clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The coaching toolbox: What does the next Thunder coach need to succeed?

New, comment

The Thunder are actively hunting for a new coach. What does he need to succeed?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

You don't buy a Toyota before test driving and getting a price quote on the Mercedes you really want.

Now this is no used car deal by any stretch, but the next Thunder coach needs to have some standard equipment and a few custom features to fit his new team's particular needs.

So let's kick the tires, raise the hood, check the oil and make a list of qualifications GM Sam Presti needs to see in a coaching candidate.

Coaching toolbox qualifications

  1. NBA experience, preferably NBA head coaching experience.
  2. A battle tested offensive and defensive philosophy that matches the talent on our roster.
  3. Strong organization and communication skills. We are at point A, we want to get to point B, and this is how we are going to do it.
  4. The candidate has to either have solid assistants he is bringing in with him or know the kind of assistants he needs to maximize team growth.
  5. We also need a candidate that can hit the ground running. We've got a semi important event coming up on June 25th, the only reward from a grueling season, a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
There are plenty of names thrown around on a daily basis to choose from. Make a list of the team's needs first, then make a list of at least 3 names that fit your qualifications.

Here are my top 3:

  1. Tom Thibodeau -   With a few reservations, he fits my list, and if the need ever comes up when the Thunder need to replace a certain high profile player, Thibs has proven he can handle the challenges and transitions. Plus, if Presti is determined to sign Kanter, Thibs will have the best shot of making Mr One-Way into at least a servicable two way player.
  2. Rick Carlisle -   The opportunity to both hire a championship-winning coach and make Mark Cuban blow sky high at the same time intrigues me. Carlisle fits my list, but the free agent draw to the Mavs, even with Cuban's money, has been surprisingly thin. Is the problem Carlisle?
  3. Ettore Messina -  If the pressure wasn't so hot for immediate success, Messina would be my number one choice. How can you argue with the qualifications of a man Spurs coach Gregg Popovich trusted to drive his shiny new NBA Champion for a few games while Pops was recovering from minor surgery late in November? To be perfectly honest, I want Presti to hire Messina. If for no other reason than not to have to face him in the future. Folks, this guy is the real deal. Youtube his name, he will knock your socks off!
OK, Thunder Nation, let's see what you got.