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Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 02/11/2011

Josh Howard, Rashard Lewis uncertain for Spurs game

By Gene Wang

The Washington Wizards went through practice today unsure of the status of several players for tomorrow night's game against San Antonio, which brings the league's best record and a four-game winning streak to Verizon Center.

Among those questionable include swingman Josh Howard and forward Rashard Lewis, both of whom have knee tendinitis. Howard participated in practice this morning, but Coach Flip Saunders didn't sound optimistic while not officially ruling him out. Lewis, meantime, missed a second straight practice.

Howard has been battling the ailment in his left knee all season and has not played since Jan. 5 against Philadelphia. Howard played just 12 minutes against the 76ers before discomfort forced him from the game. He has played in just eight of the Wizards' 51 games this season.

"I don't know. We'll just wait and see," Saunders said. "Who knows. He might wake up tomorrow and might feel good, so we'll see."

Lewis has managed to play through tendinitis in his right knee, although it has limited his effectiveness. Lewis is averaging 7.8 points over his past four games, including just three points on 1-for-5 shooting in Wednesday's 100-85 win against Milwaukee.

Lewis said shortly after joining the Wizards that his knee had been bothering him since Washington acquired the two-time all-star from Orlando in exchange for Gilbert Arenas on Jan. 18. Lewis indicated earlier this week, though, that he hoped to be able to play tomorrow.

The Wizards do know they will be without reserve forward Al Thornton, who was at practice but had a splint on his right hand protecting his dislocated middle finger. Thornton was hurt during Monday's practice while attempting a steal, and after he popped the finger back in place, subsequent swelling prevented him from playing against the Bucks.

By Gene Wang  | February 11, 2011; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  Al Thornton, Josh Howard, Rashard Lewis  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Jump ball: Who wins -- Wizards or Cavs?
Next: Open thread: Wizards (14-37) vs. Spurs (44-9)

Comments

I don't think it's some sort of evaluation game for Flip Saunders however. He's a proven commodity coaching a young bad team. Pretty simple.

Flip has screwed up a few close games over the past 2 seasons, I think this season he even said he made a mistake (only time he's ever said that) for not riding Thornton's hot hand maybe in tight loss? I think Ted was sitting right next to him (or was it the road?), and posted on his blog the very next morning that everything including coaching had to improve or something to that effect. If the Toilet Bowl is a tight game coming down to the wire...

And whomever is comparing Flip favorably to Sloan has lost their minds, you're not going to find anybody outside a few cheerleaders here that would put Saunders in that category.

And just to be clear, I dont think saunders should be fired.

Posted by: divi3 | February 11, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"And whomever is comparing Flip favorably to Sloan has lost their minds, you're not going to find anybody outside a few cheerleaders here that would put Saunders in that category."

I must have missed that comparison.

But maybe if Flip worked for a more nurturing type who praised him every time he did his job and never criticized him for some bonehead move then maybe eventually he would be a good player...

Oops, got my victims mixed up there for a minute.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter if Lewis & Thornton play or not, they will lose...Lewis's knee is sore so he's limited...Thornton is not completely healed, so what can he contribute???

I'm just biding my time for Sunday's game in Cleveland for the Toilet Bowl, or Loser Bowl game...the loser of that game can have either name inscribed on the trophy.

Haven't been this pumped up for a Wiz/Bullets game since the 79 championship series with Seattle...Remember that one????

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 11, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"Howard"...Thornton, so confused I stuck Thornton's name in there by mistake...

Wonder if it made any difference? NAH!!!!!!

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 11, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Flip nurtures his players, some of them anyway. Just today he praised the great defense John and Kirk played against Jennings, it was awesome how they 'limited' him to 5pts over his season avg on .006 below his season avg FG%. When you consider he's coming off a broken foot, the magnitude of their defensive prowess really hits you.

