Steve joins me for a Rapcast to discuss the Raptors next head coach, we go through the candidates, talk about their suitability, strengths and weaknesses, and try to identify that perfect fit. There’s some guffaw in there about the timing of Triano’s firing, it’s impact on the draft, and the pressure it has put Colangelo under, including other things. Have a listen, have a read. It’s Friday!

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (30:01, 11MB). Or just listen below:

#1 – Rick Adelman

Don’t you love it when somebody does your work for you? I do, and so I thank LA Times writer Mark Medina for this great, very recent piece on Adelman. Adelman’s teams have generally overachieved because he’s made his teams buy into a team philosophy, especially on defense, and knows how to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. The issue I see with him is that he’s known as a genuinely nice and humble person, which might be misconstrued by the Raptors players as permission to roam. Let me put it his way, I think the Raptors need someone like this, Adelman is more like this. There’s also talk that at 64 years of age, he’s more inclined to take a GM role than go through the grind of NBA travel.

#2 – Jeff Van Gundy

Jeff Van Gundy is making a very nice living as a color commentator with a raspy, annoying voice, a niche that had yet to be filled in the broadcasting profession. Van Gundy is, of course, known for being the ultimate Riley protégé, one who miraculously managed to make the Knicks even more unwatchable through defensive tactics that involved giving Herb Williams playing time. He’s certainly got an amount of pedigree: boasting a 57.5% overall winning record, he led the Knicks to the playoffs in 6 of 7 seasons, reaching the Finals and Conference Finals once each. After that he went to Houston where he was victim of the Tracy McGrady Curse, which involved getting knocked out of the first round in humiliating fashion. Like Frank, Van Gundy looks like he’s either about to have a heart attack or just recovered from one. Defense is the name of his game, and if Van Gundy desires, the job is his in a heartbeat. It’s amazing how good retired coaches look just by sitting around doing nothing. Van Gundy is best remembered for giving Alonzo Mourning a foot massage during a brawl.

#3 – Lawrence Frank

Best known for being a thorn in Sam Mitchell’s side, Frank is considered one of the hardest working coaches in the league. He never played collegiate or professional basketball but found his way into the professional ranks through sheer persistence. He has a career 48.3% winning percentage with New Jersey, and won the job with a 25-15 showing after the Nets fired Byron Scott midway through the 2003-04 season. The rest of his tenure in New Jersey could be considered underwhelming considering the talent at his disposal: Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson and Jason Kidd. He’s hailed as a defense-first coach, but in his five full seasons at the helm he’s amassed DRTGs that are all over the chart: 7th, 4th, 15th, 21st, 24th. If you’re looking for a stressed out dude patrolling the sidelines and demanding 100% effort, he’s your man. Relatively speaking, he doesn’t possess the pedigree that Colangelo said he’s searching for. As mentioned on the Rapcast, the man also runs the Princeton offense which is about as fitting in Toronto as Enrique Iglesias at The Comfort Zone.

#4 – Dwayne Casey

PhdSteve described Casey perfectly: the guy who seemingly gets interviewed for every coaching job without actually getting hired, including the Raptors’ open position when Sam Mitchell eventually got the nod. Casey’s defensive exploits are well-documented in Dallas, and he is one of the most respected assistants across the league. He only possesses a year and a half worth of head coaching experience, which makes him a huge underdog for the Toronto position.

#5 – Ettore Messina

The man who defended Bargnani. That is the most recent memory of Messina for Raptors fans. He has accomplished all that is possible as a coach in Europe, and could be considered the “Phil Jackson of Europe”. Having won four EuroLeague titles, two Coach of the Year awards, you would think he would have made the transition to the NBA bench by now. He has the respect of very respected NBA personnel including Greg Popovich and Jerry Buss, but it hasn’t translated to a head coaching role. By his own admission, he has always felt that he needs a couple years on the sidelines as an assistant coach before stepping into the big shoes, and that opportunity looks to have arrived with the Lakers where he’ll serve as the brains behind Mike Brown’s brawn.

NaN – Leo Rautins


Share this:
  • Justarrfanboy

    looks like its going to be frank with messina as assistant.

    • Soft Euro

      Frank or Casey if it’s between these five. I doubt Adelman or Jeff v Gundy want to come to Toronto (rebuild). Messina will likely start as assistent for a team with a higher profile.

      • Everyone has a price.  Paying big for a coach is smart for the raps.  It’s a way to bolster the desirability of the franchise to free agents and it doesn’t impact the cap.  Same strategy MLSE used to lure BC.

