Mark Price is the best available head coaching candidate for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This is not a question of nostalgia, but rather a matter of practicality and reality. Price, while by far the most popular Cavalier in the history of the franchise, has the playing experience and success to demand respect, the technical expertise to help mold a young team’s skills, and the background of having worked for and with some of the most accomplished head coaches in the history of the NBA.
The 2012-13 Cleveland Cavaliers were famously terrible on defense, allowing a league high 47.6% FG against, the Cavs also only managed 43.4% FG themselves, second worst in basketball.
There is not a living man more qualified to address shooting issues than Mark Price. To help create that 12 to 15 foot Tristan Thompson jump shot. To improve Dion Waiters shot selection. To help prevent prolonged Tyler Zeller shooting slumps. To provide whatever is necessary to turn Kyrie Irving into one of the greatest shooters and point guards of all time.
Moreover, to provide immeasurable intangibiles to a team in need of direction in how to act as a team instead of a collection of individuals, to turn five fingers into a hardened fist.
The common current list in circulation for NBA head coaching jobs right now is essentially identical to the last season’s: Michael Curry, Lindsay Hunter, Brian Shaw, and Michael Malone. Chris Grant and Dan Gilbert can rehash this list, consider their options limited to it and the availability of former coach Mike Brown, but they should face the obvious answer.
Connection to the Cleveland community: Mark Price cares about the Cavaliers. He already has a legacy with the franchise and was a part of some of its greatest moments. He still holds many of the team’s records. He’s beloved in the town and respected as one of the classiest and best human beings in the history of Cleveland athletics.
His character is unimpeachable. If there’s an individual who merits a statue outside the Quicken Loans Arena, a man who personifies moral character and true loyalty, it’s Mark Price. There are other men of high character who could fill this role, but not one who could bring more integrity and greater support of the City of Cleveland to the sidelines of the Cavaliers bench than Mark Price.
Experience with successful coaches: Mark Price famously played on the Cavaliers for legend Lenny Wilkens and one time defensive guru Mike Fratello. While a Golden State Warrior, Price played under the Rick Adelman. Finishing his career on the Orlando Magic, Price played for Chuck Daly. While a member of the gold medal winning Dream Team II, Price played under Don Nelson.
That’s a hall of fame resume of coaches.
Post playing career coaching experience: Price has been coaching since the end of his career as a player. He has successfully coached at every level, including coaching this summer’s top Free Agent Forward Josh Smith as a high school freshman at Whitefield Academy outside Atlanta. Price coached as an assistant at Georgia Tech.
He’s coached professional players since 2004, serving as a consultant for the Denver Nuggets, an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies under Mike Fratello, a shooting coach on the Atlanta Hawks under Mike Woodson, an assistant coach to Keith Smart for the Golden State Warriors, and a player developmental coach under Stan Van Gundy in Orlando for the Orlando Magic. When Van Gundy was fired by the Orlando Magic after the Dwightmare season of 2011-12, Price was the only member of the staff that the team kept, and served the team as its head coach in the 2012 NBA Summer League.
Price also has experience with international players, having briefly coached in Australia for the Melborne South Dragons and remains the most recognizable name in the history of Australia’s basketball leagues.
His basketball school, the Mark Price Basketball Academy and Shooting Lab, is a renown skills school, famously mentoring the improved shooting of Boston Celtic Rajon Rondo during the 2010 offseason.
Mark Jackson, who had no real coaching experience at all, was hired by the Golden State Warriors last season and will roll into the playoffs behind a 47-35 record. Price is more experienced, as respected and as ready as Jackson was when he assumed head coaching duties at the start of this season.
There’s no question that Mark Price is ready to take over head coaching duties for an NBA team. He represents a low risk investment for the Cavaliers, a developing team which is in dire need of a coaching expert in player development. The progress of Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller is essential to the success of the team. The reality is that the 2013-14 season is going to be another growing season, likely not a playoff-bound one. One which will need an effective coach in a position to be respected and taken seriously by fans of the team that have struggled to watch the last three seasons.
None of the rehashed names of the summer of 2012 can do that. A college coach coming into the league for the first time cannot do that. Mike Brown cannot do that.