But I guess Flip didnt know Jennings was coming off an injury as he didnt focus on it the way he did re: Bogut being held in check?

in all seriousness though...recently i like some of what i am seeing from Flip, not that it matters

Posted by: divi3 | February 11, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm concerned about the Clippers chances of pulling out a victory tonight.
No Kaman nullifies a huge advantage.

Josh Howard must be living right. He got Ernie to pay him $3 million to rehab.

Howard won't be capable of playing consistent minutes until next season, when he's an UFA.

I hope he offers Ernie a 'special free agent' discount price when other GMs come sniffing around this summer.

Posted by: bozomoeman | February 11, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

it's being reported on espn that deron williams was not satisfied with Sloan's worth ethic...there's a twist. Apparently Sloan does not watch that much film with the team and has basically relied on the exact same stuff for 22yrs- with good reason as he's had so much success. But DWill supposedly feels the team is not prepared well enough because of it.

Pretty interesting...

Posted by: divi3 | February 11, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Howard won't be capable of playing consistent minutes until next season, when he's an UFA.

And if there is no MLE next season, which seems likely, he won't be playing for a contender without a S&T.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 11, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

But DWill supposedly feels the team is not prepared well enough because of it.

Utah can't/won't spend enough money to make Williams happy. He's been unhappy since last season when Utah started giving away players to save money.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 11, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

...when Utah started giving away players to save money

Phoenix did the same thing. I haven't read any comparisons, but it's interesting to see the different responses of Nash and Williams. Of course, age is a factor, and Nash took the money by going to Phoenix in the first place.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 11, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm a heretic, but without Malone and Stockton, Sloan wouldn't have anywhere near as many career wins. They're pretty much the reason that he lasted so long as a coach. Look at it this way: He had two hall of fame players for what, 15 years, and only made it to the finals once. There are a lot of coaches in NBA history who've done as well or better than that.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | February 11, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Utah can't/won't spend enough money to make Williams happy. He's been unhappy since last season when Utah started giving away players to save money."

Posted by: djnnnou | February 11, 2011 3:59 PM


What happens in the next CBA will go a long way towards determining what the Jazz can/will do. If a hard cap is put in place, then that could level the financial playing field for small market teams like the Jazz, giving them a better chance to compete without going into the red.

There's also the personal aspect to consider. If Williams and Sloan were really that far at odds, Sloan leaving can be viewed as improving Utah's chances of keeping Williams as it now means he'll have more freedom and leeway. On the flip side, however, if the fans and media continue to cast him as the guy who drove Sloan out, it'll almost certainly hurt the chances of him wanting to stay in a place where he's viewed as a villain.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 11, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: djnnnou | February 11, 2011 3:59 PM

your guy jonas valenciunas is playing real well in the euro top16 tourney, that should help his draft stock. Him and Kanter will be interesting choices

samson's 2011 nba ROY isnt faring as well. Through 3 games Rubio is averaging 2pts on 14%FG (11%3PT 1-9). PGs across the league quaking in their shoes at the thought of facing him next season.

Posted by: divi3 | February 11, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Utah has been struggling. If they start playing better and winning games from here on out, Sloan's legacy will be intact but no one will begrudge Williams for what happened. Win-win.

Posted by: divi3 | February 11, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"samson's 2011 nba ROY isnt faring as well."

And who said you had no sense of humor?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

What great trades! We get two bum knees! yes! go whiz!

