Jay Triano is the interim coach. Sportsnet Link. I knew it was a done deal when Doug Smith bravely said that Sam’s job is “very safe”.
The players should feel real shitty after this move. The Denver loss was the straw that broke the camel’s back and it was ultimately the players who got their coach fired by not putting out an honest effort. Sam’s lack of playbook and often times common sense didn’t exactly help but ultimately the blase attitude and the air of indifference around the club is what lead to his downfall.
Or you could think of this in terms of Bryan Colangelo finding a scapegoat to blame the club’s struggles on. I’m not sure what he was realistically expecting with this roster, 8-9 is pretty much right on the money and maybe its the manner in which we lost that tipped the cow over.
Your opinion of Sam may differ with others but there is one fact you cannot ignore: his X’s and O’s were very weak and his resource utilization was very poor. Sam was a reactionary coach and never managed to successfully outsmart any other coach in a playoff or regular season series. The gamble of starting Bargnani at the SF position against Orlando was a suspect decision that arguably cost us the series. His situational play-calling was poor and his substitution patterns extremely suspect and he alone cost us at least 5 wins last season.
A lot of the blame goes to Colangelo who didn’t have the balls to not re-hire Sam after his contract ended on the heels of a Coach of the Year award. He didn’t want to hire him but it would’ve just looked too bad at the time. That was probably the best time to sever ties as it would’ve allowed Sam to get a terrific new coaching gig and the Colangelo would’ve finally get to hand pick the coach he wanted. Instead we were the kids who suffered in a bad marriage between two people who didn’t share the same basketball philosophy.