“COACHES are hired to fired”. That’s the famous saying supported by years of history in the NBA. However this season, for the first time in YEARS (46 to be exact) it looks like head coaches are going to emerge unscathed from the 2016/17 season.
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THERE are just under three weeks of games left in the NBA, so it’s fair to say that the 30 head coaches are safe. The last time an entire season went by without a coach being fired during the season was in 1970-71. There were 17 teams in the league, the Bee Gees and Rod Stewart were atop the charts, Richard Nixon was president and a guy named Lew Alcindor won the MVP leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their only championship to date.
Image from hoopshabit.com
WITH a whopping 40% of coaches embarking in their 1st full season it’s easy to give them a hall pass, but that doesn’t leave the other 18 safe from the axe. Of those 18 coaches, four of them have just 82 games of experience with their current team heading into this season. So over half the coaches in the league haven’t had over one full season with their current teams, which further illustrates the quick turnover that NBA coaches are accustomed to. Last year there were five head coaches fired during the actual season, with 17 coaches in total fired in-season over the past five years.
THERE are potential off-season firing candidates, but with so few games remaining it would make little sense for a team to remove their coach. Alvin Gentry (Pelicans), Fred Hoiberg (Bulls) and Brett Brown (Sixers) could all be shown the door due to the lack of team success, but firing one of them seems like it would be a move purely to blame someone for a poor season. Dwane Casey (Raptors), Mike Budenholzer (Hawks), Terry Stotts (Trailblazers) and Erik Spoelstra (Heat) could also be on the chopping block should their squadsfail in the post season (or fail to qualify). Outside of those candidates a firing would seem like a move for the sake of making a move. Next season coaches may not be so lucky, for now though they can take a deep breath and relax.