New co-owner Joe Lacob just did an interview on KNBR with Ralph and Tom. One of the interesting tidbits in it was about what he’s going to do with the coach. But he has a bit of a a dilemma.
Lacob said what everybody else already knows: the Nellie era is done. And Lacob said in the interview that he wants a young coach in the new era (he listed Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks as an example). But the question he has to answer is when will the era end? Now? Or after this coming season?
What makes the decision difficult is that he can’t make the move until he becomes owner of the team, which he said he’s hoping to be officially by late September. (Though, he said outgoing owner Chris Cohan has obliged him since the sale agreement. If he wanted Nelson gone, couldn’t he just tell Cohan to fire Nellie and hire the guy he wanted?) If that is when he gets ownership, that’s about the start of camp and a month before the season starts.
Is that too late to make a coaching change?
Lacob sounded like he wanted to make a run at the playoffs this year. A couple of players told me they would rather Nellie stay on this last year unless the Warriors can get a really good replacement. Is late September too late to get the coach of the future? Perhaps the only way a new coach is feasible at that point of the offseason is if the replacement is already identified and ready to go right away. If that coach is not already on a staff, he could even get started before the sale is official, at least with rounding up the staff he wants. That’s risky though.
If Lacob is not willing to do any under-the-table dealing, that means he would have to START the search in late September. That would be crazy.
On the flip side, why wait a year to do what you know has to be done? With the the young players in place, why not get to it right away?
Certainly, getting point guard Stephen Curry the coach he’s going to grow under in tow now is better than doing it later. Ditto to a lesser extent for the likes of Reggie Williams, Ekpe Udoh, and, yes, Jeremy Lin.
So which is the lesser of the two evils: potentially hurting the coming season by making a change too late? or postponing the start of the new era?