The Inaugural Honorary Chad Ford Award

 —  February 10, 2005

I know it’s going to get worse before it gets better, but the early speculation on the next Lakers coach has produced some bad ideas.

However, Sean Deveney, one of the Sporting News’ “experts,” gets is the first recipient of what I hope to make a regular feature, the Honorary Chad Ford Award for random speculation.

Deveney’s idea: Rick Barry.

But Barry would make sense for the Lakers. Barry knows Kobe Bryant and is close with Jerry West, one of the few people in the business Bryant trusts. Barry might be lacking in game-coaching skills, but running the Lakers right now is more about managing people than organizing X’s and O’s.

Let’s quickly recap just a few of the reasons this is a bad idea.

• Barry would be a good choice because he knows Jerry West. By that logic, Magic Johnson would be a good coach too, except…. Hell, I met Jerry West once, maybe I should throw my hat in the ring.

• Barry would be a good coach because he knows Kobe Bryant. (I’ve got too many joke options on this one to pick just one, so insert your own.)

• Barry’s not really good at “game-coaching skills” but who really needs those. If you’ve watched the Lakers this season you can see that they don’t need a coach, they’ve gelled seamlessly.

• Then, just for fun and to show his grip on reality, there’s this quote from the 60-year-old Barry from a Hoopshype interview in December:

I’m not sure about 20 (points per night), but I could still play. I’m serious. One month to get in shape and play zone with the way they play the game now I would be able to shoot the basketball. Because people can’t shoot. I’d play a zone. I don’t care how big they are, I can face guard a guy and keep him off the boards. I’ll just play zone and get down to the other end and stand on the perimeter.

Thank you, Mr. Deveney, for the laugh. And, congratulations.