On the surface, the unsurprising announcement that Vinny Del Negro won’t be re-signed as the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers doesn’t mean much for the team across the hall at STAPLES Center. Dwight Howard might have paused his self involvement for 3 minutes to learn that Stan Van Gundy was not the only head coach in the NBA to have 3 names. Regardless of what Vinny Del Negro or the Clippers are doing, the Los Angeles Lakers have enough problems of their own to worry about after all.
It’s an adage, it’s a cliche, but everyone would stop using it if it stopped being true. With every action there is a reaction. Not every action results in a reaction like confronting Bullet-tooth Tony in bar in England, but the Clippers action, effects the Lakers.
Every Seat Gets a Little Hotter
When the also overused cliche of a hot seat finally burns one of the coaches in this town, the seats of the colleagues do not cool down. The scrutiny is not lifted. It is not like a volcano, which threatened to and finally erupted, only to not erupt for a thousand more years. Every seat gets hotter. The scrutiny is magnified.
Assistant coaches and General Manager’s seats become uncomfortable as the unrest spreads over a struggling sports town like Los Angeles. That is because every decision will be compared across town. Mike Brown was fired. Any decision the Clippers made, or Trojans, or Angels, would have been compared to that hasty decision by the Lakers and it’s dreary results. Mike D’Antoni‘s seat might be slightly safer, but it is growing hotter.
One Less Coach Available
With Vinny Del Negro’s general approval ratings, nevermind his results, the Lakers would never hire him. So regardless of whoever the Clippers bring in to takeover coaching duties, there will be one less coach available for the Lakers to fill the impending vacancy on the Lakers bench.
The Lakers decisions in the near future will be compared to, and deemed reactionary to the Clippers. The Clippers struggles were always a foil for the Lakers prevailing successes. If this coaching switch works for the Clippers, there will be a strange, dysfunctional switch where the Clippers suddenly are the team with stability. The Lakers are the team struggling. This coaching change could solidify the strange times we live in.
Both Los Angeles franchises have plenty of free agents this summer. Depending on the coach that fills the vacancy, it could effect some of the free agents who might want to switch locker rooms. It seems crazy to think that the Clippers would be a better destination than the Lakers, but Antawn Jamison or Steve Blake or Earl Clark might find themselves switching jerseys and keeping their address.