With Flip Out, Who SHOULD Be Coaching The Wizards?


The Washington Wizards have freed fired head coach Flip Saunders. That surprises no one. The team had obviously tuned him out, and as Henry Abbott details masterfully at TrueHoop, he wasn't the right coach for THIS Wizards team anyway.

No one has a problem with the Wizards cutting ties with Saunders.

Promoting lead assistant Randy Wittman to the head coaching job, and committing to him for the remainder of the season? Eh...

This is Wittman's third head coaching stint, and he's never really done anything at the previous two to prove that he's a quality head coach. In fact, among all coaches with at least 300 games coached, he has the fourth-worst winning percentage, behind (or is that ahead of?) only Sidney Lowe, Tim Floyd and Ron Rothstein. Lowe and Floyd went to the college ranks after their disastrous NBA stints, and Rothstein's last head coaching job came in the WNBA.

So Wittman probably isn't going to turn the Wizards around. In fact, the organization probably isn't that interested in him doing so (as Ethan Sherwood Strauss explains, it's better to be horrible in the NBA than mediocre). But if the Wizards know they're bad, and know they're going to keep being bad, then why go with Wittman, who's such a boring, safe choice? Here are some options I would have rather seen in Washington, coaching this team to its inevitable last-place finish in April.

Gilbert Arenas
With his playing career at an possible end -- no team has shown even the slightest interest in bringing on the amnestied former All-Star -- Arenas could move into the next phase of his career: coaching. I'm sure his "play better or it's pistols at dawn" approach to motivation would produce surprising results.

Whoopi Goldberg
Sure, she's busy with "The View" these days, but I'm sure she could be persuaded to reprise her role as Edwina "Eddie" Franklin and take over a struggling Wizards franchise. If she could get Stacy Patton to pass the ball, surly she can do something with Nick Young.

Donovan McNabb
McNabb's brief time in DC didn't go quite as planned, so this would be a chance for him to re-write that chapter of his life. Plus, the former Syracuse point guard helped the Orange reach the national championship game in 1997, which is more success than the majority of the Wizards players have ever tasted.

Rick Perry
Now that his presidential campaign is over, the Texas governer might want to take a different position of power in Washington. As coach, he'd immediately have the Wizards get rid of Andray Blatche, Jordan Crawford and... ummm.... Ooops.

Gheorghe Muresan


Sam Cassell

OK, now this one is only half-joking. Cassell is currently an assistant for the Wizards, and has been for the past two seasons. He's not very far removed from winning an NBA championship with the Celtics, and has three rings from his playing career. He also played under some of the best coaches in the league -- including Rudy Tomjanovich, George Karl and Doc Rivers -- so he's probably picked up some things along the way. I don't know how respected he is by the current Wizards roster, but it's likely he'd probably be more respected than Wittman, who the team is likely to view as both a failure and a pushover.

Cassell seems like the kind of coach who could both lighten Washington's mood -- which has to be dismal these days -- and get certain lackadaisical players motivated. We're talking about a guy who helped lead the Timberwolves beyond the first round for the only time in franchise history and also was the spark for a playoff run with the Clippers (THE CLIPPERS!) so he's got some experience with taking hopeless situations and making them better.

Plus, at minimum, Coach Sam Cassell postgame press conferences would be AMAZING.

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