NBA coaches face unrealistic demands

Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies became the third successful coach from the NBA Western Conference to be fired in less than a month.

He joined the ranks of Vinny Del Negro from the Los Angeles Clippers and George Karl of the Denver Nuggets to have received their pink slips earlier in May.

Hollins won 56 games in Memphis, most in the 18-year history of the franchise, and he took the Grizz further into the playoffs – to the conference finals – than any of its previous coaches.

Karl was only named coach of the year in the NBA this season after guiding the Nuggets to a 57-25 record – three more wins than any other Denver team over the franchise’s 37 years. He did so without Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billips, both traded prior to the start of the 2012-13 season.

Del Negro’s Clippers finished first in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference while winning 56 games in the process – nine better than any other Clipper team, spanning 29 years.

Yet when push came to shove, all three head coaches failed to take their teams to the promised land in 2012-13 and now are outside looking in.

It makes me wonder why more than 20 other head coaches in the NBA with worse records this year, and over a dozen of them watching the entire playoffs from their living-room sofas, aren’t standing in the unemployment line as well.

Stan Risser