4/4/13

Marty, one rejection isn't the end of the world!

Up until 2010, my favourite Marty in the world would have hands-down been Marty McFly, the character played by Michael J Fox in the "Back To The Future" trilogy. I would have liked for Marty Clarke to have taken that mantle as it likely would have meant he'd gotten my beloved 36ers a title. It never happened though. I've written lots about Clarke in the last two years, so let's do something different and look at the Marty Clarke era by referencing "Marty" quotes from "Back To The Future".


"But you're good, Marty. You're really good, and this audition tape of yours is great. "
Clarke's "audition tape"/resume was pretty good. A lot of success at the AIS and a proven track record of playing some part in the development of some of Australia's finest (Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut etc). Most people thought his signing was a major coup. All looked promising......

"Marty, I'm sorry, but the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning."
Clarke learned early that there's a lot more to coaching than just developing players. He brought in a heap of promising locals in his time (Johnson, Weigh, Cadee, Creek etc) but he learned the hard way (9 imports) that you need some men who are "ready to roll" in this league. Just look at New Zealand and Perth. Kids are good but you need "a bolt of lightning" and the 36ers never found one.

"Marty, I'm almost 18 years old. It's not like I've never parked before."
Mitch Creek's 2013-2014 should tell us a lot. If he gets 20-25 minutes and thrives we'll be proven right that Creek was held back in Clarke's reign. If his shot ends us bringing down the rest of his game we'll see why Clarke held him back so much.

"Marty, don't be such a square. Everybody who's anybody drinks."
Clarke always erred on the side of character guys who were gym rats. Our best import in his era was a character guy but not a gym rat (Simpson). You don't want poisonous or lazy guys but would a Homicide Williams-type character really have been that detrimental to the team? Adelaide fans are crying out for a KB/Farley type who plays with swagger and gets the crowd into the game.

"Marty, you're beginning to sound just like my mother. "
Up until the last few games we rarely saw vision of Marty giving inspirational or challenging speeches in timeouts. It was always "x and o's". You need to draw stuff up from time to time but sometimes you more need to look a player in the eyes and call him out/lift him up/ask for something.

"Marty, you seem so nervous. Is something wrong? "
In the last month or so of his tenure, Clarke started to point the finger a little more, pointing out Creek's injury, the need for a "game-breaker" and acknowledging Christopherson's weaknesses. He was under pressure so it's all understandable but Clarke clearly knew he was on borrowed time. Despite the need for change, I felt sorry for him having to try to be positive and to justify his position when the writing was clearly on the wall (he was a dead man walking).

"You know, Marty, I'm gonna be very sad to see you go. You've really made a difference in my life. You've given me something to shoot for."
A few players came out in support of Clarke in recent months, several saying he'd played an important part in their development and they were right behind him. I'm a little surprised therefore that none of the key guys (not counting "retweets") came out in social media today showing their support/appreciation. He has no doubt helped guys with aspects of their game, just struggled with making all the pieces work on court.

Marty, will we ever see you again?
It will be very hard for Marty to find another head coaching gig but he should land somewhere where his teaching skills can be utilised. A good basketball guy who shouldn't be lost to the sport.


Marty, one rejection isn't the end of the world.
Head up Marty, you're a good man and will land on your feet I'm sure.

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