Coaches That Were Handed Their Championships
Throughout the history of sports many coaches have had to work for what they achieve. The sad thing is that some have not. When looking at championship teams some coaches inherit a position in which some fans believe they could have coached that team to a title.
I have put together a little something that is sure to stir up a little controversy but it true. The following coaches did not have to even show up in order to lead their respective teams to greatness.
Billy Donovan and the Gators of 2006-2007
Don't get me wrong, I believe Billy Donovan is a good coach. Not great, but good. It took some coaching effort for him to win his first National Championship trophy in 2005-2006.
You have to be kidding me though when someone says it took his great coaching skill in order for his team full of All-Americans to win the following season.
The Buckeyes were hardly even a match-up for the Gators.
They had two players off that team go in the top 10 of the NBA Draft. Donovan could have sat in the stands chomping with the rest of the fans and they still would have won it all!
Phil Jackson and the Chicago Bulls
Phil Jackson is very hard to figure out. Some people believe he has never worked for any of his NBA Titles, and some believe without him they would have never won. I fall right in the middle.
Although, for this specific team, Phil Jackson should pay back his multi-million dollar contract.
The Bulls went 72-10 in the regular season, and they would have gone 72-10 without Jackson on the bench. Michael Jordan was out of control in the 1995-1996 season.
I have never seen a player, other than Michael, dominate whole teams more than he did in that season. He was the NBA's scoring leader, and was the Finals MVP.
With Rodman, Pippen, and Jordan, the Bulls were unbeatable for the most part, even without a coach.
Jackson and the Lakers in 2000
Here we go again. I mean, how many times is this man going to be spoon fed?
In 2000 Jackson and the Lake Show went 67-15. They were practically untouched, other than a little fight against Portland. Kobe and Shaq were a combo that any coach would kill for.
Not only did Jackson get recognition for being a great coach, but he got to watch the best center and shooting guard in the league work everyday while sitting back in his chair and eating some popcorn, en route to another NBA Title.
Phil, life must be good.
Tubby Get's Lucky with Kentucky in 1998
The one person in the bluegrass who was excited to see Pitino go was Tubby Smith because he inherited a team that was already set up by Pitino to win a championship.
Pitino returned a team the lost in the title game vs. Arizona in 1997.
Tubby got to sit back and watch his Wildcat team go 35-4 in the regular season, and walk straight to a title.
Tubby is a great x's and o's coach, but that was not needed with this championship team. It was just another walk in the park for this storied program.
Doc Rivers and the Celtics in 2008
Doc Rivers could have played with three players and won the championship in 2008. Of course, those are not any normal three players.
With Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, all the pieces were in place for the Celtics to turn from the worst team in basketball to the best.
Rivers just got a front row seat to watch the front offices baby blossom into the machine that it was in 2008.
Roy Williams and the Heels in 2009
When thinking about being handed a trophy, this is the image I get in my head.
Ty Lawson, Psycho T, and Ellington were the college elites in this past season. UNC was running through the competition, even with Lawson out for some of the tournament.
Which leads me to this question: was Donovan's 2007 team or Williams 2009 team the easier one to coach?
College coaches make their names with recruits.
Looks like Williams can go ahead and retire a little early because he will not be having any problems talking recruits into coming to Chapel Hill anymore.