The Atlanta Hawks stayed in-house and promoted assistant Larry Drew (former Clipper and Laker!) to the head coach position. I was having a nice debate with someone about this on Twitter. He thought it was a horrible hire and that the Hawks would regress next year.
Well, I thought Mike Woodson wasn’t exactly a good coach in my book (and a lot of people would agree with me on that). I just thought that the Hawks roster playing together for years was key to improving their record every subsequent year. I thought Woodson’s guidance can only take them so far. The last two seasons ended with second-round sweeps. And the way the Hawks ended their season a month ago, it seemed like they needed a new voice to listen to.
The Hawks have a big chance of regressing if they lose their #1 guy, Joe Johnson, in the next few weeks. That’s the main key right there. But seriously, what makes Larry Drew a worse hire than Tom Thibodeau (a forever assistant) and Monty Williams (another first-time head coach)? Larry Drew’s also getting his first chance as a head coach. Does this mean he’ll be worse than Woodson? I don’t know. Does this mean he’ll be better than Woodson? I don’t know. But come on, just because he’s not a big name doesn’t mean he’s going to crash and burn. I’m glad he’s getting a shot. It’s his first time. Let him do some work.
I’m sure people complained when Gregg Popovich (once a Larry Brown assistant). He’s got four championships on his resume now. Pat Riley was also once an assistant. He’s got five rings. Scotty Brooks was P.J. Carlesimo’s assistant in Oklahoma City. Look what he did to that team. Of course, for every Scott Brooks, there’s also a Randy Wittman. So not everything’s rosy when it comes to hiring an unknown name.
Let’s just wait and see what Drew does before everyone comes down on him.