Tuesday, March 20, 2018

'Due Diligence' Is for Losers

The Bucks are 37-33 and eighth in the East.  Expected in some circles; a shocking disappointment within the organization.

The natural reaction is to shuffle the roster or fire the coach.  Been there, done that.  It hasn't worked. Milwaukee is 33-28 since acquiring Eric Bledsoe.  14-11 after firing Jason Kidd.  10-10 since Jabari Parker returned.  "You are what your record says," the old saying goes.  What does the Bucks' record say?

What to do?  Ultimately, there are two paths.  Two belief systems, as it were.

Belief System #1: The Patriot Way

Focus.  On.  Today.

Many people have many definitions of the New England Patriots' method of operation; that is mine.  Identify what is in front of you and what you can control.  Devise a viable strategy and a plan.  Execute.

Example: Your roster is your roster.  Do the best you can with it.  Ignore players on other teams who might or might not fit your roster.  Scan the waiver wire, the draft, the free agency market with neither hope nor cynicism.  The players available are the players available.  OG Anunoby is no longer available to be drafted ahead of DJ Wilson.  Jabari Parker will never be a free agent.

Belief System #2: Trust the Process

Chase.  Perfection.

Sam Hinkie did it in Philadephia.  Daryl Morey does it in Houston.  Danny Ainge is Boston's man.

'Trust the Process' means that everything is an asset or a liability; yours, your competitors', and third parties'.

Example: Joe Prunty is not the Bucks' Head Coach.  He is the Bucks' Head Coach Right Now.  And he is worth X.  Most basketball coaches are worth less than X; some may be worth more.  When the time comes, the Bucks will be prepared to Maximize The Value of the Head Coaching Position.  If X is the Max Value, then Prunty stays.  If Other Coach > X, then Prunty goes.

Trust the Process people do not believe in winning the day.  They aim to Win The Lifetime.  They believe that preparing for every conceivable eventuality leads to better outcomes whenever eventualities become realities.

Daryl Morey knew that secondary Alpha Dogs often force their way out.  He knew that talent-rich teams can't pay everyone, and thus covet draft picks and young players.  He was prepared, and so he got Harden.  The Rockets have been winning ever since.

There is an irony: trust in the process removes trust in everything else.  Which brings us to today.

Marc Stein; long a semi-reliable source of NBA news, reported today that the Bucks have a "list" of potential head coaches.

Alex Lasry; Bucks Senior Vice President and son of co-owner Marc Lasry, wrote on Twitter that there is no "list", but that the team is doing "due diligence" in its evaluation of Head Coach Joe Prunty.

"Due diligence" is disturbing.  It reveals a belief in the lessor "Trust the Process" system.  It is for losers.  The Celtics got a lonely championship when Andrew Bynum got hurt in the Playoffs.  Outside of that one lucky Ring, Hinkie, Ainge, Morey, and their ilk are oh-for-a-lifetime at winning Championships.

The Patriot Way does not tolerate "due diligence".  Head coaching candidates do not exist until the day there is an open position at Head Coach.  As long as that position is filled, the focus is on succeeding with the man who is in place.

Lasry is young, and young men can be impetuous.  Perhaps his "due diligence" comment should be taken lightly.  Still, it was a mistake to write it and it is an even greater mistake if he abides by it.