AP Photo/Michael Conroy
In football, offensive and defensive coordinators routinely watch their own team’s games from the comfort of a booth high in the sky and they call in plays to players and coaches on the field via headsets. Some coaches have access to televisions to watch replays and can make suggestions to the head coach about plays that should be challenged.
In basketball, the assistant coaches (who are crammed between the head coach and bench players) twist their necks in an effort to see around the monsters covering all 94 feet of hardwood. Occasionally, the assistant coaches crank their head skyward to look at the replay being shown on the JumboTron directly above their heads.
Coaches in the booth
One or two assistant coaches from each NBA team should sit in a booth during the game. Like their NFL counterparts, these coaches would be able to watch the game unfold live at the same angle they review the game on tape. Why should they receive their game day information at a different angle than the one at which they review and teach the game?
There is obviously technology available to communicate effectively between the booth and the bench. It may look strange to see Stan Van Gundy wearing a headset, but who cares? The person on the other end of the headset may provide him with priceless information that will improve his team and the product on the floor.
Some NBA teams have struggled to fill all of their suites on game nights in the midst of the tough economy. This has led to some of the best seats in the stadium sitting dark while the greatest athletes in the world showcase their talents on the court below. Moving coaches to the booth would turn the light back on in at least two suites each night and provide a little boost to arena’s struggling to maintain an upbeat atmosphere.
Finally, removing two coaches from each bench means that four additional courtside seats will be available for paying customers each night. Over the course of 41 home games, teams would essentially be able to sell 164 additional court tickets. Mix in a few playoff games and moving the coaches to the booth could be a real moneymaker for the league.