I’m going to get called all kinds of names for what I’m about to say — crazy, stupid, maybe I’ll even get cursed out — but it wouldn’t be the first time.
After the Lakers missed out on Carmelo Anthony in free agency, it officially sent the team into semi-rebuilding mode. As in, the Lakers are mainly dishing out one-year deals and maintaining their financial flexibility for next year’s off-season.
The Lakers are supposed to choose a head coach in the next week or two, and I’m putting in my vote (like it counts, right?) for someone who probably hasn’t been considered by management, media, or fans: Mark Madsen.
As of right now, I don’t believe he’s been considered by management in a head coaching capacity, but I feel as though he could be a great fit and should certainly at least be considered.
Byron Scott is the frontrunner for the position as of right now, and although he’s a solid choice, I’m not 100 percent sold on him, either — I don’t think a lot of fans are. He’s had some good teams and bad teams in his 13-year head coaching career, with an overall winning percentage of .444.
He’s certainly the safest choice for the Lakers’ front office after two failures in Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni. Regardless of the obstacles both Mikes faced, management took lots of criticism from season ticket holders for their choices.
Scott was a fan favorite in his playing days, and as a guy who bleeds purple and gold, would certainly come in with the fans’ respect. Even if he fails, it would take longer for fans — and media — to point blame at him.
The list behind Scott isn’t too deep or likely to receive much consideration, for that matter.
This is why I’m endorsing Mark Madsen.
Yes, he would be a rookie coach. And no, he doesn’t have years of coaching experience. (He was a player development coach for the Lakers last season under Mike D’Antoni.)
However, with the team in a rebuilding process, what’s the harm in taking a risk?
In my opinion, the Mad Dog will make an excellent head coach in this league one day.
It may take a while for him to become a top coach, but he certainly has the potential and all the attributes to become one.
Plenty of teams have been going with rookie coaches — ones with no prior assistant coaching experience — such as Mark Jackson a few seasons ago, Jason Kidd last season, and Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher going into next season. Jackson actually did quite well as a head coach, Kidd didn’t quite impress in his first season, and Kerr and Fisher’s impact has yet to be seen. Having said that, the Golden State Warriors felt comfortable giving Kerr a shot with a solid team filled with young talent, and Carmelo Anthony felt comfortable enough with Fisher to re-sign to a long-term deal; Fisher will obviously have the tutelage of Phil Jackson at his disposal, however.
What other teams are doing is certainly no reason to jump on the bandwagon and go the same route, but Madsen has qualities that solid head coaches are built from.
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