% winning percentage.

Brown has Charlotte playing solid (good) defense. But his team also traded its best scorer for two strong defenders in Raja Bell and Boris Diaw. Brown has acquired the services of a great rookie point guard. He has DeSagana Diop and Vlad Radmanovic instead of Matt Carroll and Adam Morrison. The roster has improved markedly ... and the team is basically no better than with Vincent.

In retrospect, Brown would have been a better choice than Reggie Theus, who only served to further the destruction of team pride Eric Musselman helped start. But let's not ignore Brown's record leading up to the summer of 2007. He bilked the Knicks out of millions when things didn't go well, he tried to supplant Maurice Cheeks in Philadelphia. Passing him up was a prudent choice, and a dozen other teams (including the Bobcats) made the same exact call in 2007. And Brown has not been an unmitigated success in Charlotte.

Told-you-so punditry is generally worthless. When combined with a complete disregard for the reality of the situation, it's irresponsible. Larry Brown could not have saved the Kings.