For a team in year three of an ongoing flux, attempting to build a young core of players to supplement through the use of a massive glut of cap space, Price is the proven face of the franchise, someone players and the city will respect. A Cavalier legend that current players have and will want to play for, succeed for, learn and grow with.
Somewhere in an office in Independence, Chris Grant is measuring and evaluating. The current players, the current situation, the possibilities into the future and the oncoming effect of the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s harsh luxury taxes on salary structure for teams with high payrolls come 2014. And he must be thinking, how to get there, to 2014 with the largest amount of cap space possible, with maximum development of the current core and using the least amount of necessary resources.
Because the time to pull every trigger is just one season away. And Mark Price can get him there. Pick up that phone, Chris Grant, get Price on the sideline.
@WayneEmbrysKids 100% sold. Amazing!
@BowersCLE really enjoyed reading this... Would love to see MP here in some capacity. -s
How is it you go from saying "Another Year For Byron Scott Was Always A Part Of The Process", to endorsing Mark Price, who has no NBA Head Coaching experience? Seriously, if it's not nostalgia, then what is it? Personally I always thought Kevin Johnson was a better "All Around" PG, and as far as popularity goes, Ilgauskas has always topped my list.
No question the Cavaliers were terrible on defense in 2012-13, but they weren't that way before Scott came on as head coach, they were one of the NBA's best. When I think of Mark Price, defense is not the first thing that comes to mind, its FT shooting. He could run the pick and roll, and he could shoot the ball. Improving individual players shooting, doesn't equate to being named as head coach, how about shooting coach, he has NBA experience in that capacity. In regards to Dion Waiters, poor shot selection, and poor decision making, tend to go hand in hand. There are a lot of former players out there who were great shooters, not really sure what makes him the BEST available.
The list of available coaches seems to be the same every few years. I'm trying to remember why the Cavaliers even hired Byron Scott in the first place. Mike Brown was the most successful coach in Cavalier team history, never having a losing season in 5 years. You like most, probably attribute all his success to LeBron James, but I never hear the same argument made on behalf of Phil Jackson for having Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O'Neal, What's the difference?
Experience with successful coaches doesn't make for being a successful coach. It doesn't get much better than Dean Smith, Doug Collins, and Phil Jackson, for Michael Jordan. I don't see that making him a good coach, and it damn sure hasn't made him a good owner. If orlando was so high on Mark Price as a coach, why didn't they hire him?
Why was Mike Brown even fired in the first place? If leBron had let it be known that he had no intent of returning to Cleveland, as soon as the season ended, do you honestly think the Cavaliers would have made a coaching change? Byron Scott was hired to get the attention of LeBron James, but he had already checked out.
Mark Jackson was a good fit for Golden State, it was the right time and right place. If the Cavaliers had fired Brown because they were overhauling the roster, and going with a youth movement, it may have made sense to bring in a young coach, I could at least see the reasoning. A similar opportunity was given to Monty Williams in New Orleans. After going with Scott, who I never thought was better than Brown in the first place, it's too late to go that route.
Just 2 years ago, Golden State was only 2 wins better than the Cavaliers, what was the difference, or deciding factors? Personnel decisions, coaching, or something altogether different? Just because Jackson has had success, doesn't mean Price would. If Price has been available, why no opportunity as of yet? I guess he just doesn't know the right people.
At this point, the Cavaliers don't need a low risk investment, they need a difference maker, there's a reason Mike Brown has been mentioned, the Cavaliers have been reduced to righting a wrong. No need for Mark to wait by the phone. that call WON'T be coming.
@WayneEmbrysKids that would be.. so... perfect...
@WayneEmbrysKids Count me in!
@WayneEmbrysKids It's Mark Jackson, not Chris Jackson, btw.
@WayneEmbrysKids wow, nice job. Very well researched.
@WayneEmbrysKids Fan-freakin-tastic idea good sir. He works with Rajon Rando so it would be great for Dion.
@thejohnmarx thanks bro. appreciate that a lot
@BowersCLE never has a hire made more sense. lead the charge brendan!
@WayneEmbrysKids Yes, please!
@CLECavsOutsider Why is it retread coaches always get third and fourth chances and the same names that don't get hired come up every year, but a guy with a good resume, a great history and outstanding character can't even get an interview?
