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Coaches Corner – 5/21/12

21 May

Quick, when you think of great a coach, whom comes to mind?

John Wooden. 

Vince Lombardi. 

Phil Jackson.

Joe Torre.

Pat Riley. 

Bill Parcells.

All these men are winners in their profession.  They managed players, owners, and fans and each had a personality to match their teams.

They have written books on winning and leadership.  They have been highly paid speakers and they have been often studied by the peers to find their “tricks of the trade.”

Well, I am here to tell you that there is another coach that might one day surpass all these men as the best coach in any sport.

Greg Popovich is the going to rank in history as the best coach in the fraternity of coaches.

He has guided the Spurs to four championships.  This year could be five.

The Spurs are a legitimate dynasty dating back to 1999.

He has won NBA coach of the month a record 13 times.

He has been named NBA coach of the year twice.

In a day and age where players can dictate moves and they are able to get coaches fired, Coach Pop has survived and managed to build a team that defies all odds.

The culture he has established with the Spurs is TEAM first.

It’s almost a college or high school atmosphere.  Attitudes are checked at the door.  Stats and personal numbers are sacrificed for the good of the team.

His management of players this year was a stroke of genius.  He rested his players game after game. He even sent himself home from a regular season game in Utah to mentally prepare himself for the playoffs.  While keeping his big three healthy, he was able to develop Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter.

He picked up Boris Diaw off waivers and now he is their starting center.

Every button he pushes seems to work.

The Spurs were down 24 points on the road in the playoffs and came back to defeat the Clippers.  If they didn’t lose in that game, when will they lose this post season?

John Wooden won more championships but he did it in an age where coaches were gods and nobody questioned him.

Same with Lombardi.  I am not taking anything away from them but it was a different time.

Bill Parcells and Joe Torre did it in New York which gives them bonus points.

I don’t have a counter argument to Phil Jackson if you thought he was better except he did coach Michael Jordan and I think I could have won a championship with MJ.

But at the end of the day, Greg Popovich will go down in history as the greatest coach ever to guide a team.

The NBA should go ahead and rename the NBA Coach of the Month to the Greg Popovich award.

 

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The struggles of the Lakers and Heat gives credence to my Coach Pop is the greatest coach argument.  Arguably blessed with more talent, both the Heat and Lakers are struggling in the playoffs.

If Coach Pop had a roster loaded with the talent of either of these teams, I can only imagine where that team would be.

Would Dwayne Wade bow up to Coach Pop during a time-out?  Absolutely not.

Would Andrew Bynum’s focus and desire to play be on target?  Of course it would.

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Rarely do trades benefit both teams equally, but the George Hill to Indianapolis and Kawhi Leonard draft rights traded to San Antonio has benefited both teams.

George Hill is a key reason that the Pacers have an excellent chance to win the series.  Leonard is a key player on the Spurs and isn’t even 21 yet.

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What was your reaction to the Juwan Howard and Lance Stephenson blow up?

Was it  . . .I didn’t realize that Juwan Howard was still in the league or Who Lance Stephenson was?

Well, Howard took exception to the fact that Stephenson (a former Lincoln Rail Splitter) made a chocking sign at Lebron James when he failed to make a free throw late their game.

Howard having to show that he still matters got into his face on two different occasions.

 

 

I am officially starting to panic for the New York Yankees chances to make the playoffs.  A quarter of the way into the season, the Yankees are laboring at .500.

I am normally the most optimistic Yankee fan there is.

But Alex Rodriquez and Mark Texiera are terrible offensively.  They both are lacking power and are hurting the lineup.  Texiera was finally dropped to #7 in the lineup.

Are these players having terrible seasons or is it a decline that we should now accept as the way it will be until their contracts run out?

Sadly, I think it is what we should come to expect.

Their poor play will be the reason that the Yankees do not sign Josh Hamilton this off-season.

Raul Ibanez is our most feared player offensively.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Thank god we signed him.

The injury to Mo and David Robertson has eliminated a strength that we once had with our bullpen.

The starting pitching is not reliable beyond Sabiatha and Andy Pettitte.  Pettitte hasn’t pitched in over a year.  As much as I love Andy Pettitte, he’s an awkward step away from landing on the DL.

Ivan Nova struck out 12 batters Saturday but has struggled this season.

Robinson Cano appears like he is starting to heat up which is much needed.

With the extra playoff game built in this year, I think the Yankees can still fight for a wildcard spot.  But if things do not improve, the Yankees might have some extra time off in October.

 

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I did sign up for NFL Sunday Ticket and I have not told my wife.  If she asks me about it, then I know she reads my blog posts.  We shall see.

 

Follow me on twitter @yankeetodd1

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