NBA not just recycling coaches this offseason, as Celtics' Brad Stevens hire shows

Boston's hiring of a guy who graduated high school the same year as Kevin Garnett supports an interesting trend. NBA franchises aren't going to the same old carousel for coaches.
by Berry Tramel Published: July 4, 2013
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Phoenix hired Jeff Hornacek, who has limited coaching experience of any kind. Brooklyn hired Jason Kidd, who has no coaching experience.

Boston went to the college ranks and plucked not Krzyzewski nor Calipari nor Pitino nor Self, but the guy coaching a “Hoosiers remake.

And Philadelphia still has a hire to make; reports have focused almost exclusively on virgins — assistants Brett Brown (Spurs), David Fizdale (Heat), Michael Curry (Sixers), Melvin Hunt (Nuggets), Chris Finch (Rockets) and Kelvin Sampson (Rockets).

Perhaps the NBA is learning from the NFL, which also has renounced recycling. The NFL this offseason made eight head coaching changes; of the new hires, only Andy Reid (Kansas City) had been an NFL head coach. The year before, of five new coaches, only Jeff Fisher (St. Louis) had been an NFL head coach.

That's 13 NFL coaching changes in two years, and only two were filled by retreads.

I like it. I like it in the NFL, I like it in the NBA. Hiring assistant coaches isn't electric, but some of the NBA's best teams are led by coaches who never have been an NBA head coach anywhere else.

The Heat's Erik Spoelstra. The Thunder's Scotty Brooks. The Pacers' Frank Vogel. The Bulls' Tom Thibodeau. The Warriors' Mark Jackson.

Will Brad Stevens join their ranks? I don't know. But thinking outside the box never is a bad way to do business.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

NBA coaching changes for the coming season:

Team

Previous coach

New coach

NBA head coaching experience

Celtics

Doc Rivers

Brad Stevens

none

Grizzlies

Lionel Hollins

David Joerger

none

Nuggets

George Karl

Brian Shaw

none

Clippers

Vinny Del Negro

Doc Rivers

14 years, 2 franchises

Nets

P.J. Carlesimo

Jason Kidd

none

Pistons

Lawrence Frank

Maurice Cheeks

8 years, 2 franchises

Kings

Keith Smart

Michael Malone

none

Bucks

Jim Boylan

Larry Drew

3 years, 1 franchise

Bobcats

Mike Dunlap

Steve Clifford

none

Hawks

Larry Drew

Mike Budenholzer

none

Suns

Lindsey Hunter

Jeff Hornacek

none

Cavaliers

Byron Scott

Mike Brown

6 years, 2 franchises

76ers

Doug Collins

vacant

N/A


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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