A once-beloved coach has threatened his fan base with "vengeance." Delaware County News' Jack McCaffery has reported that Phil Martelli has finally lost his cool after an extremely frustrating season at Saint Joseph's (PA).
"Phil Martelli made it clear Saturday at the Palestra: If annonymous (sic) cyber-attacks on his Saint Joseph's program in any way 'scar' his family, then 'vengeance will be sweet.'" - Quoting Delaware County News' Jack McCaffery.
As reported by Bleacher Report, Martelli started this season on the hot seat.
As this Bleacher Report article illustrates, things have gone from bad to worse this season at Saint Joseph's.
Saint Joseph's is now 0-7 in Atlantic 10 play, with a series of embarrassing losses in out of conference play. The frustration has definitely gotten to Martelli at this point.
Fans had generally accepted Martelli's below-average coaching abilities. Excuses were as common as cell phones among the Saint Joseph's faithful.
But lately, some fans have grown tired of the excuses. Martelli's reaction? Threaten "vengeance."
The quote from Martelli is an odd one, as it talks about "scars" to his family. A reading to the Saint Joseph's fan board shows no such threats, simply fans fed up and frustrated with all the losing at Saint Joseph's.
The reaction from Saint Joseph's fans who have tolerated Martelli's below average coaching for more than half a decade has been stern.
Hawks fans are challenging Martelli's statement of anonymity. They are providing their names, their graduation years, their history of following and loving the program and other ties they have with Saint Joseph's.
These fans are not classless Internet trolls feeding off anonymity. These fans are the backbone of Saint Joseph's basketball. These are the fans that have stood by the program while Martelli has recruited dozen of transfer risks, dozens of non-Atlantic 10 caliber players.
These fans looked past Martelli's questionable academic risks as their school's academic reputation has fallen to an 85 percent acceptance rate.
These fans are good fans that deserve better than the 20 loss seasons that are becoming commonplace on Hawk Hill. These fans deserve better than the excuses that the Philly media has been feeding them for the past half decade.
These fans deserve a new coach. Which brings us to the next part of this article:
Jim O'Brien Fired by Indiana Pacers
In a somewhat related story, the Indiana Pacers have fired Saint Joseph's alumnus Jim O'Brien.
O'Brien has coached the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers.
O'Brien took over for Rick Pitino in Boston. The Celtics struggled with Pitino, but quickly rose up to the Eastern Conference elite under O'Brien, making the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002.
O'Brien has strong Philadelphia NBA coaching roots. O'Brien led the Philadelphia 76ers to the postseason in 2005.
O'Brien played for Saint Joseph's during their glory years in the early 1970s. O'Brien led Saint Joseph's to one NIT and two NCAA Tournament appearances as a player.
O'Brien is also married to the daughter of Saint Joseph's coaching legend Dr. Jack Ramsay.
O'Brien is the rare coaching option who would appreciate the head coaching position at Saint Joseph's. A week ago, it looked like most of the available options were the type of coaches that would use Saint Joseph's as a stepping stone job. O'Brien may view Saint Joseph's as a destination job.
Saint Joseph's needs a new coach, and Jim O'Brien needs a new gig. It almost makes too much sense.
T.J. Corbs—tackling the hard hitting issues of the northeast corridor.