Firing Line: NBA Coaches in the Hot Seat

Michael WhittenbergSenior Writer IApril 5, 2008

Whenever a team starts looking towards the future, the head coach has to be one of the first things that is examined. 

Yes, the players are the ones on the floor night in and night out, but the head coaching position is always imperative for a team to succeed. 

A head coach's impact can do anything from taking a team that failed to make the postseason the year before, to making a huge turnaround record wise.

However, if a coach fails to reach the requirements of the owner/GM, then he could potentially shown the door.

So, what coaching jobs could potentially be in jeopardy at the end of the season?

A few come to mind:

Charlotte Bobcats (29-48)

Head Coach: Sam Vincent (1st season)

Possible Replacement(s): Larry Brown

The Charlotte Bobcats are a young up-and-coming team in the Eastern Conference, but they had another disappointing season which might give them another lottery pick the draft.

Though this is his first year as the Bobcats head coach, recent rumors about Larry Brown possibly returning to the coaching pool could put Vincent's job in jeopardy.

Part-owner Michael Jordan hasn't commented on the situation and has remained silent about it.  

But if Brown were interested in coaching the Cats, then I can almost guarantee you Vincent would be let go after just one season.

Jordan may have been silent about the situation—but Vincent has not.

Vincent has made a case for himself as to why he should return next season.

In a story from the Associated Press, Vincent has shown that he isn't shy about speaking up.

"Give me a break. Was I really supposed to come in the first year and have 50 wins?"

"Maybe if I was coaching the Celtics team this year. But I just think that some things have to be kept in perspective."

In all fairness he does deserve another shot with this team, but only time will tell.

Chicago Bulls (30-46)

Head Coach: Jim Boylen (Interim)

Possible Replacement(s): Rick Carlisle

As disappointing as the Miami heat have been this season, the Chicago Bulls have been one of the more dismal teams in the Eastern Conference as well.

After a bad start to the season, head coach Scott Skiles was fired and Jim Boylen was named interim coach for the remainder of the season.

The Bulls haven't been buying into the coaching system all season, so don't be surprised if Boylan is fired immediately after the season ends.

Larry Brown's name has came up in this job as well—but Rick Carlisle would be a great fit for this team as well.


New York Knicks (20-56)

Head Coach: Isiah Thomas (2nd season)

Possible Replacement(s): Who knows? 

There is a new era beginning in New York with new president Donnie Walsh now running the show.

Some were expecting Walsh to come out and make his first move by firing Thomas, but he has said he is undecided for the time being.

On the brink of a 60 loss season, Thomas is most likely the one coach that will be worried the most about being shown the door at the end of the season. 


Memphis Grizzlies (20-56)

Head Coach: Marc Iavaroni (1st season)

Possible Replacement(s): Larry Brown, Rick Carlisle 

Marc Iavaroni was one of the hottest candidates for a head coaching position during the offseason last year.

But his first season in Memphis has awful.

It also probably didn't help that the Grizzlies traded Pau Gasol to the Lakers for Kwame Brown and Javaris Crittenton.

It's pretty funny how Larry Brown's name has popped up for pretty much every team listed above.

If in fact Iavaroni is shown the door this offseason, then Brown wouldn't be bad as a replacement.

But the question is: if Brown does return to coaching next season, how long will he coach?

Brown is 68-years-old with health issues, and who knows how long he will commit to a team? 


Michael Whittenberg is a senior writer and NBA Community Leader at