Smart is Out

Lacob’s axe has fallen on Keith Smart.  No surprise there, of course.  He never had a chance.  Lacob didn’t want him, and made absolutely sure that he couldn’t succeed by gutting his bench.

It will be interesting to see whether Lacob begins his coaching search before the NBA lockout.  Other teams, such as Houston, seem to be moving forward regardless.

It is difficult to overstate how important Lacob’s choice of coach will be for this Warriors team.  The wrong coach, like the frequently mentioned (and completely execrable) Mike Brown, would be disastrous.  The right coach, like Mike D’Antoni, could have added 10 wins to this season’s team, and would have next year’s team in contention, provided the Warriors pick up a difference-maker at center.

8 Responses to Smart is Out

  1. D’Antoni is not the answer. One had only to watch a Nelson team playing Pheonix when D’Antoni coach. Nellie a far superior coach. And against Boston, NY left Boston’s shooters wide-open on virtually every possession.

    Jerry Sloan would be a great coach for the Warriors. Runs a great offense and defense.

  2. Which brings us back to the question why Lacob fired Nelson. Presumably to bring back a winning environment to GS and correct the “sins of the past.”

    What has he accomplished by dangling Smart by a string an entire season?

    This smells bad.

  3. Smart seems to feel he proved he can coach in the NBA. I’m not so sure that feeling is universal.
    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2011/04/27/smart-fair-or-not-who-knows/

  4. Once again, Lacob’s timing on making a coaching change is curious. Is he letting Smart go now as a courtesy to him so he can start looking for other work? But if he doesn’t have anyone lined up, is he confident he can get someone good? If so, why? Or is he in effect saying anybody they might get will be better than Smart?

    Our Team at the other blog had an interesting point. To instill confidence in the fan base, etc. Lacob would want to announce a successor soon, and OT suggests he hasn’t because that coach is involved in the playoffs. If so, who might that be? I don’t know how this works–could these negotiations have been made the last month or so with someone under contract and currently involved with his team? Riley said they might wait until the end of June to decide, which would coincide with the playoffs. (Or does he have someone lined up who is not in the playoffs but who is on his way out yet his departure hasn’t been made official?)

    Or is he gambling with a possible lockout, in which case there is no rush at all? (Unlikely?)

    Curiouser and curiouser. . . .

  5. No surprise here. Smart was the cheap interim option with a one year contract with a one year team option. Smart was given a great opportunity to show what he could do and was merely sub par. Lacob already had to pay Nellie’s final year on his contract and Smart was already getting paid as an assistant.

    Smart had Biedrins playing well enough to start the season, then when Beans’ performance fell off a cliff – didn’t pull Beans from the starting lineup. Smart’s rotations made little sense to many. Smart favored Acie Law over Stephen Curry in games that were still undecided. It’s safe to say he didn’t click with Stephen Curry or Reggie Williams. Smart gave Monta Ellis the keys to the franchise – and it didn’t work out so well.

    All I can say about Smart is that he had a nice locker room and he seemed to be well-liked and soft spoken guy. Probably not NBA head coaching material. Best of luck Keith – I’ll be rooting for you as an assistant somewhere else!

    Like his Meyers acquisition – I think Lacob will want to go with a less experienced head coach who can better take Lacob’s “direction.” And will be a much cheaper option too. I’d guess assistant coaches, with a Boston/Ainge/Kerr slant to be very likely. I just can’t see Lacob bringing in a well established coach with set ideas and ways of coaching – no HOF Sloan or D’Antoni (once fired, plus D’Antoni’s style not a fit for Lacob).

    Hope the new coach can work with Curry/Reggie Williams (if re-signed) better than smart did. And turn around and inspire confidence in Biedrins – he was playing adequately at the beginning of the season – then trade his contract!!!

    Here’ s to the Warriors front office getting a new head coach and – like Feltbot hinted – giving the guy the pieces necessary to compete for a playoff spot. Acquiring a low post scorer and/or defender/rebounder to prevent a Samuel Dalembert from getting career highs. A wing or two that can actually slow down an opponents 2 0r 3 – like preventing a Marcus Thornton-type from getting a career high.

  6. rgg – I don’t see what’s so curious. Lacob said he wanted to give Smart an early decision after season’s end. Lacob was out of town for awhile with NBA meetings. This week was apparently the first opportunity to finalize the decision and let Smart know the outcome. It was handled in a businesslike and humane manner, in my book.

    As for interviewing coaches, I’m pretty sure the Warriors can’t talk to a coach who’s involved in the playoffs, and they’ve got to have some of those guys on their list. Riley said they hope to have a new coach hired in time for the June 23 draft, which seems realistic.

    The biggest problem I’m having is that I don’t see any available coach who seems like a sure fit for our team. I don’t like comments Van Gundy has made about the Ws, Sloan is too old, Brown is a defensive coach, and they all have baggage of one kind or another. This is making me the most nervous. Maybe they’ll find gold with one of the unknown assistants. Scott Brooks was an assistant for three teams before becoming Thunder head coach. But will Lacob gamble on an unknown? Your guess is as good as mine.

  7. mwlx,

    Probably so. I just wondered if there were a chance that Smart might yet be their best option and that they’d hold on to him as long as decent. I assume they’re confident they’ll get someone better and will be able to attract him.

    If the new coach does not recognize or is not excited about the individual talents of the core players and their possibilities together, it will be another wasted year.

    Defense came up several times in Riley’s remarks. . . .