[Interesting take on Chris Finch from the FanPosts. - Tom]
The idea has recently come up quite a bit that the Rockets are "grooming" a certain coach for the head coach position in the future. I detest this idea for a number of reasons.
First, if a person isn't qualified to do the job now, then it is really unclear what qualities are being judged to select a person for "grooming" status. It just smacks of cronyism and if followed through to the logical conclusion, it will cause lots of excellent candidates to be overlooked. Can you imagine if the University of Houston Cougars were grooming a center in 1980 when Hakeem Olajuwon showed up in Guy Lewis's office? The point is that it is almost impossible to tell who the competition for a position will be several years down the line, so it seems to be extremely counter-intuitive to nominate someone ahead of time to ultimately grow into the position. Given the logic against it, the mere nomination of a person to be "groomed" smacks of favortism. Jobs filled through favortism almost never get the best candidate for the job and often are filled by incompetents.
Second, nominating someone to be groomed will have the effect of making that person not work as hard. It's human nature and can't be avoided. The person will invariably get a sense of entitlement and not be motivated to undergo the truly grueling process of becoming the best person available to be the head coach of an NBA franchise.
Third, the presence of a person who is clearly being groomed for the head position will lead to talented assistant coaches leaving the team when they see that there is no upward mobility in the franchise. We will be left with the parasitic types who just like to stick around for a paycheck and not pursue excellence.
Fourth, potential head coaches will avoid the team that is clearly grooming someone in talks. If a hall of famer head coach knows someone is being groomed, then he is less likely to start a conversation or even accept an interview with the team that is grooming or percieved to be grooming someone. An established, legitimate head coach doesn't want the embarassment of being passed over for someone who has never been a head coach before, so they will just avoid that situation and the team will never know what could have been.
Fifth, greatness is borne through suffering and adversity. It means beating other people out for the spot. Guaranteeing a person a position and following through on it will lead to someone who will never be great, and will be mediocre at best.
I have no problem with bringing someone on as an assistant if there is potential. Assistant coaches who truly excel due to hard work and intellect should be considered when a coaching spot opens up. BUT, nothing should be handed to anyone. EVER. Under any circumstance.