The Thunder and Mavericks are deep in the midst of the closest series in the first round of the playoffs, with the first two games being decided by a total of four points. It’s the kind of series that could go down in history as one of the best first rounders ever and it could realistically end in four games that go down to the buzzer.

And the difference might be the two teams’ coaches. Both guys have Coach of the Year trophies in their bookcase and both have won nearly 60 percent of the games they’ve coached. Most people would give Rick Carlisle the nod as the better coach, but Scott Brooks wants you to remember who was the better player. From the AP:

Years ago, the two roomed together while playing in the Continental Basketball Association. ”He was a good roommate. He didn’t snore,” Brooks said. ”That’s all it takes. Buy me a meal every now and then and not snore, you’re a perfect roommate.” He later playfully retorted: ”If you want it to be personal, I was a better player. How many years did I play in the league? How many years did he play? I played over a decade. He played three.’

Not to let facts stand in the way of a good argument, but Rick Carlisle actually played five years in the NBA to Brooks’ 10 and they both won a single title as a bit player for a championship team. Brooks was definitely a more successful, but I’d rather look like Jim Carrey than Breckin Meyer, so things kind of even out.

All that being said, I really like the idea of coaches using their playing careers to joke with each other in the media. The NBA has been around long enough that a lot of coaches are former players, so why shouldn’t they toss a few zingers here and there about when they played? It’d be great if Tyrone Corbin and Doc Rivers met in the Finals so they could diss each other about who looked dumber in a Hawks uniform. More than half of the current coaches played in the league, so there is so much potential here. I’m just glad to see Scott Brooks seize upon it.

Besides, now that we know Rick Carlisle doesn’t snore and will chip in for some meals, it’s safe to say he’s one of the greatest guys in the league. Like Scott Brooks said, outside of a quiet sleep environment and some hot food, there’s not much more you can ask for from a head coach.

Comments (8)

  1. Half the coaches played in the league? I’m gonna put money on the fact that Stan Van Gundy was not one of them.

    • Haha but have you seen that youtube vid of him doing dribbling drills?

    • Think there are 18 coaches who played in the L, not counting Paul Silas. Kind of amazing.

    • I don’t know if it’s a good thing, though. What are the odds that the subset of people who are physically gifted enough to make the NBA includes most of the people who are dedicated and intelligent enough to coach in it? I think that many NBA players sort of slide into coaching because people around the league are already familiar with them. I remember there was a bit in “Breaks of the Game” on how former players are less respected than guys who crawl up through the coaching ranks (e.g. Poppovich, Thibodeau). That may have changed, though, with the Phil Jacksons and Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelsons of the world.

  2. He may have looked like Breckin Meyer then, but he’s matured into a bonafide Michael J. Fox.

  3. Could have starred in a live action Beavis and Butthead from the looks of that picture

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