The only modern coaches I can think of given the label of "genius" are Bill Belichick and Phil Jackson. And of those two, one of them was left mumbling "serenity now, serenity now" in the Indian Ocean, thereby leaving Bill Belichick standing alone in the pantheon of coaching genius. However, Belichick has been just been dethroned by a man who gives new meaning to the word "unflappable."
It's not always what you do that defines your legacy but what you cause other people to do (case in point, the anti-mastermind John Chaney). Belichick may have caused some long faces - insert Peyton Manning joke here - but it takes a true genius, an unparalleled master of gamesmanship to reduce a man worth an estimated half a billion dollars to flapping his arms like a chicken and screaming "Varsity! Varsity!" like some crazy homeless man who pees on himself.
Enter the one, the only Gregg Popovich.
And the man who you'll next see trying to wash your windshield as you get on the freeway, Mr. Robert Sarver .
For those who don't know what happened or didn't get to read my post before Blogger erased it (argh!) , Sarver (the poor man's Jerry Colangelo and the Suns' new San Diego-based owner) was so agitated that Pop decided not to play Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in the last Spurs-Suns meeting of the season that he stood courtside flapping like a chicken and yelling "Varsity! Varsity! Varsity!" It was even funnier considering the Suns barely beat an apparently J.V. starting lineup of Tony Parker, Bruce Bowen, Rasho Nesterovic, Robert Horry, and Brent Barry.
Pop's response: "In life, a lot of questions don't get answered for us. I still don't know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. I don't know who `Deep Throat' was in Watergate. But now I know who was under the `San Diego Chicken' outfit all of those years."
Genius. Pure genius.
PS. If the San Antonio fans are anything like their Dallas counterparts, they'll have shirts made up the next time the Suns come to town saying "Thanks for the practice" or "Suns: Not yet ready for Varsity." I'd love to see the Coyote hand Sarver a chicken suit and flap his arms until he put it on. I love this game.