Two more names to add to the list. Dan Majerle and Bill Laimbeer. Poll and thoughts after the jump.
Anyone who's around my age (34) remembers both of these guys as players. Majerle was a shooter who could defend a little bit on the perimeter, maybe more than a little. Laimbeer was a bruiser for the Detroit Bad Boys who loved hitting Charles Barkley's fist with his face.
Since his playing days, Majerle first stepped into the Suns' broadcast booth. For the past two seasons, he's been an assistant coach in Phoenix, under both Terry Porter (51 games) and then Alvin Gentry. He also coached Phoenix's summer league team.
Laimbeer has apparently been trying to break through as an NBA coach for quite some time. He was considered for the Knicks' job when Isiah was the GM, then again for Detroit, but couldn't land either gig. He did win 3 titles in the WNBA. He served as an assistant under Kurt Rambis for the 15-win Minnesota Timberwolves this season, his first as an assistant at the NBA level.
Vote in the poll, my thoughts after:
I don't think I'd be upset if they hired either of these guys. Majerle was a hard worker, I love what's happened in Phoenix this season and I think he's a personable guy who would probably be able to get through to the young guys on the team. My reservations are that he's only served 2 years as an assistant, and I have no idea what his x's and o's skills are like.
I'm mixed on Laimbeer. First of all, you can call me a sexist or misogynist, but the WNBA is nothing like the NBA. It's barely even the same sport. The difference in athleticism from the WNBA to the NBA is leaps and bounds beyond the jump from the NCAA to the NBA. I mean, it's impressive that he went there and won, breaking a two-team dynasty in the league, but from a strategic perspective, it just doesn't mean a whole lot to me.
Another concern I have is that Laimbeer played the game in a different era, a much different era, and I'm not sure how well he's going to relate to the current NBA player. This could go either way. He could give them some toughness, he could inspire them, or he could completely lose them.
In a perfect world, Laimbeer would be able to come in and toughen up the guys on the roster who need it. He'd bring a defensive mindset back to this franchise, and things would start to look up. It could happen, I'm just feeling like odds are things would go the other way under Laimbeer.
Bottom line, when you're talking about two guys with very, very little experience, I'd rather have the guy who I think has the personality to relate to the players than the guy who I think might be uber-demanding without the resume to really get the buy in he's going to need. Thunder Dan gets my vote out of these guys.