From last night's game:
I do feel like we fought hard enough to win. There's a lot of things that I'd like to say that wouldn't be appropriate because I thought our guys battled and some things didn't go our way tonight. Like I told them, I have nothing bad to say about that game because of the way we competed. We just gave up a bad run the second to the third quarter, I think it was 33-10.
So if it wasn't anything the team did wrong, Monty Williams discourse had to lie with the referees. Yet, during that ill-fated run, he obviously didn't voice enough displeasure because no technical foul was called. And post-game, he still thought better to stay in his shell than say what was truly on his mind. It makes financial sense to avoid a fine, but at some point, shouldn't a coach make use of such strategy?
When thinking about some of the more successful teams, one can clearly recall moments where Doc Rivers, Erik Spoelstra, Tom Thibodeau and, most certainly, Greg Popovich have gotten their money's worth berating the referees or, taken things a step further, and aired out comments leading to NBA fines. The same can be said of coaches from the past such as Jerry Sloan:
As a player Jerry Sloan was one of the fiercest competitors to ever play the game and that fire carried over into his hall-of-fame coaching career. His competitiveness translated not only into motivating and willing his players to perform to their fullest potential, but also into fighting for every call he thought his team deserved.
When Jerry felt his team wasn’t receiving fair treatment from the officials, he let them know about it the best way he knew how: directly and with blunt honesty. He did so loudly and often with strong language, but most importantly he did so with the underlying message that he was willing to fight tooth and nail to help his team win.
Jazz Basketball went on to approximate Sloan picked up 446 technical fouls in his career, both as a coach and player. By comparison, ball don't lie king, Rasheed Wallace had 373 at the time of the article.
Undoubtedly, some coaches don't have the persona to be boisterous or flamboyant, but is it asking too much to see the emotions come spilling out every once in awhile? How about just faking it then? Letting the team know you're in the trenches with them 110% of the time is a nice tactic. Even better, is when that tantrum leads to a 50/50 type of call going your way in a very close game in one of the final possessions.
I've always figured a sporting match is a battle of competitive wills, one that begs to make use of all available tactical advantages. And that includes losing your cool some time. What say you?