I touched on this last week when the inaugural inductees of the Fictional Coaches Ring Of Honor were announced. Those guys are pretty much unanimous selections. This class was much harder, you’ve got a lot of people who are on the fringe here, and to maintain the integrity of the blog, I had to take some more time on this. Let’s take a look at the 2nd wave of coaches and mangers being inducted.
No coach out there had to go through half as many trials and tribulations as Pete Bell did while coaching the Western University Dolphins. Improper benefits, NCAA infractions, a point-shaving scandal, you name it, Pete Bell lived through it. Some may argue that it’s simply a PG-13 rated rip off of Bob Knight, but what do you expect when Nick Nolte spent an entire year on the bench with The General in preparation for the role. Pete Bell is a locker room guru who knows how to whip a team into shape when they’ve been playing like dogshit.
You’ll also never find a guy who fights for his team more and leaves his heart and soul out on the hardwood.
So he cheated to get his big 3 of Neon Bordeaux, Butch McRae, and Ricky Roe.. so what. How does that make him any different than Rick Pitino (who makes a nice cameo in this clip), John Calipari, or Bill Self? If you had the opportunity to land a young Shaq as a recruit, you’d give him a new Lexus too, wouldn’t you? Revamping Western U’s offense to run a high pick ‘n’ roll with Butch McRae and Neon Bordeaux? Fucking genius. Find me a better X’s and O’s guy out there.. you’ll find out pretty quickly that it ain’t happening. It may come off as highly hypocritical considering what I just said, but above all else, Pete Bell never lost his integrity. The guy simply loved the game of basketball.
Here’s another guy who just knows how to manage a team. Takes a team of rag tag bums and propels them from the brink of relocation to a formidable ball club. Always stressing the fundamentals of the game, Lou emphasized that no one man was bigger than the team.
How badly do you think Tom Thibodeau wanted to handle the Jimmy Butler fiasco in Minnesota the way Lou Brown handled Roger Dorn bitching and moaning about his contract?
Brown’s defining trait, however, is his ability to bring a clubhouse together, and no one had a more eclectic bunch of players than he did. Whether settling debates on whether or not Jesus Christ could hit a curveball, or recalibrating Rick Vaughn’s pitching mechanics, Lou Brown was highly invested in every player on his team. That’s why he knew that all it would take to start a winning streak was putting up a cutout of owner Rachel Phelps in the clubhouse with the promise
that they wouldn’t relocate to Miami the players would get to see her naked if they kept winning.
Lastly, Lou’s in-game management is second to none. You think it was Jake Taylor’s decision to lay down that bunt against the Yankees with the playoffs on the line? Not a chance in hell. That’s straight from the baseball mind of Lou Brown. It must’ve been hard walking around the dugout with bowling ball sized nuts, but if anyone knows how to do it, it’s Sweet Lou.
People love to tip Tony D’Amato. I’m not going to do that. I put him in here so people wouldn’t bitch about him being left off, but get ready for some harsh truths. Tony D’Amato wasn’t a good football coach, and he hampered the progress of Willie Beamen in every way possible. He was going to start a CTE laden Cap Rooney in the playoffs over Beamen when Rooney was essentially Jake Delhomme from his year with the Browns reincarnated; which is to say he wasn’t worth a fuck. Not only did D’Amato shit on Willie Beamen every chance he got instead of embracing the change, he failed to realize that Beamen was the only reason GM Christina Pagniacci didn’t whack his ass and promote OC Austin Crozier who was basically Sean McVay-lite.
When you’re only rebuttal argument is, “dude the inches speech,” that really hammers home how piss poor of a coach he really is. That’s literally his only redeeming moment. Unwilling to adapt to the modern offensive philosophies of the AFFA (Associated Football Franchises of America), D’Amato is clearly a relic of the past (reminds me of Mike McCarthy quite a bit). I don’t give a shit if he won a Pantheon Cup, the guy was more concerned with banging Jessie Spano than winning football games. When you add everything up.. Tony D’Amato is essentially Jeff Fisher. Here’s the inches speech though.
2 state titles. 22 district championships. And he still only cared about getting number 23. So Bud Kilmer ran his football team like an embattled despot, big deal, the guy was a winner. Oh, you’ve had 3 concussions in tonight’s game? I don’t give a shit, your teammates need you, get back in there. You blew your knee out? I don’t give a shit, take some toradol, and get back in there, your teammates need you. Say what you want about Bud Kilmer, but if your team hates you so much they band together and start playing for themselves, you’re doing something right.
He was always just trying to get the best out of his players, and you can’t fault him for that. His insult to Mox is nothing more than a motivational tactic. “Your daddy was a no talent pussy, but at least he listened!” Well.. he’s not wrong. This slight he throws Mox’s way catapults him into arguably the best second half of his career. That’s coaching, folks. If Kilmer isn’t a massive prick to all his players, we never get an uprising, and they never play to their full potential. Sometimes being a great coach means knowing when to start a full scale mutiny. Kilmer will always be one of the forefathers in that regard.
I’m sure I’ve left some guys off here that deserve to be included, it killed me not giving Phil Brickma the nod, but you’ve got to have a little bit of integrity, you know? If you want to give me a tongue lashing, go ahead @tyschmit