1. GUTSY CALL
Above all else, the future success of the Pelicans depends on keeping Anthony Davis in the fold for as long as possible. In firing the coach Davis is close to, the team is gambling on the ability of General Manager Dell Demps to find someone who can continue Davis’ rise and put him in the position to be on a championship team.
2. THE LIST
Every person in sports charged with hiring and firing coaches has in his pocket a list of potential successors, no matter what level of success the team is having. This firing had been brewing since at least midseason, probably before. Dell Demps will move with all deliberate speed. But he’s not starting from scratch.
3. WINNING MATTERS AT 5800 AIRLINE DRIVE
The Tom Benson ownership team — now led by Mickey Loomis and Saints/Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha — has won a Super Bowl. An NBA title may be even more difficult, certainly in the short run. But as Sean Payton says, “Once you feed your dog steak, he doesn’t want hamburger again.”