The easiest way to get to the Barclay’s Center, the home of the Brooklyn Nets, is with the subway. When you arrive at the station, one find themselves underground. Only small rays of light enter the station on bright sunny days.
How appropriate that this station is where the Brooklyn Nets play their home games.
It is no secret to any basketball fan that the Nets are just plain awful. With under 20 wins this season as of 3/23/16, the Nets are on pace to finish with one of the five-worst records in the NBA.
It is also no secret that the Nets traded away all of their entire future of 1st round draft picks for the forseeable future 3 years ago to the Boston Celtics for future Hall of Fame players Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Another unkept league wide secret is that this trade includes an unprotected 1st round pick that will go to the Boston Celtics in the upcoming NBA draft.
With little cap space, and no draft picks, there is a greater chance of getting a sunburn from inside the Barclay’s Center train station than Brooklyn Nets chances of success anytime in the near future. The only secret seems to be how to get the Brooklyn Nets on track to winning.
One way to start is to hire a head coach the organization will commit to long term.
Next season with be the Nets’ 5th season since moving from New Jersey. In all likelihood (unless interim Head Coach Tony Brown is retained,) the Brooklyn Nets will name their sixth Head Coach before the start of next season.
Something has to change. And if the Brooklyn Nets need a model to replicate, they should look to their hated division rivals, the Celtics, who are a big reason the Brooklyn Nets are in their current predicament. After trading Paul and Garnett, Head Coach Doc Rivers left to become Executive V.P. and Head Coach for the L.A. Clippers. The Celtics shocked the league by hiring Butler Head Coach Brad Stevens as his replacement. What was even more shocking was the contract they signed him to, a six-year $22 million contract.
It was considered a major gamble to give all that money and make such a major commitment to a man who had never coached an NBA game before.
Three years later the Celtics are fighting for the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
When Brad Stevens was hired, General Manager Danny Ainge knew the team was in a rebuild mode. Following the trade of Garnett and Pierce, the team knew it was not going to be competitive while it restocked the roster with young players to develop and build a new nucleus with.
What the Celtics did know was that they had a long-term plan. They wanted Stevens to have time to develop the players. They wanted a long-term solution, and committed to a coach they believed, given the time and talent, would lead the Celtics to success.
When the Nets hire their next coach, it is imperative they give that coach the same type of trust and commit if they want to develop into a consistent contender.
The importance of a long term solution at Head Coach has a major impact on an organizations success.
One common denominator of all winning organizations is patience and stability. Teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, who have won multiple NBA championships have employed their current coaches for more than five seasons. Entering the 2014-2015 season, both Greg Popovich (Spurs) and Eric Spoelstra (Heat) were ranked in the top five for winning percentages among current NBA head coaches.
It takes time to establish a style of play, and then get the personnel to fit that style. A NBA Head Coach needs time be given the players to run his system. Without this patience, a new coach will be hired every other season with different approaches that fit different personnel. It takes time to get establish the right makeup of a team.
A critical part of establishing the makeup of a team comes through free agency. For a player to remain as a member of one team for his whole career is almost unheard of.
Aside from money, what attracts players to certain teams? It’s the chance to win a championship.Karl Malone played his last season with the Los Angeles Lakers in a bid to win an NBA title. Gary Payton joined Malone on that team with the same goal in mind.
More from Empire Writes Back
That Lakers team had stability with Jackson as head coach, who had time to establish a winning team in LA. A major reason for the Lakers success was the ability to attract players who felt comfortable enough to commit to the team. Without stability and the chance of a rebuild lurking, these players, and others like them would not have signed with their teams.
Firing coaches too often takes away the attraction of stability to potential free agents. Players have a limited amount of time in the league. The older they get, the less time they have to win a title. With constant upheaval the appeal is lost. No appeal means no signings means limited success.
For the Nets to succeed in the future, they must make a long-term commitment to their next Head Coach.
During a rebuild that will take a long time, the first rays of hope that the Nets can give to their fans is the commitment and stability to a Head Coach that all successful NBA teams have.