On the Hot Seat

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Coaches on the Hot Seat

Which NBA Head Coaches are Likely to Be Fired

The first day after the regular season is often the day that coaches in professional sports least look forward to. At the end of this past NFL season, 8 coaches were fired. The NHL season ended just last weekend, 7 coaches have been fired. It would be safe to expect the same in the NBA. Which coaches are sitting on the hottest of seats?

Dave Joerger

Following his 4-year contract extension as general manager, Vlade Divac is reportedly contemplating firing Dave Joerger. Joerger may be the first domino to fall as Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the two will meet today, where Joerger will be relieved of his duties. Even though the two butted heads earlier in the season, this still comes as somewhat of a surprise. The Kings finally seem to have some stability and are coming off of a successful season where they over-achieved. It sounds like this has more to do with Joerger pushing for too much power than it does with poor coaching. If he does become available, expect Joerger to receive a lot of interest around the league.

Luke Walton

According to reports, Luke Walton and his staff had one foot out the door and were expecting to be let go at the post-match press conference after the final game against the Blazers, Tuesday night. Instead, Magic stepped down and there has been no word since on the Lakers coaching situation. Magic was reportedly ready to fire Walton, but didn’t have the backing of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. Walton’s future may also depend on who the Lakers new GM is, even though it sounds as though Rob Pelinka has assumed the interim role. Keep an eye on this situation, there’s surely more to come.

The latest reports suggest that if Walton does indeed become available, the Kings are going to move quickly and hire him as their new coach.

Brett Brown

“My goal and my expectation is to definitely get past where we got last year,” said 76ers general manager Elton Brand. “We got to the second round, we lost to Boston. I expect us to pass that.” Those are lofty expectations, especially considering the 76ers would have to go through the Raptors in the second round. But, perhaps Brand is right in expecting immediate success. After all, he acquired an All-Star in Jimmy Butler and most recently another fringe All-Star in Tobias Harris. Remember, too, that Brett Brown is the previous regime’s coach. An early exit in this year’s playoffs, could very well mean the end of Brett Brown’s time in Philadelphia.

Jim Boylen

In Boylen’s defense, he was always just an interim hire, meant to get the locker room cleaned up and jump start a rebuild. And to his credit, the Bulls did actually play more inspiring basketball in the second half of the season, with next to no drama compared to while previous head coach Fred Hoiberg was in charge. Boylen’s main problem, however, seems to be his style of play not meshing with what the franchise wants. Hoiberg was hired as a successful college basketball coach, with a more modern approach to the game, featuring a quick tempo and innovative play-calling. Depending on other coaches that become available, Boylen’s days in the Windy City do seem numbered.

Igor Kokoskov

Long-term coaches in Phoenix are an endangered species, so it appears highly unlikely Kokoskov returns next year. Kokoskov hasn’t necessarily done a bad job this year; I mean you can’t call a 19-win season a good job, but he was set up for failure from the start. Kokoskov is highly thought of around the league, with former players raving about his ability to get a team prepared and scouts salivating at some of the plays he draws up. It didn’t translate into wins for Phoenix this year, but perhaps he deserves another chance, backed by a competent management group.

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