Firing shows Nash is in charge and gives Smith some seasoning
WELL, now Bob Nash knows just how hard it really is, sometimes, as head coach. It can be gut-wrenching and lonely at the top. That was a heck of a first decision to make.
And Alika Smith, if he hadn't already learned the lesson, while watching his dad all his life, after seeing Riley Wallace's "retirement" up close, well, he knows it now: This can be a rough and sudden business, coaching. This happens. It's an uncertain career path with no guarantees.
Alika has said he would like to be a head coach. Well, then maybe someday he'll be faced with a similar decision. Maybe there will come a time when he'll have to do the very same thing. Maybe he won't fully understand this until then. Maybe we couldn't blame him if he didn't.
And so Nash has made his first tough call, first big move as the Rainbows' new basketball boss. Nash is a sharp guy. He knew what the reaction would be to this, to not retaining a well-liked local boy, former star. Nash knew the honeymoon might be over after his very first move.
He did it anyway.
So if there was any doubt, now we know. Nash really is going to have his own plan, be his own man. This is no Riley Wallace rubber stamp. No, Nash is going all-out, he's all-in, as he should be. He has to be. He can't be successful doing it his way if he does it halfway. And he's the head coach.
You make the tough calls when you're the head coach.
Everybody likes Alika -- and the fact that you only need one name underlines that point. He's a favorite son.
You should have seen all the coaches' faces -- yes, you'd better believe Nash, too -- the day they announced he was joining the staff.
But that was Wallace's staff, a veteran staff. A different day, a better fit, a feel-good save when the first choice fell through. It was a big break for a young guy.
Now, Nash's first tough decision as head coach, and this one had to have been tougher than most. You think you like Alika? Nash coached him and coached with him, watched the favorite son grow up.
He knew what everyone's reaction would be. He did it anyway. His first tough decision in his first week on the job. Now we know for sure Nash is going all-out, that he's all-in. He needs to do it his way, and not anybody else's, find the best fit for what he wants to do.
And Alika? He wants to be a coach. Now he officially is one. This happens. It's a tough business. It's an uncertain profession with no guarantees.
These are tough times for him, make no mistake, this is real life. Something like this is always hard. But he has those two years' experience as a full-time Division I man. He's young. It's all ahead of him. I predict he will do great things in this line of work.
He already has a lot more seasoning than he had at this time last week.