Posted by: alaskan_teleman | February 11, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"Flip nurtures his players, some of them anyway. Just today he praised the great defense John and Kirk played against Jennings, it was awesome how they 'limited' him to 5pts over his season avg on .006 below his season avg FG%. When you consider he's coming off a broken foot, the magnitude of their defensive prowess really hits you. posted by divi3"

Sort of a 'mean little boy' version of a sense of humor...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why we'd expect Deron Williams to stay in Utah indefinitely, Sloan or no. Small market team. He's the sort of player with a secret longing for the bright lights.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't know that Williams is necessarily a "bright lights" guy. Unlike Lebron or Shaq (to give two previous examples of those types) he's never really come across as a big self-promoter or an ego driven guy. The impression of him has always seemed to be that he cares more about winning than any of the ancillary showbiz stuff. None of which, of course, really guarantees his future in Utah either, given that they've clearly put a big value on the financial bottom line the last couple of years, possibly bigger than the the value of the product on the floor.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 11, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why we'd expect Deron Williams to stay in Utah indefinitely, Sloan or no. Small market team. He's the sort of player with a secret longing for the bright lights.

Grew up in a town of 20k people, probably can't wait to get out Salt Lake and back to the bright lights of his youth.

Posted by: divi3 | February 11, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Neither Howard or Lewis has much thread uleft on their tires. They belong in the same trash bin as Arenas.

Posted by: bupbups | February 11, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of all these knees, what's happened to Mustafa Shakur? Is he on workers comp? In hiding?

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 11, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

your guy jonas valenciunas is playing real well in the euro top16 tourney, that should help his draft stock. Posted by: divi3

I do prefer bigs with fundamentals, but he's only my guy by default. Draft Express put out this Perry Jones Strengths/Weaknesses video that shows Jones leading the break enough times to disqualify him as a Wizard. Sullinger is undersized and from Ohio State. I listened to the experts on Turner last year, but the trend is that OSU players don't make great pros.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 11, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

OK, I got the guy we GOT TO draft!

Chris Singleton Florida State... Check out his profile at draftexpress.com and you'll see what I mean.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 11, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

"Speaking of all these knees, what's happened to Mustafa Shakur? Is he on workers comp? In hiding?Posted by: PostSubscriber"

Supposedly they're still planning to sign the guy once he's healed up...

I dunno, you can't get too invested in any of these D-league types, but it's hard not to root for them.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

"I do prefer bigs with fundamentals, but [Valenciunas is] only my guy by default. posted by djnnnou"

That's the problem with that top dozen -- you get the sense it's going to shuffle all the way up to a week from draft day. Perry Jones is probably the best athlete of the group, Sullinger is surely the most successful college player, and Jonas is the current prince of European candidates (used to be Jan Vesely).

It's going to depend on the tournament.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

If I were the Wiz and wound up with the 5th or 6th pick, I might actually prefer this guy:

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Derrick-Williams-5811/

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

So the Cavs losing streak is over, with Antawn Jamison the hero (35 points), and the LA Clippers the goat. Sort of takes some steam out of the Wiz visit. It clearly made a difference having Mo Williams back (17 assists)& having JJ Hickson yank down 14 boards against Griffin.

Congrats to Cleveland.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 11, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

The Cavs win places the Wiz road losing streak as top spectacle to be mocked.
Mark Jackson summed up these obscene losing streaks when he stated that there is no excuse for a professional to lose that many consecutive games. The Wiz don't look any better now then they did at the start of the season. I get the feeling that they are going to fall apart in Cleveland Sunday.

Posted by: bozomoeman | February 12, 2011 12:21 AM | Report abuse

F*@*in' Clippers!!! Can't do anything right!

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 12, 2011 12:56 AM | Report abuse

"Mark Jackson summed up these obscene losing streaks when he stated that there is no excuse for a professional to lose that many consecutive games."

No excuse for Mark Jackson to make a statement like that...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

For some reason the Charlotte Bobcats seem to be struggling. They got handled by the Nets in Charlotte last night and had to make a big fourth quarter run to get close to Indiana the game before. From the Observer:

"Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas was astounded and perplexed by his team’s lack of effort Friday....How could they play with such disinterest? So little energy? Silas was at a loss, and he appropriately let them have it, both in the post-game locker room and in his comments to the media."

"D.J. Augustin was awful and Boris Diaw wasn’t much better. Nazr Mohammed looked so flat in the first half that Silas didn’t play him in the second.

