Bucks Diary

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Krystkowiak era dawns in Milwaukee


What we suspected has happened. Larry Brett Krystkowiak has been named the 10th head coach in Milwaukee Bucks history. He is the seventh head coach hired by the team since Senator Herb Kohl became the owner in 1985.

Some more fun facts. Krystkowiak is the second head coach in franchise history to have played for the team (Mike Dunleavy being the other). He is the fourth head coach in franchise history who has worn the crown without having any prior NBA head coaching experience (Good News: Larry Costello and Don Nelson were the first two; Bad News: Terry Porter was the third). Despite his lack of experience, the Bucks entrusted their future to him as they signed him to a long term contract last night. There will be no "interim" period.

No love for Special K?

Gerald Ford got a better reception than Krystkowiak is getting. Mike Hunt of the Journal-Sentinel basically dismissed him in his column this morning, saying he has little chance of success given his collegiate coaching background. (I'll rebut that weak, weak, bit of analysis in a minute). And BucksNation has already decided it doesn't like him. (Jsonline.com's poll asked, essentially, whether hiring Krystkowiak was the right move, and it was running 60-40 against before they took it down).

Lighten up. First of all, to answer Hunt's charge, Krystkowiak certainly can't be lumped in with the litany of former college coaches who have failed at the NBA level for one simple reason: he played in the NBA and therefore understands its game and culture. None of the college coaches listed by Hunt could say the same (Hunt goes all the way back to Jerry Tarkanian, for God's sake). Many of them failed because they could not shake their predisposition toward the dictatorial college coaching style. That doesn't work in the NBA. Krystkowiak barely coached in the college ranks (he did 2 years at Montana). He doesn't have that problem.

If anything, Krystkowiak fits the profile of the successful NBA coach. He was a middling player who overachieved by getting to the NBA and then had a productive professional career based more on grit than superstar ability. (Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Avery Johnson, Tom Heinsohn, Don Nelson, George Karl, Larry Brown, Scott Skiles, Red Holzman). Those men were all grinders when they played in the NBA. So was Larry Krystkowiak. And his lack of experience doesn't bother me one iota. Its knowledge, demeanor, and intensity that get it done in the NBA. He has all three. We don't need anymore retreads in Milwaukee.

I think Krystkowiak will do well -- just hopefully not this year. Please don't do well this year. Take it easy, Larry, work your way into coaching... lose as many of these last 18 games as you possibly can. Your future may depend on it.

6 Comments:

At March 15, 2007 at 9:27 AM, Blogger Your Friendly Neighborhood Clark Bar said...

Krystko is a phenom. The Bucks are lucky to have him.

 
At March 15, 2007 at 6:05 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Bucksview Reporting for Duty...

Last year, I chronicled the Bucks' season on a rather bizarre blog that managed to gain a loyal following (and someone actually notified me that Bucks Diary had wondered where Bucks View had gone as it was pulled off the internet). The blog remained in existence until about the 70th game of the season when things started to go to hell at the hands of T.J. Ford and his unique penchant for conducting the one-man fast break. You remember it; he would dribble as fast as he could like an 8 year old in a YMCA game until he ran out of room and found himself under the hoop with nowhere to turn, resulting in either a turnover or blocked layup attempt, causing viewers (at least myself) to vomit into their mouths, stab themselves in the head with a fork, etc. Good times indeed. Anyhow, I pulled the blog because I was sick of my own writing and incessant harping on T.J. I thought about coming back this year when he was traded, but couldn't find the time. Still watched all of the games and until this day, really didn't feel the need to chime in until I saw the ESPN ticker stating that Larry Krystishevitzs received a multi-year deal.

