Who loves Scott Skiles? I do!
In fact, I’m ecstatic the ball club in my adopted city has picked him up. I’m only a two hour drive away from seeing his bald head gleaming along the sidelines. His menacing, dinosaur-like glare gives me goosebumps.
Goosebumps in the way of R.L. Stine. God, I love Scott Skiles.
And R.L. Stine.
Thanks to John Hammond, Skiles is coaching the very team that drafted him as a player. The man can help the lowly Milwaukee Bucks win. In each of Skiles’ full seasons, his teams all finished over .500. He can coach and it’s exactly what the Milwaukee franchise needs.
Is Skiles a rethread? Yes, but lots of other NBA coaches are. If Larry Brown’s name comes up every now and then in the coaching carousel, those same teams should do their due diligence on Skiles.
John Hammond is Joe Dumars’ protege. Hammond can allow Skiles to resuscitate the franchise much like how Dumars used Rick Carlisle to jump start the Detroit Pistons.
The knock on Skiles is that he’s an old-school coach; he’s too tough and he doesn’t mess around. Every professional sport is a players’ league so Skiles’ style can create dissonance within a team. But all of Skiles’ drawbacks double as his strong points.
John Hammond is no fool. He’s seen Larry Brown, Flip Saunders and Carlisle coach. Non-player positions in the NBA are like revolving doors. Given the unpredictable nature of Hammond’s position, it says something that he’s willing to put his eggs in the Scott Skiles basket.
The man is one tough cookie. He demands as much from his players as he does from himself. Jeff Van Gundy once said that Skiles was one of the best-prepared coaches in the NBA come game day.
Skiles owns a 281-251 record as a coach with 15 playoff wins. This may have been a questionable move if the Bucks were an established, playoff team. But they’re not. They have no identity and forging a defensive mindset is the way to go.
Maybe Charlie Villanueva will think he’s playing for Jim Calhoun. That way, he’ll forget that he’s supposed to lose every game.