7. Jerry Tarkanian (Spurs)
You wouldn’t know it by watching the Spurs for the past 15 years, but the franchise had a history of an up-tempo style offense. That is what intrigued Spurs owner Red McCombs to hire Jerry Tarkanian at the beginning of the 1992 season.
When Tarkanian openly campaigned for the job he thought he’d be coaching star point guard Rod Strickland. Tarkanian was hired in April and in July, Strickland, a free agent, signed with the Trail Blazers. Even before coaching a game the philosophies of the owner and coach were clashing as Tarkanian thought he needed a veteran point guard to run his offense.
After 20 games and compiling a 9-11 record he was fired. Following a one-game stint by Rex Hughes, John Lucas took over for the rest of the season, finished with a 39-22 record in the regular season, and led the Spurs to the Western Conference semifinals. Tarkanian, who led UNLV to the 1990 NCAA championship, would return to college at his alma mater Fresno State.