Meanwhile, Karl, for all of his many successes and skills, might be a last-round pick if you’re looking for the coach least likely to make a star player feel undermined. Karl has won a lot of games, but he has also griped loudly and mightily about his stars at every stop of his nearly 30-year coaching career — doubling down on that reputation in a recent book titled, appropriately, Furious George. Karl was absolutely the coach to make a fast offense — under Karl, the Kings boasted the league’s fastest pace — but, predictably, Cousins and Karl fought incessantly, a feud that was well-documented until Karl’s firing last spring.
Joerger, for his part, brings a reputation, earned in Memphis, as a coach adept at managing players’ personalities and expectations in the locker room. But though he excelled at game management and performed the community relations portion of the job admirably, he hardly projected stability. He grew petulant behind the scenes and took veiled public jabs at the front office for not providing the players he craved, including numerous love letters during media availabilities to Jazz guard Rodney Hood, whom the Grizzlies passed on in the 2014 draft, and labeling the roster “old and slow.”
After Black delivered a strong summer league performance, the Rockets signed him to a nonguaranteed contract in August 2014. He went on to make the Rocketsâ€™ opening night roster.
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â€œIâ€™m always a big advocate of betting on myself,â€ Black said. â€œI agreed to a deal draft night like every other player in the draft, which is crazy. So, the only thing I really missed out draft night was hearing my name called.â€
Game Kids Tedy Bruschi Jersey Blackâ€™s first NBA game was on Oct. 28, 2014, when new Rockets center Dwight Howard returned to Los Angeles to play the Lakers. Black had two points in 20 minutes in the Rocketsâ€™ 108-90 blowout, which was highlighted by a yelling match between Howard and Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle breaking his leg.