Classless Nets Force Interim Coach Tom Barrise To Endure Futility

Leslie MonteiroSenior Analyst IDecember 3, 2009

The Nets hired Kiki Vandeweghe to be the head coach and Del Harris to be the assistant coach on Tuesday afternoon, but here's the kicker.

Those two won't be coaching until Friday night so the organization forced Lawrence Frank's loyal assistant to go be the victim of history for the wrong reasons.

Rod Thorn assigned Tom Barrise to coach the Nets tonight with the idea that Vandeweghe would coach without the burden of breaking the record for most losses to start the season.

The Nets had no shot against the Mavericks hence why Barrise received the assignment, and as expected, the Mavericks enjoyed a 117-101 victory against them that helped the Nets start the season with the most losses ever at 18 without a victory.

This was no way to treat a loyal organization guy in having him coach a game that he was bound to lose.

Vandeweghe should have coach this game instead of waiting until Friday night. That's what coaches actually do not chickening out.

What difference does it make if he coached and lost this one? No one would care one way or another.

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To take an easy way out does not reflect well on Vandeweghe and the organization. Even if Thorn approached him about waiting till the next game, Vandeweghe should have told his boss that he wants to coach now rather than later.

Barrise looked helpless from start to finish in this game. The players barely paid attention to him when he gave instructions in the huddle, and the referee's ignored him when he pleaded to them for some calls.

It sounded like his players expected defeat once the game started.

Of course, the Nets hatched up the intensity by going after loose balls and throwing bodies around along with trading baskets with the Mavericks, but in the end, we knew what would happen, and deep down, Devis Harris and company knew it.

The Nets don't play defense, and it showed when the Mavericks easily went to the paint in scoring their points.

Vandeweghe will have to teach these guys how to defend if this franchise will ever be a championship contending team, and based on his work with the Mavericks and the Nuggets as a developmental coach, one wonders if he is the right guy when it comes to working on defense.

This is going to be his biggest test as coach. He talked about how he expects his team to make progress under his watch, and a good indication of that will come based on how the team defends.

It's going to take a long time until we see improvements when one looks at how bad they are defensively going back when Lawrence Frank coached the team.

When the game was over, Barrise wanted no part of talking to the media or being around anyone.

It's hard to blame him for that.

The Nets can talk all they want about giving a guy a shot to coach at least two games, but from this perspective, it's about humiliating a guy for no reason.

If Barrise wanted to get his true shot, he would coach the rest of the season.

It's unfortunate this happened.

This team deserved to break the record for the way it conducts themselves on and off the court.

Here's hoping Vandeweghe start off his coaching career with 18 straight losses of his own.

It would serve him and the organization right.


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