Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Politics And Basketball...Pippen Ain't Easy Style!

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I want everyone to take a second and look at this guy. His name is Carlos Boozer, the starting power forward of the Chicago Bulls. The operative word here is “starting” because he does not finish games anymore. He basically spends the 4th quarter playing “patty cake” with Jimmer Fredette while Taj Gibson finishes out games these days. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times, Boozer is unhappy…again. He is complaining about how he is being treated…again. He is mad about he feels the Bulls are going to show him the door in the offseason…again. Look I’m not going to waste your time ranting and raving about how Boozer needs to work harder and figure out how defensive rotations actually helps the team and maybe himself to get on the floor. For what reason? If you want those log on to Pippen Ain’t Easy, the best source for Bulls news, previews and reviews. Sometimes people just don’t get it. The one thing I respect about Tom Thibodeau is that he is fair and he is consistent. You know EXACTLY  what you are going to get from him. You  want to play  for the Bulls? You will play hard, execute and play defense. Taj Gibson does these things better than Boozer hence he plays in crunch time. No games, no politics, no bull (no pun intended) you do what you’re supposed to do…you play. Plain and simple.

Not to say that office politics haven’t slid in from time to time with the Bulls this season. We all remember when Ron Adams, Tom Thibodeau’s lead assistant and friend was not resigned this season much to the dismay of Thibodeau. That seemed to fuel the fire about the reports that the coach and Bulls management Gar Forman and John  Paxson did not see eye to eye. The Luol Deng trade did little to move management up Thibodeau’s Christmas list either. These are very mild compared to other teams. Let’s take a look.

Brooklyn Nets-Jason Kidd vs. Lawrence Frank.

Office politics at it’s best. Jason Kidd walked out of the New York Knicks locker room into the Barclay Center as the new Brooklyn Nets Head Coach. Look, there is no doubt that Jason Kidd had MAJOR influence on the Knicks last year even though he missed pretty much all of his shots for the last two months of his career. Look at the dysfunction before Phil Jackson showed up. He thought that he could bring this influence to the Nets. Jason Kidd HANDPICKED Lawrence Frank as his lead assistant. It made a whole lot of sense. One, Lawrence Frank had history with Kidd. He was Kidd’s coach in New Jersey. Two, the man can coach. Three, he had the attention to detail to build a foundation and structure while Kidd learned on the job. Finally you add the rest on the numbers up to the six million dollar contract the Frank got. Easily making him the highest paid assistant in the NBA. Everything seemed fine at first. In training camp Jason Kidd stood back and let Frank do all the grunt work until early in the season, Jason Kidd reassigned Lawrence Frank from the bench to doing “daily reports”. Which is the equivalent of  locking someone in the basement. As of this writing no one has heard from Lawrence Frank since.

Who’s at fault in my opinion…

Jason Kidd. I still think that this guy can’t coach. I do not care what Brooklyn’s record is. Kidd was getting exposed as a coach that was lazy and not willing to do the little things  needed to do the job effectively in his rookie year in the league. Bottom line, Lawrence Frank knew it. They had a falling out and Jason Kidd had to protect his ego and save face by getting rid of Frank.

Los Angeles Lakers- Mike D’Antoni vs. anyone over seven feet in a Lakers uniform. (Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol…Honorable Mention Dwight Howard)

Let’s get something clear right away, Mike D’Antoni is done in L.A. The Los Angeles Lakers cannot afford to bring this guy back to coach this team. That seven seconds or less offense with no defense does not work. Okay it worked in 2005. In Phoenix where there were no reputable big men to mention so it worked with the proper players. In L.A. D’Antoni had three. Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman and Dwight Howard in two years. Before we get started analyzing how he screwed up a golden ticket, it is worth mentioning office politics got this man the job in the first place. The Lakers had an opportunity to have Phil Jackson to coach this squad. However Jim Buss thought he would lose power in the organization (think about how stupid this is…he runs basketball operations! Like Hello?) if Phil Jackson became coach. On well. Mike D’Antoni had beef with…

Pau Gasol

Pau is one of the top five post players in the NBA. Like as of this writing. Why does this sound crazy? Because Mike D’Antoni doesn’t know how to use him. Put him in the post. You’d think I could coach this squad better. Anyway Gasol was planted at least 20 feet from the basket shooting jumpers. The two ended up falling out and the relationship never recovered. They both went back and forth in the media and Pau was nearly traded. However Pau is still in L.A. with a leg to stand on…Kobe Bryant’s.

Chris Kaman

Kaman told an Los Angeles beat writer that he has not spoken to D’Antoni for about three weeks. Then he went on to say he regretted coming to L.A. in the first place. Guess why? Big men are needed for D’Antoni system like I need an afro pick for my bald head. (Look at my picture on the right side…Do I need one? My point has been made.)

Dwight Howard

Let me put it this way. The Lakers wanted Dwight Howard back. BAD! Dwight is in Houston right now leaving 30 million dollars on the table in Los Angeles. Let me tell all of you something. You really have to dislike someone to leave 30 million dollars to go somewhere else just to get away from that person. Just sayin.

Who’s at fault in my opinion?

Mike D’Antoni. He’s been dead set on passing this system on the NBA for years. The only one that likes it is Steve Nash. Dwight is happy and winning. Mike D’Antoni is in L.A. with the other two big men feuding. Enough said.

Golden State Warriors- Mark Jackson vs. “The White Mamba” Brian Scalabrine.

First things first, who gave Scalabrine that nickname anyway? But I digress. This week Mark Jackson “Jason Kidded” Scalabrine to an assignment in the D-League. It’s a peculiar time considering that playoff time is around the corner. This story is what interested me the most. You see Warriors management is actually SUPPORTING Scalabrine. Now reports are starting to leak that Jackson is drawing criticism on dysfunction and how he’s coaching the team. Now never mind the fact that the Warriors are currently in sixth place in the Western conference. You can factor this in too. The  Warriors couldn’t spell playoffs before Mark Jackson came to town. Now it looks like he may not be back next year. Office politics? You decide. This is not the first run in with Jackson and an assistant. Mike Malone had issues with  Jackson as well. They reportedly went weeks without speaking. Now Malone is the Head Coach of the Sacramento Kings.

Who’s at fault in my opinion?

The Warriors front office. Umm, the Warriors are like winning. Your underpaid franchise player, Stephen Curry loves his coach. It can be a short trip to lottery if the Warriors aren’t careful which by the way WHERE THEY WERE for years before the man got to town. The front office has shown Mark Jackson the loyalty of a pit bull this year and it might cost them in the long run. All because they backed a guy (Scalabrine) who has been in Oakland all of five minutes. Really?

I reached out to someone with almost four decades of management experience to explain the effects of these relationships. I was told that when things like this is going on in an organization, the end is very near. Any organization will suffer greatly with relationships like these. (Ask the Lakers if he’s right.) Furthermore it shows other teams, players and even the media that there is a weakness that can be exploited. For Bulls fans, you’d better hope Carlos Boozer reads this and doesn’t bring these problems come playoff time.

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