SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Derek Fisher became the latest former player to coach an NBA team when he was named head coach of the New York Knicks Tuesday.”That seems to be more prevalent over the years in the NBA than anywhere else,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “It doesn’t happen in baseball as much and it hardly ever happens in football… One of the pools that they go to in the NBA is the players pool.”
Madden recalled when Red Auerbach named Bill Russell coach of the Celtics while Russell was still playing. John said he doubts we’ll ever see a player-coach in pro sports again.
“I don’t think you can do that. The job is so big now and the media takes so much of (a coach’s) time. Years ago it would be a couple of beat writers around. And now with all the media and all the responsibilities you have in that area, and the TV people and the post-game shows and the pre-game shows, I don’t know that it would be possible to be a player-coach.”
Then there’s the player-coach relationship.
“As a player they may like you. Then when you become manager, they don’t like you,” John said. “Which group are you part of? Are you part of the players or part of management?” (6:50)
(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.)