Coaches can make the ultimate difference or only a negligible difference.
Depends on the mindset of the collective talent.
Erik Spoelstra might be the perfect example of a guy in the right place at the right time for the Miami Heat as a totally focused LeBron, D Wade and Chris Bosh got it together and won NBA titles in 2012 & ’13, then again, Jordan had had 3 coaches and Shaq had had five, before Phil Jackson skillfully guided each to Chips.
And it’s the same in all sports.
The legendary Angelo Dundee without whom Ali would have been nowhere near as great, once worked as a corner man against Ali for the hapless Jimmy Ellis, and just thinking about how the Packers collapsed without Lomardi or, more recently, how the Yankees initially swooned without Torre, makes you understand that while anarchy may be interesting conceptually as a government alternative, that shit probably wouldn’t work in sports.
Enter LaVar Ball.
Now, lemme just say that it’s time I finally gave this dude his props, his full props, because the entire scope of his plan just became clear.
See, I thought LaVar was just some fucking huckster.
Some bozo ripe to capitalize off the undeniable talent of at least his oldest boy, Lonzo, create some ridiculous off-brand sneakers and charge the nigger-outrageous price of $500 dollars for them, but then, like I said, yesterday he tipped his hand.
When he sat down across from Stephen A. Smith – no stranger to hyperbole himself – an predicted that the Los Angeles Lakers would win a total of 50 games in the upcoming season despite only winning 26 last season, what he was really doing was throwing down the gauntlet towards Lakers current head coach Luke Walton.
LaVar Ball says the Lakers will win 50 games this season. 😂
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) September 13, 2017
This was no veiled threat.
What LaVar was essentially saying was that with the Laker’s current roster which consists of (worth mentioning at least), his son Lonzo, Corey Brewer, Jordan Clarkson, Luol Deng, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez, Larry Nance Jr., and Julius Randle, the Lakers have enough talent to win 50 games next seasons so if they don’t, the fault must lie with the coaching.
I wouldn’t be surprised if LaVar eventually – and soon – went ahead and predicted that son Lonzo would pull a Bill Russell/Magic Johnson and win the chip in his very first year.
Of course, when Walton fails to turn the Lakers into 50 game winners next season -as he will – it’s doubtful that General Manager Magic Johnson would immediately fire him and even if Magic did, it’s more doubtful that his next coaching choice would be one LaVar Ball who’s head coaching experience to date has been limited to his sons’ AAU teams.
Still, as we’ve watched this guy ascend the ladder of celebrity from mere irritant to household name, an eventual shot at the coaching the Lakers – especially in headline-craving, media-mad Los Angeles – isn’t totally out of the question.
We just watched a guy with no experience in government talk himself into the White House.
LaVar’s only problem might be free agency.
LeBron is allegedly considering the Lakers.
Would LeBron, or any other established NBA star, put himself under the direct supervision of a flaming egomaniac who, in LeBron’s case, there’s already been issues?
And how would Lonzo respond to again being bossed around by the only voice he’s ever really heard in his head?
Doc Rivers and his boy Austin have been working the father-son/coach-player NBA thing out there with that other LA franchise for a minute now to mixed results.
LaVar coaching Lonzo would be something to see, that’s for sure.
But would it work?