As narrated by Allen Iverson? Stephen A. Smith in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.
(O’Brien, applauding the blooper footage from “Dream Job” in which an angry contestant tried to strangle Stephen A.)
Jim O’Brien’s not getting any love from his players. They cannot stand the man. And regardless of president/general manager Billy King’s refusal to candidly address the matter, he has to be perplexed about what he’ll do next.
In all probability, there will be coaching changes in New York, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Portland once this season expires. Maurice Cheeks is already available. And that fact, along with a virtual consensus among the players to see O’Brien gone, is something King must consider whether he wants to or not.
O’Brien was supposed to be the golden boy of free-agent coaches, the steward fresh off of taking the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals in his last full season in Boston.
He was supposed to be the man worth $4 million per season, the perfect successor to Larry Brown, the individual capable of repairing the damage King did to his own reputation as an executive when he was maligned for pulling the trigger too quickly on former coach Randy Ayers.
But ever since O’Brien signed his hefty $12 million, three-year deal, even colleagues have said they don’t know who the man is anymore.
Players say O’Brien’s arrogance is incomparable.
The Sixers’ marketing department, or any other department for that matter, is not particularly fond of him, either.
Numerous season-ticket holders will do anything to have another meeting, similar to the one held with Pat Croce the season Johnny Davis and Brad Greenberg were running the show for the Sixers.
I’ll confess that I don’t know the man personally. For all I know, he could be the sweetest man in the world, because he certainly has never done anything to me. But when you can go from the front office to the marketing department, to the locker room and laundry room and right down to courtside, and you’re incapable of finding one individual willing to speak fondly about a coach, something is dreadfully wrong.
Especially if you’re Billy King.
Yet, something needs to be done. Maybe a psychologist for O’Brien. Get him some people skills and a willingness to listen to his players, most of whom believe he’s displayed such flagrant arrogance and apathy toward them, it’s impossible to imagine.
I’m not sure which portion of the above article is more mind-blowing, that Smith can accuse someone else of arrogance or that Chris Webber being disgruntled could affect someone else’s job security in the year 2005.