Now that Duke dodged a major bullet and won the NCAA championship, it’s time to turn our attention back to the NBA.
There are a lot of compelling story lines these days, but tonight I have decided to briefly revisit a very popular post that I wrote back in August of last year about the 10 Worst NBA General Managers.
As I look back and re-read the post, it’s pretty clear I owe apologies to a couple of guys on the list. However, I think most of what I said was absolutely spot on. Today’s comments will be in italics. Away we go…
10) Sam Presti – During the past two seasons, Presti has been in charge of a team that has an overall record of 43-121. This is a winning percentage of .262. Has a general manager ever received more accolades for accomplishing so little? The decision to hire P.J. Carlisimo was catastrophic and in year three of Presti’s reign, Oklahoma City will be hardpressed to win 40% of its games. Is this really one of the top GM’s in the NBA?
Oops. Slight misfire on this one. Kevin Durant is undeniably one of the three best players in basketball and the Thunder were the league’s feel good story of the year having clinched a playoff berth on Sunday.
Simply put, I thought Oklahoma City was at least a season away from playoff contention. However, Presti was able to steal Eric Maynor from the Jazz (rendering ancient backup point guard Kevin Ollie useless) and Serge Ibaka emerged as a solid big man off the bench (making Etan Thomas irrelevant). Clearly, the future is now for the Thunder.
9) Joe Dumars – Pistons fans aren’t going to like this, but Dumars has made a lot of head scratching decisions recently (Chauncey Billups trade, Rip Hamilton extension, Ben Gordon contract and bringing Chris Wilcox in to presumably start at center to name four). Is Joe living on borrowed time in Detroit?
Joe truly has been a disaster for the past few years. This assertion can’t be disputed. Other than nabbing promising forward Jonas Jerebko in the 2nd round of the draft, Dumbars (yes, that is spelled correctly) has been firing blanks. This is a horrific roster of players and there really is little chance of the Pistons turning things around anytime soon.
8) Danny Ferry - Danny deserves credit for trying to make the Cavs better. However, the pieces that he has added likely won’t be enough to get LeBron James a ring. The deal Anderson Varejao inked this summer was likely $10-12 million more than any other team in the league would have paid.
I love Varejao’s game, but the contract was still way too much. Will the Antawn Jamison acquisition be enough to take down Orlando in the East? I still have serious doubts, but Ferry better hope so or LeBron will likely be wearing a different jersey next season.
7) Jeff Bower - I’m somewhat reluctant to include Bower because he has made a number of solid acquisitions over the past couple of years. However, his failure to secure a suitable backcourt mate for Chris Paul is simply inexcusable.
Bower axed Byron Scott shortly after the season started and the Hornets have never really been a serious playoff contender. Although there are glaring holes on the roster, rookie shooting guard Marcus Thronton appears to be the real deal. Darren Collison was also a shrewd selection and New Orleans isn’t too far away from recapturing their past glory.
6) Geoff Petrie – Last off-season it was Beno Udrih. This off-season it’s Sean May. Needless to say, Sacramento fans won’t have to worry about buying playoff tickets for a few more years.
Sacramento’s early season success was a mirage. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Paul Westphal is a terrible head coach. He does just enough to lose a game. All season long he jerked around his players’ minutes and losses continued to pile up. While there is definitely a lot of young talent on the roster (led by ROY candidate Tyreke Evans), as long as Westphal is calling the shots the Kings won’t even sniff the playoffs.
5) Ed Stefanski -Throwing $80+ million at Elton Brand will plague the 76ers for years and letting Andre Miller leave without any compensation was questionable to say the least. Maybe Stefanski thinks that recent acquisition Primoz Brezec will lead the Sixers to the promised land. As far as I’m concerned, Brezec is just Dwayne Schintzius minus the mullet.
As bad as Westphal has been in Sacramento, the head coach Stefanski hired might even be worse. Eddie Jordan is almost assured of being fired in a couple weeks for his deplorable performance and Stefanski may soon follow him out the door.
4) John Hammond - Hiring Sourpuss Scott Skiles, drafting Joe Alexander, dumping Richard Jefferson for eighteen cents on the dollar and failing to extend a qualifying offer to Charlie Villanueva are just four of the dubious decisions Hammonds has made as GM of the Bucks in a span of less than two years.
While I’ll always hammer Hammond for drafting Alexander, most of his other moves have really turned out well. Although erratic, Brandon Jennings has been the third best rookie in the league. Picking up Carlos Delfino was solid and acquiring John Salmons for next to nothing (Hakim Warrick and the aforementioned Alexander) was nothing short of brilliant.
Although the season ending injury to Andrew Bogut Saturday night will likely prevent the Bucks from winning a playoff series, Scott Skiles has pushed most of the right buttons this year (I still can’t believe he and Jennings haven’t clashed). Hammond should have dealt oft-injured guard Michael Redd for something anything while he had the chance, but otherwise he has done a very good job at the helm in Milwaukee.
3) Mike Dunleavy – Yaroslav Korolev. I could expound for another five-hundred words, but I’ll just go ahead and rest my case.
Dunleavy was dismissed as both coach and GM. Last night I attended the Clippers-Knicks game and was literally 120 feet from owner Donald Sterling for 2 1/2 hours. During every timeout and stoppage of play, I looked over at Sterling (dressed in black from head to toe) as he sat slouched in his seat at mid-court and just wondered why the hell it took so long for the cheap bastard to shitcan Dunleavy. Better late than never, I guess.
2) David Kahn – Only Michael Jackson’s summer has been worse. The bottom line with Kahn is that he really needs Ricky Rubio to be wearing a Timberwolves jersey by October. Has any GM ever had a more disastrous first eight weeks on the job?
Rubio wearing a Timberwolves jersey in October, huh? I doubt this will ever happen and it certainly won’t for another two years. The Nets might have the worst record in the league, but Minnesota is just as bad.
1) Chris Wallace – Just keeping the spot warm for David Kahn. Although Memphis Grizzlies fans won’t have much to cheer about again this season, at least Wallace will be able to take pride in his Lakers championship ring.
Even though they aren’t going to make the playoffs, it has been a successful season for the Grizzlies. Incredibly, until a few weeks ago Memphis was in contention for a spot in the playoffs.
Despite this success, Wallace has to be held accountable for botching the 2nd pick of the NBA Draft back in June. Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry were right there and Wallace passed on both of them for Hasheem Thabeet. Doh! Failing to land a little more veteran help off the bench down the stretch other than Ronnie Brewer also didn’t help the team’s playoff prospects.
The Pau Gasol trade will always be Wallace’s Waterloo, but brother Marc’s continued improvement will likely prevent the deal from being remembered as the worst in NBA history. When the next list comes out in a few months, Wallace’s name will definitely be on it….but he won’t be #1.Tags: General Manager, GM, John Hammond, nba, Sam Presti