"...This home loss to the Nets negated whatever Monday’s victory over the Boston Celtics counted for. They play 11 road games against teams with winning records and they’ve lost tiebreakers to Philadelphia, Indiana and Milwaukee."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"Mark Jackson summed up these obscene losing streaks when he stated that there is no excuse for a professional to lose that many consecutive games."

No excuse for Mark Jackson to make a statement like that...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 8:40 AM

No excuse for Mark Jackson to make a statement like that? Sounds like my kind of man. Sounds like the kind of person that won't settle for futility at any cost.

But Samson151, you could be wrong about this and Mark could be adsolutely on to something here. Maybe Mark is saying that there is a controllable reason, within the power of the Wizards, that is causing them to lose like this.

Maybe Mark is just being politically correct and doesn't want to state the obvious reason why the Wizards are just a miserable team at winning at the moment.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 12, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"Mark Jackson summed up these obscene losing streaks when he stated that there is no excuse for a professional to lose that many consecutive games."
No excuse for Mark Jackson to make a statement like that...
Posted by: Samson151
No excuse for Mark Jackson to make a statement like that? Sounds like my kind of man. LarryInClintonMD"

No excuse for you having said that...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

While I am away the Wizards are playing the following games...

Tue 25 vs Denver
Fri 28 @ OKC
Sat 29 @ Memphis
Mon 31 @ Dallas
Tue 01 @ NO
Fri 04 vs Orlando
Sat 05 vs Atlanta

Will they be 0-7 during that stretch?

If they do then that would give them a 13-37 record which would mean there has been no progress since the Gil trade...

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 25, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Let's see...

Tue 25 vs Denver L 109-120
Fri 28 @ OKC L 117-124
Sat 29 @ Memphis L 93-107
Mon 31 @ Dallas L 92-102
Tue 01 @ NO L 89-97
Fri 04 vs Orlando L 92-110
Sat 05 vs Atlanta L 92-99

Doesn't seem like I missed much...

I'm sure Samson is still trying to convience everyone what a great job Flip is doing?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 12, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Sloan does not watch that much film with the team and has basically relied on the exact same stuff for 22yrs- with good reason as he's had so much success. But DWill supposedly feels the team is not prepared well enough because of it.

Pretty interesting...

Posted by: divi3

I'm thinking it's mostly related to being 68 and just slowing down. Happens to everyone eventually.

Posted by: ts35 | February 12, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I think it young folks who are tired of being told what to do by old folks.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 12, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Mark Jackson made comments because he wants to coach?

I've thought before he could be good. I'd be leery though about someone without prior coaching experience. Ideally if we could bring in someone like JVG or Larry Brown with Jackson as top assistant.

I don't know, Flip is probably as good as we can get given the team talent and what other coaches are available out there.

Is Sam Cassell a legit future head coach candidate for this team? Should we go for a college coach like a Calipari or Tom Izzo? Or should we just be happy with Flip?

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 12, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking it's mostly related to being 68 and just slowing down. Happens to everyone eventually.

No doubt. I'm actually glad to hear it (to the extent I care at all anyways) in the sense that DWill always seemed like a real good guy, nice to see this wasn't necessarily an ego-maniacal player derailing a coach. More likely it was just time for Sloan to retire. Who knows, maybe Deron showed an incredible amount of leadership given the situation (not that he should come to blows with his coach).

Posted by: divi3 | February 12, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"There are a lot of coaches in NBA history who've done as well or better than that."

Flip is not even in the same class.

Jerry Sloan rocks, he's as good as they come. As Kalo said he's going to have choice of where he wants to go next year.

I sure hope it's here.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 12, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"As Kalo said he's going to have choice of where he wants to go next year."

I thought Kalo's opinion was that Jerry was done.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Guys, coaches like Jerry Sloan don't quit suddenly a job they held for all those years, in the midst of a playoff push, because they suddenly discovered they're 68.

