It's too early to call Blackwell one of the greatest coaches in bj-league history, but he had attained a high level of success since taking over as head coach following his retirement as an active (smart, star) player in 2010.
For a historical comparison, read this:
The only reason team officials didn't want to bring Blackwell back, he told me in an exclusive interview, had everything to do with his friendship with Lynn Washington, the now-departed two-time MVP with three championship rings who was exonerated of drug charges in a case that stunned the league, starting in mid-March when he was arrested. (A team spokesman didn't respond to requests for comment.)
You'd think that the team owed its fans, the media and Blackwell himself a proper news release, with his won-loss record and accomplishments cited, as well as a quotation from the team's top brass, including ownership about Blackwell's time with the team -- you know public acknowledgement of the success the team had, a genuine thank you. That would have put this awkward changing of the guard in its proper context. Instead, the team did the bare minimum. No surprise, though. In the bj-league, this is often the M.O. And also: What have you done for my lately?
Here's the press release in Japanese: