The Los Angeles D-Fenders head coach Eric Musselman is coaching his way back to an NBA sideline. At least, that appears to be the case as he has led the D-Fenders to the top of the D-League rankings. Although that may not be what the second year D-League head coach ultimately wants. He is on record stating he would like to continue developing his coaching skills at the D-league level, where he can work on executing late game strategies and tinker with different lineups to which best fits his current in-game strategy. Musselman seems to have figured the D-League is his best opportunity to become the head coach he wants to be. His two experiences at NBA coaching gigs earlier in his career ended in varied and marginal success, and ultimately led to a less than desired dismissal from Sacramento. However, if he does indeed return to an NBA head coaching position, he will be much more polished and ready this time.
Musselman has the D-Fenders occupying the top spot in the D-League power rankings, his club has been playing outstanding basketball averaging a whopping 119.2 points per game. He does have the luxury of having a more talent laden roster then most D-League teams, but you can have all the talent in the world and still not be guaranteed success. It takes a coach like Musselman to be able to adhere to the constant roster shifts, seeing that Musselman has had a handful of call-ups and assignments occur this season. At this rate, Musselman might have to adjust to another call-up with the excellent play of the former NBA dunk specialist Gerald Green. If Green does get the call, Musselman should receive credit for allowing his players to shine, and by putting them in the right places at the right time on the court.
Musselman has made it clear that coaching is his passion, as he plans to return with the Venezuelan National team this summer. Musselman must see it as an opportunity to hone his coaching skills while also achieving a likely goal of booking a spot in London 2012 for the team. His positive coaching results have to be gaining the attention of NBA GM’s around the league, and surely there will be chances for him to fill a coaching vacancy either at this season’s end, or the next. Musselman has made it clear he has no intentions of returning for an assistant role, he wishes to be a head coach and will continue along the path he has made for himself either at the D-League, National, or NBA level. It is nice to see that the D-League is an opportunity for coaches to develop, as well as the players.