Yesterday’s Scott Skiles

30 05 2008

Word on the street is that Doug Collins is the front-runner for the Chicago Bulls’ head coaching position.

Didn’t we just fire this guy?

Oh, wait… that was Scott Skiles. This is Doug Collins, a Midwestern mind that was the first overall pick in the 1973 NBA draft. My mistake.

Collins has won 53.6% of his games as a coach (332 wins and 287 losses). He’s had moderate success in the post-season with a career record of 15-23 in the playoffs. He’s branded as a defensive-minded, old-school coach that is hailed as a guy that develops younger players.

Doesn’t this sound familiar?

Scott Skiles, the guy that was fired from this position on Christmas Eve, has won 52.8% of his games. In comparison, he’s gone 15-20 in the post-season. Skiles is a coach that focuses on defense. He’s old-school. He was branded as a great teacher.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that opportunities arise depending on who you know rather than what you know. Doug Collins is a good coach and he knows the game. If you’ve listened to his comments during TNT broadcasts, you’ll likely agree with me.

However, this move reeks of “good ol’ boy.” Collins has some sway in league circles; he’s in the know. Take a look around at other teams’ recent hires — Mike D’Antoni, Larry Brown, Rick Carlisle, Scott Skiles and Erik Spoelstra. Everyone but Spoelstra is on at least their third coaching stop. Is fraternity really that thick?

Paxson can’t find someone fresher than Collins? He has been out of coaching for five years. Since leaving the Washington Wizards, he’s made it very clear that he was no longer willing partake in the plight of an NBA coach.

I don’t blame John Paxson for sticking to his guns and hiring an old-school guy. Paxson realizes that it takes defense to make noise in the playoffs — as evidenced by this year’s NBA final four. He can re-tool a bit and draft Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose. But he’s leveraging his suddenly attractive coaching spot to grab a re-thread?

Maybe we should’ve just re-hired Skiles.

I guess I’ll just have to wait 10 years.