The Electric Commentary

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Why did the Bucks fire Terry Porter?

This is the question on the minds of all Milwaukee sports aficionados today. A few weeks ago Bucks GM Larry Harris held a press conference to express his support for Porter. His firing was unexpected, and there has been much speculation regarding the cause. Some have speculated that the Bucks are pursuing Flip Saunders or Nate McMillan. Some say there was disagreement over who to draft with the number 1 overall pick.

The real answer has to do with the new collective bargaining agreement. You see, many years ago when Herb Kohl hired George Karl, he made Karl the highest paid coach in all of sports. After Karl's tenure came to an end, Kohl became a bit of a penny pincher and went on the cheap with the inexperienced Porter. Porter still had a year left on his deal when he was fired.

Most reports state that Kohl was unhappy with Porter's performance so the bigger mystery was why the team seemed so committed to Porter when Harris gave that press conference a few weeks ago. The answer is that a few weeks ago, it looked as if the NBA was headed for a lockout.

Kohl has been wanting to replace Porter for some time now, but he also did not want to pay a high priced coach for a season in which no basketball was played. If a lockout would have occurred, he simply could have let Porter finish his tenure at his minimal salary and hired a new coach when play finally resumed. When the league and the unions agreed to a new CBA and a full season of basketball was ensured, Kohl had a small window in which to act. He needed to fire Porter before the draft (hopefully he will also hire someone before the draft) and so he simply seized this opportunity.

So now you know the reason. I hope they do land Saunders or McMillan, but I wouldn't bet on it.

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