I have no beef with Mike Brown, but how have people forgotten how much he struggled with in game decision making? And those starts to third quarters, jeez.
@cre8ive_juice on so many levels
@boomhauertjs thanks!! obviously Abdul Rauf is not yet coaching. fixed. And thanks for reading!!
@danpilar appreciate that. It's not a joke, the guy is actually well qualified to do the job
@1BE4IGO Strongest option.
@WayneEmbrysKids I think it's a trust factor more so than anything, most retreads have had instances of success. Having success in different areas can be intriguing, especially if it fits your particular need. Personal relationships could play a part as well. The first thing coaches do when they accept new jobs, in putting a staff together, they provide opportunities, sometimes first opportunities for those they've been in the grind with, or others a way back into the profession altogether. Nothing wrong with having people they trust, and are most comfortable with, around them. I'm not by any means saying its right, but it's the nature of the business. It's no different than local sports talk radio, beat reporters, and media coverage in this town, the same people recycled from station to station, up and down the dial. I KNOW I don't need to mention any names.
Most head coaches have an expertise in a certain area, and they add areas where they may come up short in assistants. Mike Browns was known as a defensive coach, and he turned the Cavaliers into one of the top defensive teams. Brown also lost coaches off his staff, when you have success, that's going to happen. so then you're left with trying to fill that void, and you may, or may not do better. Everything that went wrong with the Cavaliers was not the fault of Mike Brown, but at the head of the table, he was always quick to take blame, and accept responsibility for team failures. However, he was always quick to give credit for team success, as well as his own to others. What was most impressive about Mike Brown, is how he got the others to come together around a selfish superstar (at the time) for a common goal.
Phil Jackson doesn't coach. he sits with his legs crossed as much as Scott stands with his arms crossed. He whistles a lot, and loud too. What Jackson does is MANAGE. He manages, and delegates those under him. He's NEVER been a bad situation. In both instances (Chicago, and Los Angeles) when he felt he could no longer win, with the way the teams were constructed, he walked away. He doesn't do rebuilds, he does transformations.
The Cavaliers (Gilbert and Front Office) allowed LeBron to openly flirt and cheat, as long as he came back home, they were okay with it. Then he stopped calling, and decided to move on with someone else. What the Cavaliers did was choose LeBron over Mike Brown. they were turning their backs on someone who was loyal and faithful, for someone who lied, and cheated. and never gave any indication, he would stay home. If LeBron had went the route Carmelo had, and been honest with the organization, even though he took a character hit. Would the cavaliers still have fired Mike Brown? What exactly was it that made Byron Scott a better coach?
I'm all for opportunities, wish I had a few, but life isn't always fair. I'm not sure of Mark Price would make for a good coach, or not. He's been out of the league (playing) a long time, and he's yet to get an opportunity. why is that? Maybe he's just been labeled as a shooting coach, some guys get labeled as back-ups, until they get an actual opportunity to play. I've always said, "It's time and opportunity that can best change assumptions, and perceptions."
If the Cavaliers were going to go with a first time head coach, the time to do so was after firing Brown. They were faced with a similar situation when they hired Brown to replace Silas. They chose to go in the direction of Scott (voiced my reasoning there) for a reason. With Scott failing (PG Guru and all), the primary objective of the organization is to put Kyrie Irving in the position of wanting to stay with the Cavaliers, when he'll have an opportunity to leave. Can the organization afford to take that chance? What can Price bring to the table the table that Scott didn't, or couldn't? I don't know if Price will ever get an opportunity, Kareem has been openly campaigning for a head coaching opportunity for years. He's had some legendary coaching, and he's far more accomplished as a player than Price.
A situation like Detroit might be a good opportunity for Price, replacing Frank on a young team. I never heard him mentioned, is he on anyone's radar? Good luck to him, but my preference is to bring Mike Brown back, and right this ship.
@WayneEmbrysKids I thought it was a parofy article when I first clicked. But ur right, no joke. I like that option better than Mike Brown.
@WayneEmbrysKids don't forget about Dan Majerle though!! He'd be a good fit also!
@1BE4IGO PG#25 >>>>> Dan Majerle