        • Nilanka15

          At the same time, you don’t want money to be the biggest motivator for the new coach.  Ideally, you’d want someone who sees the potential in the roster, is patient, is willing to live through the growing pains that comes with a young team, and is a good teacher. 

          But if a guy like JVG really doesn’t want to be here, but simply agrees because Colangelo throws a dumptruck full of money at him, it may not be the best marriage in the long run.

    • cb

      what’s your source for this? or are you just making shit up?

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      Mike Woodson seems like the *perfect fit in the TDot as he’s been though all this just recently in Atlanta. (*Barring Adelman coming over)

      I would give him the nod over Lawrence Frank because Frank’s last head coaching particular with the Nets was a 16 game losing streak before he was removed while Woodson got removed because he couldn’t get the Hawks out of the 1st round of the playoffs in 2 years:

      Mike Woodson, 53 years old, NBA Head Coach for 6.0 years, Record 206-286Mike Woodson has 17 years of NBA coaching experience.  Three years as an assistant coach with each of the 76ers, Pistons, and Bucks and two years with Cavaliers preceded Woodson’s appointment to the head coaching job in Atlanta for the 2004-05 season.The Hawks had been bad for five years before Woodson got the job and in his first season the team went 13-69, but the team had gone into full rebuilding mode and Woodson was coaching one of the youngest teams in the league.  In his fourth season, the Hawks returned to the playoffs where they have stayed ever since.  The Hawks won 53 games for Woodson in his last season with the club.Woodson arrived in Atlanta as the defensive guru who installed a Pistons defense that held opponents to just 84.3 points per game the season before.  Handed a very weak team in Atlanta, the Hawks surrendered 102.5 points in his first season.  In Woodson’s last two seasons however, the Hawks held opponents to an average of 96.8 points which was tenth best in the NBA.Drafted by the Knicks in 1980, Woodson spent 11 seasons and 786 games in the NBA as a player.If Colangelo wants a coach who has been through the rebuilding process before with some success, Woodson would make a logical choice.  The Raptors need to make a decision quickly however as it is believed the Pistons have their sights on him as well and Woodson has been an unsuccessful candidate for the Raptors head coaching job twice before. END

  • c_bcm

    8 coaches in 16 years. What a fucking embarrassment.

    • Nilanka15

      Not as embarassing as drafting Bryant Reeves and moving to Memphis 😛

    • barenakedman

      An interesting tidbit about the caliber of those coaches.
      Only Lenny Wilkens went on to hold another head coaching job after leaving the Raptors. 

  • Bo4

    It’s the three player upgrades that we need that matter more (Calderon, Barbosa & Bargnani). I think we should go get Walker, Gay & Faried.

  • Hire Rick Adelman and Messina, promise Adelman GM Job after 2 years and Messina the Head Coach job after 2 years, if all goes well.

  • dribbles

    I’d love JVG but I also love that guy in the booth. He’s insightful and funny as hell. Frank and Casey look like the most likely candidates. I’m not expecting miracles regardless of who comes but I sure as hell am expecting better defence. If they finish league-worst for a 3rd year in a row then BC deserves to be expelled from TO via a fucking cannon.

  • hateslosing

    Jeff Van Gundy is my #1 with Adelmen as a close second. Jeff is one of the few coaches I’ve seen who makes a team better with his system and doesn’t just get wins off talent. His hard assed approach would also be welcome in Toronto. Plus, if the NBA goes to a hard cap or drastically lowers player salaries the extra money we will save could be thrown at our coach of choice. Messina interests me a lot but I think it might alienate some fans and I also think it is likely he might not adjust well to the NBA right away. 

    • ak

      he alienate nobody if he gets the job done. stop acting like he hurt your feelings by just praising his countryman. a man expressed his opinion thats all.

  • BigChris

    Frank abandoned the Princeton offense in 2008 in favor of the dribble drive motion attack.  Scott is the Princeton offense guy, and Frank is only guilty of trying to keep the same playbook that took that team to the Finals.  Those Nets sucked too, no matter how far Scott took them.

  • aristides

    Why wouldn’t the Princeton offense fit in Toronto? Doesn’t it require a shooting center, which is the one thing we’ve got?

  • stan

    Am I the only one who thinks scott skyles and lawrence frank are the same person?  They look identical

  • Mediumcore

    I read a quote on this site yesterday from BC saying that he has someone in mind to come in and replace him as GM, perhaps so he could be President full time and today I’ve read that Donnie Walsh has been released from the Knicks as GM. Any chance that BC has Walsh in mind as the Raptors new GM?

