Record-level coach firings

The New York Daily News (Mitch Lawrence) reports: A fifth of the league’s 30 coaches – six – already have been dismissed, a record for this early in the season. If that isn’t insane, three of the choices to take over were nothing short of mind-boggling. In Minnesota, Washington and Philly, head coaches were replaced by members of the team’s front office. In the cases of the Wizards and Sixers, the interim choices, Ed Tapscott and Tony DiLeo, respectively, had only limited time in NBA huddles. This is nothing personal against Tapscott or DiLeo or Kevin McHale, who was forced to move from his GM suite to the bench to take over for Randy Wittman, marking McHale’s second tour of duty on Minnesota’s bench. But they’re no more qualified to coach a team than an equipment man is to run a draft. For many teams, these moves violate the NBA’s version of the separation of church and state. GMs and their subordinates do one thing (procure the talent). Coaches do something else (coach it). And ne’r should the career paths cross (unless, of course, it’s Pat Riley).

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