Have you heard of Randy Pfund before? Me neither.
Apparently he was a huge job title guy. Given the designation; General Manager of the Miami Heat from 1995-2008, he was essentially Pat Riley’s glorified assistant for over a decade.
Which isn’t a bad gig. Pfund definitely made more money than The Encyclopedia will ever gross, and got top notch perks with the position, like posing for the much anticipated, 'welcome to your new team, now hold your new jersey' picture.
You’d probably be able to tell me that two of the three guys pictured above had a history the Lakers…but did you know Pfund did too?
Not as a glorified assistant, but as a head coach. Yes, Randy Pfund was the Los Angeles Lakers head coach for two seasons amassing an overall record of 66-80.
Relieved of his duties in 1994, the one and only Magic Johnson was appointed head coach, lasting a whopping 16 games.
Whether you’re a guy named Randy Pfund, or Magic freaking Johnson, carrying out the obligations of one job is complicated enough, now imagine two.
Stemming from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, Bill O’Brien was the head coach of the Houston Texans for over six years, capturing four AFC South titles in the process…he was also their General Manager, for a brief 9 month period.
Orchestrating a variety of odd moves in his short-lived dual role, the nail in the coffin came when he traded DeAndre Hopkins for a washed David Johnson and a 2nd round pick.
Landing on his feet with Alabama as their offensive coordinator, O’Brien had dabbled with the idea of coming back to the NFL. This time making it clear, just for the singular role of coach.
Jerome James, Eddy Curry, Steve Francis, Larry Brown.
These are some of the names associated with New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations, Isiah Thomas from 2004 - 2008.
If two years of putrid decision-making from the front office wasn’t enough, why not double down and let the man coach the team too?
That’s exactly what James Dolan did in 2006, when Thomas called the shots from the MSG luxury suites, and the bench. In what is a modern miracle of cruel and unusual punishment for Knick fans everywhere, Thomas posted identical records as an executive for two years, 56-108, and as a head coach for two years, 56-108.
I’m not a math guy, but a combined record of 112-216 is not good. In fact, it’s flat out embarrassing.
Attempting to bounce back at FIU, he survived for 3 seasons before getting fired, and accepting NBA TV’s open invitation to any former great player that wants to turn talking-head, even if they’re horrible at that too.
Bill O’Brien filled a GM role that was vacant. As for Isiah Thomas, James Dolan just liked having a friend around to tell him he was half-way decent at playing the guitar.
Sticking to one job to be in charge of is the smart play for most guys. There was a time when The Encyclopedia was relieved of his sole duties too.
But that was short-lived, and I rebounded by occupying two roles. Yes, I’m still going through the arduous process of trying to get the book published, but I also deliver new heat every Monday.
At this point, separating the two would be like ham and no burger, peanut butter, and no jelly. There is no uno, it’s a deuce, duo, and a pair.
I am both. Because why would I want to be king for only a day, when I can sit on the throne for as long as I’d like.