NBA coaches wouldn't hold their positions without a deep understanding of the sport and all of its intricacies.
Somewhere along the line, they convinced a general manager with a job opening that they could craft the optimal game plan to put players in the best chance to compete for a championship.
Game management is a must for getting one foot in the door. Balancing personalities, though, is what keeps coaches on the payroll.
By nature, this is an ego-driven league. With millions of people competing for some 450 jobs, confidence isn't an advantage—it's a necessity. There are too many potential pitfalls on the way to an NBA career for players to entertain even the slightest of doubts in their abilities.
For coaches, this paints them into an almost impossible corner. There are so many egos to stroke and only so many minutes to go around.
Complete happiness is unattainable, but contentment is enough. If a coach has a vision worth selling and the means to deliver it to his roster, that's when greatness can happen. The coach has complete control to institute that system he once sold to an executive, and the players can fully commit to the game's ultimate goals.
Not every coach has that luxury.
Whether inept or simply unfortunate, some have to desperately cling to a fractured locker room. Once their words stop reaching their players, their next move often takes them to the unemployment line.
How do coaches know when they're playing with fire? Well, if any of these things start happening, it's probably time to dust off their resumes and brush up their interviewing skills.