We can assume he already knew that.

More likely that Sloan quit because 1) there's a health problem we don't know about, or 2) there's something he really doesn't like about this team or this franchise.

If it's the second, and it's not Deron Williams, it'll be something else.

And eventually, we'll hear about it.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Let's not blame or absolve anybody yet -- there's something we clearly haven't heard. And at some point, Sloan will tell us.

Maybe in his book.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Sloan doesnt seem like a "tell-all" type, and if the fact of the matter is he doesnt watch enough film then there's probably not much he wants to say on the matter.

Posted by: divi3 | February 12, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

From draftexpress.com

"Clearly he would be best suited playing on an up-tempo team that likes to get out in transition, alongside a point guard who can get him the ball in a position to score. In his current situation at Florida State, with its slow and disjointed offense, it's tough to imagine that at times.

AP


Rather than trying to outscore opponents, it's on the defensive end where the Seminoles really make their mark. They ranked #1 in the NCAA last year in that category, according to kenpom.com, and are currently in the top 5 this season once again. This is the place where Singleton will help an NBA team the most right off the bat. Any team looking to improve on defense will be wise to give him a serious look.

With his terrific size, length, lateral quickness and intensity, Singleton puts tremendous pressure on the ball and is an absolute menace in passing lanes. He gets his team tons of extra possessions every game with his ability to collect rebounds, blocks and steals, and is the type of player who would have no problem guarding multiple positions at the NBA level —be it face-up 4's, shot-creating wings, back-to-the-basket forwards, or even switching out onto quicker guards on the perimeter (if that's how his coach elects to defend the pick-and-roll). This type of versatility makes him extremely attractive in today's NBA.

Singleton has done a good job of polishing his all-around game and is making a compelling case for himself as a potential lottery pick. How he finishes the season from an individual and, more importantly, a team perspective will play a large part in how he's ultimately perceived as a draft prospect.

Although he clearly has his flaws, players of Singleton's nature who are capable of locking down multiple positions, rebounding out of their area and scoring in transition (off cuts to the basket and second chance opportunities on the offensive glass) are valuable assets. If Singleton can develop into a reliable spot-up shooter on top of that, he'll have a long and productive NBA career."

From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Chris-Singleton-1342/#ixzz1DlcrNRGY
http://www.draftexpress.com

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 12, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

""Clearly he would be best suited playing on an up-tempo team that likes to get out in transition, alongside a point guard who can get him the ball in a position to score. In his current situation at Florida State, with its slow and disjointed offense, it's tough to imagine that at times."

Izzat Chris Singleton of Fla State? You know he's had problems with his shot, right? Still a great athlete, good defender. Depending on his tournament play, should go between 12 and 24.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"Sloan doesnt seem like a "tell-all" type, and if the fact of the matter is he doesnt watch enough film then there's probably not much he wants to say on the matter.Posted by: divi3"

LOL those ticked-off old guys will surprise you with their candor...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Guys, coaches like Jerry Sloan don't quit suddenly a job they held for all those years, in the midst of a playoff push, because they suddenly discovered they're 68."

Well, by all accounts, there are no other coaches like Sloan left in the NBA, which may have be part of the reason he quit. He's literally been saying for years (when asked how much longer he would coach) that he might just wake up one day and decide he's done. Apparently, that's what he did. Sloan has never come across as a guy with a lot of subtext; he's pretty much a "what you see is what you get" guy. I wouldn't break too many nails digging for hidden meaning in his departure.

"I thought Kalo's opinion was that Jerry was done."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 12:22 PM

Both, actually. I said that if he made himself available, there'd be several teams interested in him (and that he'd certainly have better options that the Wiz). I also said that he's unlikely to make himself available and that he's most likely done with coaching.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 12, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Let's not blame or absolve anybody yet -- there's something we clearly haven't heard. And at some point, Sloan will tell us.

