What is the value of a coach in the NBA?

{Ed. note: Very interesting discussion -- FP'd}

I'm writing this because of some of the comments that I've read about whether or not Byron Scott deserves a contract extension.

Coaches in professional sports are in one of the most scrutinized positions in the sports world. They often can receive more praise than they deserve in the good times and are an easy scapegoat for when things are not going to plan.

Coaches can also serve many different philosophy's when it comes to what is the proper way to coach a team. There are some coaches who:

  • Are more of a motivator than a believer in X's and O's. These types of coaches seek to build out a deeper connection with the players and usually strive to create some sort of role in their professional lives than that of a dictator that just simply instructs them on what they should do end of story. Some of these roles may include that of a friend or a parent.
  • Other coach's try to stay distant from their players personally and rather think of them as pieces of a puzzle in order to impliment their vision for the team. This is not to say that they are disrespectful or cold to the players. But they are not the type of coaches that would see jumping up and down at a big play or cheering on players.
  • Some coaches believe in a system and if a player doesn't fit that system then they have no use for them. These coaches believe in a singular philosophy and that if a team is to execute the game plan they will win all the time. Flexibility is not part of their vocabulary. A classic example of this would be Paul Westhead and "The System".
  • Of course there are many other styles of coaching and there are several coaches that aren't a cookie cutter version of any of these styles. For example Phil Jackson while he had an offensive philosophy was the ultimate manager of personalities. He was able to pull the right strings to get the most out of players and able to calm down the bigger divas on the team (see Rodman or Shaq and Kobe for awhile). But in my opinion with all due respect to Phil Jackson I don't believe that he would be the right coach for a young or rebuilding team. He manages star player personalities very well but when his teams are not up to par talent-wisewith contenders in the NBA you can see the situation amongst the players deteriorates and the team underacheives.

    Which brings me to my opinion on Coach Scott;

    I've never met Byron Scott but from what I've seen he seems like a very well spoken charismatic kind of guy. He has a strong work ethic and from the stories of "Camp Scott" he sure seems to want to instill this in his players. Most importantly though for the Cavaliers he has a history as a coach of developing young talented point guards into Hall of Fame talents and for getting the absolute most out of young talented teams. In my opinion his two runs to the NBA finals with the New Jersey Nets were a complete reflection of how his coaching and guidance can lead a young talented team in the right direction. I felt when New Orleans let him go he was being fired due to the failures of the front office to put together the right pieces for them to excell as well as being the teams scapegoat when Chris Paul got hurt.

    Coach Scott seems to have a great relationship with Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. Both players seem to be high character guys with a fire in them to improve all the time and stay humble. This relationship should not be taken for granted and with another young talented player joining the team in Dion Waiters now is the most crucial time for Byron Scott to be part of this team.

    As most followers of the team know Dion showed up to summer league overweight. He showed an elite ability to get to the rim and certainly has a chip on his shoulder; but he doesn't know how to be a pro yet. This is where Coach Scott's value really shows. If he can instill the work ethic and get Dion to buy into the culture that has begun to built inside the Cavaliers lockeroom the future is bright for this team.

    It might be noted that I didn't note the Cavaliers win/ loss record in this post. Well that's because I believe it is irrelevant. The value of a coach in the NBA is not dependent on their win and loss record as the media so often tries to make us believe. It is in the development of the individual players. If you can see growth with each of the players both within themselves and with how they produce on the floor then that's the value of an NBA coach. Injuries, personal tragedy and so many other things can contribute to losses. But when I look at the Cavaliers I see every player improving steadily and the start of something special starting to brew. When this is no longer the case then it's time to move on.

    This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword

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