    • Nilanka15

      I just heard the news about Walsh, and was wondering the same thing.  But I also wonder if there’s enough room within 1 organization for both their egos 😉

      • Mediumcore

        You know what this really means is that if the Raptors are still a bottom feeder in two years when BC’s contract is up there is one more person who can be blamed or fired before his neck is on the line LOL.

        • mountio

          I think the more relevant question is whether this means that a) D’Antoni gets fired in NY by the new GM and b) BC has his sights set on him for TO.
          I don’t think its that much of a stretch. He has one year left on his deal, and his style has not really worked in NY (albeit he only had a little time with Amare and Carmelo).
          Raps fans start cringing ..

    • points

      please no glen and his wife

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Walsh is staying in NY as a Knicks Basketball Consultant.

  • Rpsfan95

    arse is on the right track, BC’s career depends on the season after the lockout season being huge, this might force him to go after one of the big name coaches

  • Nilanka15

    Rumour has it that Portland is very interested in Kemba Walker, and is looking to move up in the draft.  Andre Miller, Nick Batum, Rudy Fernandez and/or the 21st pick could be up for grabs:

    • Theswirsky

      … gotta say I’ve always like Batum.  Not so much the other 2.

      • Nilanka15

        I liked the idea of Fernandez 2 years ago, but not so much with the direction of the team today.

        Batum intrigues me, but Kemba, Knight, Kanter, and Leonard intrigue me more.

        • ak

          i think its the rookie hype you cant get over. i would trade no.5 selection for him in a second.

          agree on fernandez, as a rookie he showed an exciting combination of size, athletic ability and shooting touch. instead of developing his game however, he spent time whining about his playing time.

          • yertu damkule

            hmm…i don’t suppose lack of playing time hindered his development?

  • Raptorsss

    Adelman, is looking to retire (take a break from coaching) otherwise he’d still be in Houston, take him off the list.  Also, Jeff Van Gundy will stay in the broadcast booth.

    Chances are the Raptors hire an assistant coach from a good basketball team.  And it won’t be lawrence frank.

    • Nilanka15

      Why won’t it be Frank?

      • Raptorsss

        Personal feeling, not a fan of Frank and I just don’t see it happening. 

        • Nilanka15

          Based on my personal feeling, I would be VERY surprised if Frank isn’t hired, and I’ll go even further and say it’ll be done well before the draft.

      • points

        because kidd was the coach of the nets back then,notice after kidd left what happen…I would prefer we take a assistant coach from a good team like buddy said.

  • FAQ

    Yes … a new coach … and let’s trade Bargnani for Bosh ….!!!

    I think Bargs would fit in better with Wade and Lebron than Bosh.

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

    Whomever is hired just don’t hire Jay as an assistant please keep his inept ass away from the players and keep him as an empty yes man suit in the Front Office unless he gets an offer to join another NBA head coaches coaches staff which is highly unlikely given his track record in the TDot where he was handed a NBA coaching job and fucked it up by not coaching but being a stoolie for BC.

    Rick Adelman is in line to be PO’s next GM, according to reports, plus he lives in PO. Would be my 1st choice if he was available but he’s better off as a GM than a head coach right now in his life.

    Jeff Van Gundy isn’t interesting in coaching- at least this year, and will wait another year before throwing his hat back into the ring according to media reports.

    Lawrence Frank, whom I hold in high regard, isn’t the right guy for the job as his last working particular was a 16 or 17 game losing streak in NJ plus the Rap’s don’t have a Kidd, KMart or RJefferson on their roster- as is.

    Dwane Casey is a defensive coaching guru who came up under George Karl in Seattle when the Sonics had that suffocating defense lead by Payton & Kemp. Now he is working his defensive magic in Dallas for the Mavs who used to be all about offense but now are playing solid defense.

    **My short list:

    Mike Woodson (Would make the most sense since he basically coached up the Hawks team that we see today into the playoffs from being a sub .500 team when he initially took over as their head coach he just couldn’t get them out of the 1st round for whatever reasons but his Hawks teams played very solid defense plus his last season there they were in the playoffs.)

    Bob McAdoo (My personal favorite is veteran Heat assistant coach & NBA/Global basketball legend. A Paul Silas type that commands respect with their basketball intellect not just by their mere presence knows basketball from its essence to the lessons.)

