In the wake of the Cavaliers stunning semifinal defeat at the hands of the Celtics, it is obvious that there are going to be drastic changes in Cleveland. Not just to the roster but also to the coaching staff and perhaps the front office. Inspite of initial reports to the contrary, it is only a matter of time before Mike Brown is replaced. The only questions are ” Who will replace him ?” and ” How much input will LeBron have in picking the new coach?”
Yesterday’s USA Today polled it’s readers on this subject , asking the question ” Would you let LBJ handpick his coach ?” The alternatives were as follows :
(A) Yes, I’d keep him happy at all costs.
(B) Yes. I’d give him input but not the final say.
(C) No. Keep players and management separate.
(D) No. That’d spell d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.
What do YOU think ? The results of the poll are at the end of this post.
In theory ,of course players should not be allowed input in personnel and management decisions. Running a ball team is a business and not a democracy. Once a player is given an opportunity to voice his opinion about personnel matters, where does it stop? What does it do for team togetherness ? No matter how illustrious the player , his teammates are bound to feel uneasy about their own places and will defer to him even as they resent his influence. However, the LBJ situation is not a normal one. The future of the Cavaliers depends on keeping LBJ in Cleveland and owner Dan Gilbert is caught between a rock and a hard place.On the one hand, he does not want to cede control of the team. On the other hand, LeBron has some reason to feel miffed. After seven seasons in the league, he has not once been able to win a championship. True, management has spent freely and consulted him on personnel moves before making them. He allegedly approved the acquisitions of Shaq and Antawn Jamison and , at least at one time , he endorsed Mike Brown as coach.However, all that is in the past. At this moment, LBJ has unprecedented clout because of his impending free agency and he is certain to exercise it. Owner Dan Gilbert will have to give him some say in selecting the new coach but I only hope he doesn’t allow LBJ to dictate who the coach will be. If he does it will not only sow the seeds of clubhouse dissension but be bad for Lebron himself. A coach who feels he owes his job to any one player will be bound to defer to that player and be seen to play favorites. The coach has to be the boss ;what happens when a coach has to dress down a player who is not playing within the system and the coach feels beholden for his job to that player ? LBJ needs a strong willed coach, one that he respects and one who has the track record and the authority to tell him what to do. Unfortunately, such coaches are far and few between and Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, and Pat Riley are all currently enmployed. John Calipari has declared himself out of the race , saying that he will be staying on at Kentucky.Besides, it is not that easy to make the transition from college coaching to the pros as Rick Pitino found out. Larry Brown is reported to be unhappy at Memphis ( surprise, surprise !!) but i think he is just a bit too much about himself to be able to co-exist with LBJ.
In any case, I think the wisest thing for the Cavs would be to give LBJ some input into the decision but not give him the final say. ( Choice B below )
Here are the results of the USA Today poll, with 5400 + votes in and counting:
(A) Yes, I’d keep him happy at all costs. 9%
(B) Yes. I’d give him input but not the final say. 26%
(C) No. Keep players and management separate. 36%
(D) No. That’d spell d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r. 29%