The Celtics are going to lose Lawrence Frank, probably later this week. He’s competing with Dwayne Casey for two different jobs, in Golden State and Toronto, and recent reports have indicated that Casey cannot perform both jobs simultaneously.
**UPDATE** Lawrence Frank has removed himself from the Golden State job, according to Yahoo!’s Marc Spears.
Toronto, in particular, is high on Frank, as they’re seeking a defensive specialist to avoid threepeating as the worst defensive team in the league. Frank and Casey (get a last name, you two) also have a shot at the job in Detroit, should either of those other teams decide to torpedo their franchise by hiring Mark Jackson.
**UPDATE** Golden State has launched the torpedo, it seems.
The C’s are starting to shape up like the Patriots in this regard: their game plan is so well respected that it’s increasingly difficult for them to hold on to an assistant coach. But good for Frank. As, I believe, the only head coach without actual experience playing basketball in high school or above, he’s carved out a very impressive career and he deserves another shot at running a team. He’s a great, funny dude, with his career highlight probably coming the time he swore twice on The Show Formerly Known As Cold Pizza. (WARNING: SWEARS)
So who’s next? Hit the ol’ jumperoo for a list of candidates.
Of the big names making the rounds right now, most aren’t viable options. Mike Woodson is not a defensive-minded gentleman (remember how Atlanta used to deal with screens?). Mark Jackson is, again, a mistake. Rick Adelman and Larry Brown aren’t assistant coaches by trade or by nature, even though Adelman is probably the best man for the job on the market.
The best option for the C’s is to steal a current defensive specialist from a lower-tier team. There are several names being bandied about around the league, as the Lakers and Rockets seek to fill out their new staffs, and the Celtics would be wise to seek one of these out:
- Kelvin Sampson, Milwaukee: Former coach at Indiana, booted for recruiting violations, a thing nobody cares about in the NBA. Excellent defensive coach, particularly in transition.
- Mike Malone, New Orleans: Ran the superlative defense in Cleveland until last year, when he dragged New Orleans from the middle of the pack to a top-five defense.
- David Joerger, Memphis: Probably the greatest minor league coach ever, Joerger is a big reason for Memphis’s defensive uptick last season and through the playoffs.
- Bill Laimbeer, Minnesota: Known insane person. But big on defensive toughness, and hey, it would make a fun story.
My vote’s for Joerger. He’s great developing young players, which will come in handy when the roster overhaul begins after this season, and I loved Memphis’s defense last year. Malone’s probably going to the Lakers, anyway, and Sampson has the best shot at a head coaching job.
Your nominee? Do you care?