    Bill Laimbeer (One way to immediately shed the soft Raptors defensive image is too hire the ex Pistons Bad Boy as head coach. Maybe he’ll bring Rick Mahorn over with him as an assistant coach? Rap’s bigs would be in good hands. Bill also worked with KLove this past season in Minny. Ironically Laimbeer is a WNBA coaching legend as in 7 seasons Laimbeer has amassed the most postseason wins (27) and WNBA Finals victories (10) in league history. His six consecutive playoff appearances are tied for second most all-time. A three-time WNBA champion (2003, 2006 and 2008). Raps’ have played like a WNBA team under Jay at times so there is a connection with this projected 

    Mark Jackson (Former Raptor & NBA pg is a leader as well he knows basketball inside out- credibility. For some reason I get a good feeling about MJackson’s leadership abilities, understanding of the game and his temperament under fire. Not to emotionally high, not to low Jackson keeps it steady like his court game slow but effective.)

    Alex English (A certified NBA legend who should of had the job over Jay post Sam. Well known for scoring attributes but knows both sides of the game very well. Plus he’s well respected & connected not elected. Hope he stays on as an assistant coach no matter whom eventually gets the job.)

    **Somebody is on drugs here:

    Mike D’Antoni- Fuck no, not another Italian nepotism hire. Plus he’s all offense not a spot of defense- Mikey D can- lick the balls. (Slick Rick voice)

    Larry Brown- Best days are behind him more of a living legend than a current legend. Would be better served as Rap’s GM in my mind. 

    Jerry Sloan- See Larry Brown above.

    Sam Mitchell- Wouldn’t be the 1st coach to be fired then rehired in pro sports. 1 of BC’s biggest mistake was prematurely firing Sam after signing him to that new contract. Alas BC’s not man enough to make that move and I’m not so sure Sam would be interested but you never say never. He would hold ALL players accountable and with enough talent they would defend, play the right way or sit. Jose & CB played like Stockton/Malone Light All Stars under Sam.

    For some reason I don’t see BC hiring a brotherman as Head Coach or GM- time will tell.

    • Nilanka15

      Bill Laimbeer???  Why don’t we hire Cheryl Miller and Lisa Leslie while we’re at it?  😛

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Shows how much you really know about NBA basketball kiddo.

        • Nilanka15

          I’m perfectly familiar with Laimbeer’s NBA resume.  But you’re a little too familiar with his WNBA resume.  We might as well hire Messina if we’re contemplating Laimbeer (i.e. any coach who has ZERO NBA experience).  No thanks.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

            Bill Laimbeer has been an assistant coach in the NBA since 2009 with Minnesota.

      • Theswirsky

        they could wear #7 and no one would know the difference

    • Juicey

      Now that Jay is gone are you going to edit your name? It would be fun to see your name slowly dwindle down to nothing as each man in your name gets fired.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Jay wasn’t fired he was promoted into the Front Office as BC’s Special Assistant ie Nuthugging Empty Suit Yes Man- recognize game or remain mentally lame.

        Jay aka Company Man still has to go!! As does BC aka BullChit & Gheradini aka Mr Magoo!!

        • points

          next thing you know bargs isn’t traded BC move him to point guard everything remain the same.

    • ak

      if Laimbeer/Mahorn actually happened they’d be on the sidelines dressed in purple silk suits and feather hats. the players would come out in high heels and mini skirts.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!


  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    Everyone knows BC has fucked up the Rap’s- even funnystyle ass Chuck, but us?lmfao

    No wonder folks looks at the Rap’s as a joke franchise- BC is a fuckin’ clown without his daddy around to run the circus.

  • Juicey

    Maybe JVG would be a perfect match for this team.  They’ve both been stepped on by Alonzo Mourning!

  • golden

    Bring back Butch Carter with Kevin O’Neill as assistant coach! 

  • Bukowski’s Toilet

    It’s so irritating reading all these unsourced reports and rumors. Seems like a waste of time after a while. Stephen Brotherson on HoopsWorld says this:”Word out of Florida is that Alabi – who was nursing a sore knee all of last season is 100% and looking good and the Raps don’t want to move him – Alabi was the defensive player of the year in his conference when the Raps acquired him.”I thought Alabi was a washout who couldn’t beat out Ajinca or dominate in the D-League?

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      Well, Lawrence Frank & Dwane Casey are 2 people that BC will interview for certain.

