It seemed smart to hire Keith Smart at the start of the season after the Golden State Warriors parted ways with Don Nelson. Smart was, after all, an assistant coach with the team for the previous seven years. Now, after being the head coach for just one season, he is out of the job.
Smart led the Warriors to a record of 36-46 during the 2010-11 season. That mark was a ten game improvement over the previous season, but now the team is moving forward (hopefully, that is the direction they are moving) without him. All of this is part of owner Joe Lacob’s plan to move the team away from any semblance of Nellie Ball.
Lacob had this to say in the team’s official press release:
“It’s never easy to make difficult decisions, especially when it involves someone that we have a great deal of respect for like Keith Smart,” said Warriors Owner Joe Lacob. “After meeting extensively with Larry Riley and Bob Myers, we came to the conclusion that a change was necessary at this particular time. I think Keith did an admirable job this season and he should be commended for many of the positive things that transpired both on and off the floor. The team showed improvement and their effort was never in question. However, we’ve elected to pursue a new path and we wish Keith the very best. He’s a quality person and we thank him for the time he invested with our organization.”
As Matt Steinmtz of CSN Bay Area points out, Smart was transitioned to the role of head coach before Lacob took full control of the team and Smart’s contract was not fully guaranteed for next season. Clearly, Smart’s position with the team was tenuous at best.
Now the Warriors join the growing list of teams on the hunt for a new head coach. Hopefully, their search will be slightly more tasteful than the circus act the Houston Rockets are putting on.