NBA coaches are the quintessential good ‘ol boys. Very few make the club, and once someone earns admission they’re in possession of a golden ticket with no expiration date. Even P.J. Carlesimo got a second chance to be a head coach, even though any Magic 8 Ball when asked about Peej would say “Outlook Not So Good.”
When you get the rep of Coach Killer, like Chrysler Le Baron did on the Hornets with Byron Scott, word travels fast. Think of the connections Scott has. He played with the Showtime Lakers, meaning he’s part of the Pat Riley family tree, and 22 years as an NBA player and head coach don’t hurt either. It’s a known fact that Byron and Le Baron got along about as well during Davis’s last two years with the Hornets as Al Davis and Lane Kiffin have over the past month or two.
When Don Nelson said he was disappointed in the other Western Conference coaches during “The Razor and Mr. T,” he was talking about politics. Being a high-ranking member of the coaching frat, Nellie knows exactly what happened. In my All-Star picks I neglected Boozer and went with Le Baron and Roy making the squad. Well, Boozer is a great player on an underachieving team, but his numbers are sick. If he’s in, how does Roy make it over Chrysler?
Forget stats, even though Le Baron has the advantage in every single statistical category other than shooting percentages (and the difference in those is hardly noticeable). Davis is so much more explosive, more charismatic, and has played a bigger role on the most exciting team in the league. For a league that values stars and the show as heavily as the NBA does, the coaches sure turned their back on entertainment this week. Nellie knows that it’s not because Roy is the better player, but that Roy hasn’t pissed off the good ‘ol boys club (yet).
Sure, Le Baron could use the rest. But in what’s turning into a possibly magical Warriors season, an All-Star selection for Golden State’s Chrysler would have been a really cool footnote.