      Alabi, give me a break! (Nell Carter voice)

      • Bukowski’s Toilet

        Frank, Woodson or Casey would all be acceptable to me as coaches. I like the international game and players overall – teams like San Antonio and Dallas have used foreign players well –  but I’d like to see the Raptors move back to a more traditional, defense-oriented game. I just don’t want them to get Messina or D’Antoni.

        The frustrating thing about Alabi is that he is just what they need: a big 7-foot defense center, so you can’t help but think “what if?” But he’s shown nothing on the court. It’s tough to see him being good if he couldn’t beat out Ajinca for minutes. I don’t remember hearing about him having a sore knee last year. If he did that could be a mitagating factor

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

          Casey, Woodson or Frank would be a solid choice.

          I just hope that whomever is hired doesn’t give Jay aka BC’s Left Nut an assistant coaching position due to pressure from BC and hires a compentent staff of HIS choosing.

          The only thing that really concerns me about Frank is that at his last job he was removed because his team (Nets) lost 16 games in a row whereas Woodson was removed because he couldn’t get the Hawks out of the 1st round of the playoffs in 2 straight years.

          Alabi, sore knee or not, is still garbage in my mind as in Ajinca. If either of those guys weren’t 7 feet tall they most likely wouldn’t even be in the NBA.

          I agree, just say no to Messina (heard that he’s up for a Laker’s assitant coach position) or D’Antoni aka Antoni because his teams play no defense.

          Time will tell who BC hires as the Rap’s new head coach but it’s past due time for a new head coach, energy & direction in the TDot.

    • Theswirsky

      he may not beat out Ajinca, but I thought he was dominating in the D league (not that that is exactly a rarity)

      • Bukowski’s Toilet

        if he could develop into a servicable NBA center it would be a big step forward in the development of the franchise

  • OneLuv

    Haven’t heard anyone mention Spur’s assistant Budenholzer. He has the experience and has worked with Pops for something like 15 years.  I am betting that something must have rubbed off from one of the best minds in b-ball.  My vote is for Mike Budenholzer.

  • LeJeuxSonFait

    So many people blaming Messina without any idea about him. Hope he will not coach this ridicolous “team” this year, for the most of you it is better to blame Bargs (your only ona good player) all the time, you don’t need other italian. Oh my god D’Antoni? Ohhhh colangelo? You Idiot rassists.

  • Rapture

    i think ego counts here. BC will probably be looking to pull the strings again and we need a coach who really wont give a crap what BC says.

  • Mediumcore

    Don Nelson?

    • OneLuv

      What about “defense first”?

      • Mediumcore

        Good point. I like how his teams have always seemed to be competetive regardless of the lack of talent (lack of talent describes the Raptors pretty well right now), and his tough on players style, but defense is not something I would want to sacrafice to acheive that.

  • mountio

    Havent heard anything about Mo Cheeks? Seems logical to me to at least consider (unless OKC wants to replace Scotty Brooks with him after the egg he laid in the playoffs) ..

    • Raptor4Ever

      I hope it is NOT Mo Cheeks or the Guy that  Indiana just let go this season ( forgot his name). Also, I think Woodson is really limited on offence and will NOT be a good fit.

  • 45c


    • James

      You are right Tim.W 
      This team was NBA Championship material if AB was not there.

    • points


  • Raptorsfreak

    Why hasn’t anyone brought one name in this discussion?
    The guy who scored the most points or any player in the NBA during the 1980’s?
    He has been sitting on the Raps bench since 2004. 

    Alex English

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      I’d like Alex English as the Rap’s new head coach but I feel he’d be pressured to put Jay on his staff as an assistant instead of selecting his own people as it could really be awkward in Raptorland if Alex was named head coach and didn’t select Jay as 1 of his assistants knowing that Jay wants to coach again in some capacity.

    • Bendit

      Just because he was a great scorer has not much to do with being a good coach. There are a few good ones who never played in the nba. That said AE comes across a pretty passive guy and one must wonder why he hasnt been hired as hc for other teams. Sometimes some like him are just good asst coaches at this level…probably what Triano always was. We need a hard nosed defensive minded coach with a NBA pedigree who the players pay attention to…at least for the first couple of years…lol. AE was a great scorer and there is no evidence about his defensive game plans!

    • Nilanka15

      Probably because Colangelo said he’s looking for experience.  I assume he was specifically referring to NBA head coaching experience, which rules out Messina, Casey, English, etc.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

         BC from what I read said he wants someone with NBA coaching experience whether it be head coaching and/or assistant coaching or a mix of both.

  • 45c