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Revisiting Dan Issel...

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For the second time in about four years, the Denver Post's Woody Paige is advocating for the Nuggets to bring the legendary former player, sometimes decent former coach and horrific former general manager Dan Issel back to the organization.

I agree with Paige that just because Issel made one stupid, racially insensitive remark - that he's since apologized for - he shouldn't be forever banned from the NBA (after all, Don Imus keeps making such comments and he can't get fired). It's also worth noting - as Paige does in his column today - that Issel won more playoff games in one season (six) than the Nuggets franchise has won collectively since. But I think that's more of a reflexion on the Nuggets organization and current head coach George Karl's ineptitude than Issel's abilities as a bench tactician.

But even though Issel was a great player and by all accounts a good and decent person, as detailed on this blog in late March he was a disaster as a GM. So while a lifetime ban for calling a fan a "Mexican piece of shit" may not be justified, trading away four first rounds picks (three of them lottery picks!), dealing Chauncey Billups for Tariq Abdul-Wahad (and signing him to $6 million per year!) and drafting Raef LaFrentz over four future perennial All-Stars should at a minimum give Issel a lifetime ban from front office work.

That being said, if the Nuggets wanted to bring Issel back as an assistant coach, consultant or broadcaster, it wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. Just keep "The Horse" away from any player personnel decisions.