How does an organization or college know when to fire a coach? Is it after one losing season, or is it after multiple straight losing seasons. In some cases coaches do not even last multiple full seasons. In 2014 the NBA team New York Knicks hired Derek Fisher right after he retired from playing basketball. In his first season, the Knicks went 17-65. That season the Knicks averaged the fewest points per game in the league at 91.9 ppg and gave up 101.2 ppg which ranked in the bottom half of the league at 21st. This past season Derek was fired when the team was 23-31. At the point of his firing the Knicks were averaging 99 ppg, which was an increase from the previous year, and they were giving up 101 ppg, which was better than the year before even if it is .2 points per game better.
After Coach Fisher was relieved of his duties as coach, the Knicks promoted his assistant coach Kurt Rambis to interim head coach. With Rambis as the head man of the team for the final 28 games of the year the team’s scoring average dipped to 97 ppg, while the amount they give up stayed at 101 ppg. In this situation, Derek Fisher should have been able to keep his job to at least the end of the season since the team was improving.
I was caught off guard by the Derek Fisher firing because the team was improving from his first year. It also caught me off guard, because if Derek Fisher got fired for going 40-96 over 2+ years with the Knicks, why have the Philadelphia 76ers not fired their current coach. Since Brett Brown took the head coaching job with the 76ers the team has not been able to win close games. The 76ers have not improved as much as they should have since he has taken over. In his first year the team went 19-63, while scoring 99.5 ppg ranking them at 19th offensively and giving up 109.9 ppg ranking them at 30th defensively. In year 2 under Brown the offense regressed to only scoring 92 ppg, which ranked 29th in the league, while the defense improved allowing 101 ppg, which ranked 20th in the league. This past year was the worst under coach Brown. The 76ers went 10-72 and scored 97.4 ppg and gave up 107.6 ppg, both of which ranked 29th in the league. The 76ers record under Brown all together is 47-199, which is a winning percentage of .191.
In football it seems that there are a lot more firings, either during the season or right after it ends. Lovie Smith took over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2014-15 NFL season, following his coaching career with the Bears. He coached the team to a 2-14 record scoring 17.3 ppg which was 29th, but gave up 25.6 ppg which was 25th in the league. The following season they improved to 6-10 and scored 21.4 ppg that ranked 20th in the league, and gave up 26.1 ppg that ranked 26th in the league. Lovie would end up being relieved of his duties as head coach following the season. Coach Smith should have been allowed one more year to show that he was improving the team, but I guess teams are impatient sometimes and want to win right away.