Here's my problem with this. I can live with poor signings, trades, the ugliest cheerleaders in the league and Andrew Bogut's beard, but I can't live with not conducting a full-on search for a new coach and immediately signing Larry K to a multi-year deal makes no sense at all. Why? We were afraid of losing him to Utah? No, not the Jazz, the UNIVERSITY of Utah. You mean to tell me that helmet head (that would be Larry Harris) couldn't have waited out the season and conducted a SEARCH for a head coach like any other respectable business would have done? Maybe gauged some interest from other coaches. Maybe got on the phone and shot the shit with some people in-the-know and seen what OPTIONS may have existed? "Oh no, we better sign Larry K now to a multi year deal or he's going to totally take the Southwest Missouri State job!"

Look, nothing personal against Larry K. He did an awesome job at MONTANA, I know, but this is the NBA and regardless of what anyone says or thinks, this is a good job. Young talent, lots of cap room, sexy new uniforms - all that. But to turn it all over to someone who has never held a top NBA gig and only coached in the NBA for 6 months is simply lazy. Maybe Harris spent the afternoon the Nomad drinking shot of Jameson and thought "Ah, what the hell. What's hiring one more power tool going to hurt? Third times a charm, right?" Porter, Stotts, Krystishevitz. that's his legacy.

One more theory; we all know that the Senator has lived a, shall we say, "alternative" lifestyle for years. Could there possibly be some sort of bizarre "relationship" between he and Harris whereby there's no way in hell that he would fire him? That could explain these moves? Maybe some dirty pics or video? I'm just saying is all!

Gotta go. the secret service is at my front door.

Enjoy the NBA Draft lottery (for at least the next 4 years).

 
At March 15, 2007 at 9:16 PM, Anonymous Paul - Melbourne, Australia said...

Ok so there's absolutely no doubt Stotts had to go right? And although the timing of this does seem a little strange at best and downright bizzare at worst, for better or worse Larry K is now at the helm form multiple years, or at least contracted to be there for multiple years, but that's another debate. (By the way did any NBA team EVER rush a coach's appointment to beat a college to the guy?)
From my relatively sheltered and admittedly Bogut biased view over here in Australia I'm wondering if we all might be overlooking one other factor in the timing of Stotts getting the boot. I read somewhere that Larry Harris said the horrible loss to Toronto was 'endgame' for him, is it coincidence that during the game Bogut looked incredibly frustrated, culminating in him giving Bosh a shove, getting ejected, and then giving the home fans a signal normally reserved in the US for Russell Crowe, another great aussie?
From my viewpoint the Bucks have invested heavily in Bogut and someone upstairs believes he's a big part of the future of this club, infact it seems like everyone felt that way except Stotts, who appeared to have the ultimate goal of playing with 5 shooting guards (I include Charlie V in that 5 as he plays like a 2 at both ends of the floor, but don't get me started).
Although I'm not able to catch full vision of every bucks game over here I do get a fair few and always catch the highlights, and every time I saw Bogut he looked more pissed off than last time I saw him. He's a strong competitor who likes to win but it seems a fair way out of character for him to do something like that to the home fans, and I wonder if that had anything to with the 'endgame' Harris was talking about.
Bogut hasn't had a stunning year but his numbers are solid, in fact they are great considering he has to pry the ball away from Redd, Mo, Bell, Charlie V and Boykins just to get a shot, Bogut just wasn't included in the offense.
In my view something had to give and quick. Were the Bucks risking losing their prized number 1 pick out the door if they continued with Stotts ridiculous (lack of) game plans for another 20 games?

 
At March 15, 2007 at 11:37 PM, Anonymous paulpressey25 said...

I'm not thrilled just yet with Larry K as permanent coach, but tonight's start was sure was encouraging. I would have preferred a coach search in the off-season, but maybe Kohl canvassed some big names and they all said no to Milwaukee.

I'm just glad the mess that was the Stotts era is over. Every Bucks fan in the State could tell he was overmatched from the day he was hired. Why Herb Kohl didn't figure this out, I have no idea.

 
At March 16, 2007 at 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are going to love Larry and last night's win over the Spurs was pretty much what we saw in Krysko here in Montana. I have known him for years and he is the best motivator and leader I have ever met, whether in sports or business.
Great choice. If Kohl will spend some money on talent I see you guys being competative next year.

 
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