Maybe in his book."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 12:27 PM

I really doubt that. Once the hoopla over his resignation settles down, I wouldn't be surprised if the next time we hear Sloan's name mentioned prominently in the national media is on the announcement of his death.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 12, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Clippers for ruining the one game I was looking forward to the rest of the year. Bright side, if we lose to them, we might be able to catch them for first crack at another number one pick. Hopefully Grunfeld will be gone before we make it (side note: Dejuan Blair is a beast lately and I and several other Wiz fans on here knew he was an obvious pick that year. Imagine if we had Dejuan Blair and Rubio or Curry insteadd of the one million dollars we got instead. Can't wait until this regime changes.)

Posted by: bosshog7169 | February 12, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"More Karl Malone on the Sloan departure:

"I know Coach Sloan, and we can call it resigning, quitting, whatever you want to call it. The man I know never quit anything and (Jazz assistant coach) Phil Johnson never quit anything so it had to be something a lot worse than what anyone is saying because I know (Sloan). This guy wouldn’t quit anything. He’s challenged me in the huddle before and said, ‘I’ll fight you as long as I can see you.’ I said, ‘Well coach, it ain’t going to be long.’ But that’s Coach Sloan and that’s his attitude."

"For something like this to happen, it’s one of those things where you can have Dr. Naismith or anyone you want but the players have to buy into the system. For people to say that the game has passed Coach Sloan and he doesn’t have the fire and the passion, I say b.s. because I know this guy. Something happened but that’s for another story. We’ve lost a great ambassador and I’ll tell you like this, at some point in my life, I will carry his (coaching) tradition on. I will be more than honored to carry the tradition on. How about Phil Johnson saying, ‘You’re resigning? Well don’t leave me, I’m resigning too.’ That’s manning-up and having your back. We have to be very careful and with the things I’ve been hearing, and I don’t believe hearsay, we have to be very careful of when inmates start running the asylum. That’s what I’m going to leave it at and you know what I’m talking about.”

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Although Karl seems to think he should be the coach of the Utah Jazz...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What's Karl Malone doing now? Is he coaching? All this talk about needing a big man coach. Maybe Karl Malone should be Wizards coach #9.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 12, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Apologies for the length, but I thought this was interesting, by JA Adande:

"One notion that floated around the internet when Jerry Sloan resigned Thursday was that Sloan can’t be considered a great coach because he never won a championship. That’s the wrong way to look at Sloan’s career. You can’t judge NBA coaches on that criteria because a small cadre hoards the coaching championships in this league. When Larry Brown stepped down earlier this season it left only three active coaches who have won championships: Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers. How exclusive is this club? There are more living former U.S. Presidents than active NBA championship coaches."

"Major League Baseball has eight active championship managers: Terry Francona, Ozzie Guillen, Jim Leyland, Mike Scioscia, Joe Girardi, Charlie Manuel, Bruce Bochy and Tony La Russa. The NHL has eight (*fix) active championship coaches: Peter Laviolette, Joel Quinneville, Dan Bylsma, Mike Babcock, Randy Carlyle, John Tortorella, Marc Crawford and Jacques Lemaire. Mike McCarthy just became the sixth active NFL coach to win a Super Bowl, joining, Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, Mike Shanahan and Tom Coughlin."

"The NBA hasn’t been as equitable. Jackson, Popovich and Pat Riley...won 20 of the past 29 championships. And that’s because they had the right players. Those 20 championships featured Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. (And I have to point out that my man Robert Horry won a championship in seven of his 16 seasons during that stretch.)"

"Sloan never got to face Riley in the playoffs. He split two playoff series with Popovich and went 0-5 against Jackson. On that last one there is once again comfort in the masses. The number of active coaches who have beaten Jackson in the playoffs is the same number who have won championships: three (Popovich, Rivers and Mike D’Antoni, whose Knicks go up against Jackson’ Lakers in Madison Square Garden tonight)."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

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