Saturday, 13 July 2019 14:24

Sharks Hire Amado

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MIAMI, FL (AP)--In a move that surprised many across the basketball world, the South Florida Sharks and Philadelphia Americans general manager Jay Amado reached an agreement that will see the veteran GM take over the reigns of the team, effective immediately. The move was part of a domino-effect that began when Sharks general manager Jeramay Lay abruptly resigned from his position atop the organization. Following his resignation, the Sharks interviewed several candidates with OBWL connections for the job, before ultimately settling on a 5-year deal that will see Amado return to a city where he had once had much success, in what now seems like an entirely different world.

 

"The best years of my basketball life came while I was in Miami," Amado said at the introductory press conference. "I'm extremely proud of all the guys in Philadelphia, and grateful for the opportunity that first Mr. Knight and then the Goodwin family gave me in Philadelphia. I do wish that we could have brought home a championship for the city, but even without one, I will look back on those years with fond memories. I am proud of what we accomplished and developed in Philadelphia, and will be forever grateful to the players, staff, organization, city, and fans for their support over these last eight years. There is zero doubt in my mind that with Steve [Gibson] now at the helm, and the guys they've got in place, Philadelphia will be back in the mix for a championship very soon. Part of me will always live in Philadelphia. But when I first came to Miami, I was a 16-year-old kid with a fake ID who slid his way into the league office, and somehow left with an expansion franchise in another league. Over the proceeding years, we won. Then we won some more. Then we reached a pinnacle that not many people ever reach, bringing home a championship trophy. The only thing bigger than my dreams at the time was my ego. So I left for bigger money in a bigger front office--convinced that Miami needed me more than I needed Miami--since that decision, I have been chasing those glory years in many different leagues in cities and countries across the world. So I sit here today a more humble human, thankful for the chance to come back to the city where everything started, humbled by the indness of [Sharks owner] Robert Day, and looking forward to bringing more titles to the city I love."

 

Within 24 hours of Amado leaving Philadelphia for the Sharks, the Americans announced the hiring of former Minnesota Marauders general manager, Steve Gibson. Meanwhile, the Sharks shifted their focus to filling out the remaing staff. Head coach Dalton Redd had his contract run out, and the team was also in need of a scouting director. The team has performed their due diligence, interviewing upward of a dozen candidates for the head coach, assistant coach, and scouting director jobs. In a move that shocked many, they ultimately named Morris Broom the head coach. Broom has ties to Miami, leading many to believe that this was the ultimate reason for his hiring. After a succesful playing career overseas and at Kansas State, he served as a Sharks assistant from 2017-2019. The then-44-year-old was considered one of the top young coaching candidates when he was hired initially. He'll look to redeem in his second attempt both in Miami, and as a head coach. Many fans were not happy with the hiring, as the 49-year-old had a veru unsuccesful five-year run as the head coach in Portland, racking up 310 losses compared to just 90 wins in five years, and failing to make the playoffs even once. Fans stood outside the front office, protesting the newest hiring. "What a terrible way to get things started," said Johnny Gunn, who organized the protest on Twitter, ultimately garnering about a dozen fellow protesters outside Amway Center. "Amado is proving yet again that he is an absolute idiot."

 

To add even more drama to the return, Amado did not conduct the interviews alone. The general manager also made an announcement that sent shockwaves up and down the shores of Miami. Joining him in the front office, as the Executive Vice President will be a former player and Miami legend in his own right: Tom Zarra.

 

Never one to bite his tongue as a player, the 7-footer did not miss a beat in playing to the media as only he can. "Whatever they need," Zarra said when asked what his daily tasks would consist of. "All I ever wanted was to be the best player in the world. I did that, now it's time for something new. If they need somebody to sit in on meetings? I got that. Free agent pitches? Done. Scouting? I'm the guy," he continued. "Sh**,  they want somebody to come play? I might be old, but watch what I do," he laughed. "We're here to win championships. Plural. With an 's.' That's my job. That's all our job."

 

Amado, who had been known in the past to enable, if not encourage, the sometimes-neurotic/always-entertaining player could be seen to the left of the stage nodding and shaking his head. When asked for comment, "he said it," he shrugged.

 

The Sharks rounded out their staff by hiring 37-year-old Darrin McIver as the head of scouting and 59-year-old Mark Burk as head coach. It will mark McIver's first ever job in professional basketball, after quickly rising up the OCBL ladder. He is seen as a master at identifying potential in players. Meanwhile, Mark Burk has spen the last five years in the OBDL as an assistant, winning two championships with the Eagles and making the playoffs all five years. 

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