Raptors Coaches. Lots of them to choose from. But who was the G.O.A.T.
This is sort of a Branch off Thread idea I got from Apollo's one about PG's and Jose.
Jay Triano: been with the team a LONG time. Longer than anyone else in the Franchise I'd imagine. At least that closely related to the court Players. Perhaps Scott McCullough. Still.
He's been around. And has served under ALL of the Head Coaches since 2002, with Lenny Wilkens. He has also Head Coached in 229 Regular Season games,
But this does not translate the same as it does with players I find.
I'm not sure his impact to this franchise is nearly as big as say that of Lenny Wilkens.
I don't mean that as a slight to Jay by any means, but.. well you know what I mean.
Sam Mitchell: on the other hand, is the Raptors Longest Tenured Head Coach at 345 Regular Season games. Thats alot by our Coaching standards, but really.. thats not a whole lot.
He is also our winningest Head Coach at 156 Regular Season wins.
Then we have Lenny Wilkens: He's our Winningest Head Coach in Playoff games, and took the team to a level that we had/have never seen before. How much of that was "Carter in his Prime", is neither here-nor-there if you ask me.
What about Butch Carter?: Our 4th Longest Tenured HC? First Coach to get us to the Playoffs. We didn't actually win in the playoffs with him, but you know.. it's something.
What do you guys think?
I'd hire Sam Mitchell again in a HEARTBEAT if it were up to me.
Dubious Raptor Moment #14
Source: The Flagrancy
April 1996: Brendan Malone "Steps Down" Because of "Philosophical Differences"
We've kept mum about this until now but The Flagrancy officially declares Brendan Malone the best coach in Raptor franchise history. How does a coach who goes 21-61 be the best in team history? By playing every game to win, by turning a team of castoffs into giant-killers, and by making the team the very embodiment of his never-say-die attitude. Malone wrenched more effort out of this team than any other Raptor coach since. It was a great record for an expansion team and the fans filled the SkyDome because the Raptors had the potential to beat anybody (as division champion Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics and World Champion Chicago Bulls found out).
Dare to question our assertion? What's the first thing that comes to mind when I throw out the names of other Raptor head coaches?
Lenny Wilkens = ZZZZZZZ
Kevin O'Neill = The worst offence is a good defence
Darrel Walker = Championship-level coach (wait, that's what Byron Scott thinks)
Butch Carter = Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Sam Mitchell = He has some very nice suits
Of course the other big reason to love Brendan Malone was that he actually stood up to Isiah Thomas. Thomas complained about over-playing the starters. He complained that the team might actually win too much and cost the team a high draft pick (oh, the irony). He planted stories in the media about Malone purposely throwing a game (a 40-point loss to Orlando) by playing the rookies too much to prove a point to the GM. Malone responded by using only 6 players two nights later in pushing the Los Angeles Lakers until the final minute.
At the end of that first season Isiah announced that Malone was "stepping down" because of "philosophical differences." Unfortunately, Malone was too interested in winning. <sigh>
Dubious Raptor Moment #21
Source: The Flagrancy
April 1996: Darrell Walker clashes with Tracy McGrady
"Darrell knows how to win and he knows how to prepare this team to play at a championship level"
– Byron Scott on the hiring of Walker as Hornets assistant coach (21/07/04)
“Bryon Scott is out of his fucking mind”
–The Blue Baller, on Byron Scott on the hiring of Walker as Hornets assistant coach (02/10/06)
The 1996-97 season proved to be a critical point in the careers of two young Raptors: Tracy McGrady, the promising 18-year old high-school draft pick, and coach Darrell Walker, the 2nd youngest coach in the league. The magical mentor-pupil relationship the front-office envisioned between the two quickly turned into a one-sided flogging, as Walker publicly scolded the youngster’s work ethic, claiming McGrady was “too cool” to work hard and would be out of the league in three years. Let’s take a look at what happened next…
10 years later, the only thing lazy about Tracy McGrady is his left eye; the superstar swingman has won the NBA scoring title twice, been voted an NBA All-Star 6-times, and been selected All-NBA 5-times. He just turned 27 years old.
Walker, as fate would have it, was the one out of NBA head coaching in two years. Isiah Thomas’ then hand-puppet would leave the Raptors with a 41-90 record, go on to coach the CBA’s Rockford Lightning to a 13-17 record, and then coach the Washington Wizards to a 15-23 record. After his stint with the Wizards, Walker became Michael Jordan’s new hand puppet, joining the team’s front office. It is at this point where Darrell Walker truly made his mark on NBA history: as the first person ever to be called down to coach a team. In 2000, the now Director of Player Personnel joined the Wizard’s WNBA sister team, the Washington Mystics, as interim head coach. He finished the season with a 14-18 record.
Dubious Raptor Moment #30
Source: The Flagrancy
April 2004: Kevin O'Neill Fired
Normally, I don't find myself in a position to defend Mr.Weatherbee but when the Raptors hired him they certainly knew what they were getting. Lenny Wilkens was fired the previous spring for his lack hard-nosed discipline, fiery temperment and defensive schemes. A disciple of Pat Riley & Jeff Van Gundy, Kevin O'Neill had all of those in spades.
While the Raptor games during the 2003/2004 season were abysmal defensive affairs that forced a change to the long-standing Pizza Pizza 100-point promotion, at least the post-game press conferences were entertaining as O'Neill routinely spit out rage and cuss words. One night O'Neill even smashed a lamp in his hotel room upon finding out that Jalen Rose broke his hand (Notice how O'Neill didn't bust anything whenever VC got injured).
At the end of the season O'Neill was summarily fired for the exact same reasons he was hired: the team was too defensive and the coach was too hot-headed. Fittingly, the day before he was fired O'Neill unleashed a nice tirade at the team that included this apt epitaph...
"I can just tell you right now, the focus is not on winning here all the way through the organization all the time. There needs to be drastic measures taken."
Dubious Raptor Moment #39
Source: The Flagrancy
December 2004-February 2005: Sam Mitchell physically assaults his players
Nobody likes a pussy; especially Sam Mitchell. So when the rookie head coach remarked to Jim Todd during the team’s first practice that “there’s somethin’ faggity in the air”, you knew he wasn’t talking about Jerome Moiso’s Drakkar Noir. Mitchell was determined to turn around the culture of softness still lingering with the team from its country club days with Lenny Wilkens. He began by talking to the Raptor starting backcourt. Actually, replace “talking to” with “beating the shit out of”, and you get a better idea of this Players Coach’s style.
In two separate locker room incidents, Sam Mitchell would go on to challenge Rafer Alston to a fist fight during half-time of game in Cleveland, and wrestle Vince Carter to the ground from a trainer’s table. But Mitchell picked a fight with the wrong two Raptors, both fought back: Alston left Gund Arena crying, and Carter’s mother issued a public complaint.