Before I get into it, a big H/T goes to Section 214 for finding this.
Westphal also pleaded with legendary coach Pete Carill, now 79, to stick around at least one more year in Sacramento as an assistant.
“He was going to retire,” Westphal said. “I talked him back. It would have been criminally negligent to let that guy go. I wanted him. I’ve always been a guy that wants the strongest possible staff . Might not be the smartest thing, because a lot of guys get more longevity if there’s no one there to replace him. I just tried to get the smartest guys I could to fill the niches that are required in the NBA these days.”
And perhaps the best part (at the very end of the piece):
“I’ve talked with Joe Torre,” he says of the Hall of Fame manager. “When he first got to New York, they had all those headlines, you know, ‘Clueless Joe.’ He said when things don’t work, you’re going to get the blame. But you know why they didn’t work. If they didn’t work because of things that were beyond your control, if you get another chance, do what you believe in, and maybe this time, the things beyond your control will go your way. And if you screwed up, change.”
I’ve been hard on Aldridge (for some things reasonable, and not), but I’m really glad that he’s gotten back to solely writing. It’s really reflective in his recent writing. Paul Westphal is a lot of things (a devout Christian apparently), but stupid isn’t one of them. I’ve said here that the Kings are going to lose a lot of games. Westphal knows it, and he still wants his chance. As Aldridge said, there’s only 30 NBA Jobs. And, this isn’t the 1987 Kings with Derek Smith and Reggie Theus as the centerpiece’s of the squad.
If anything, I’m going to enjoy following the Paul Westphal in it’s entirety as it moves forward. The sheer amount of inability to really criticize him has already stunned me given how much flack Eric Musselman and Reggie Theus were taking by this point in their King coaching career’s.
Honestly, and I don’t think I’m over-exaggerating this, I think Paul Westphal is the best coaching hire this franchise may turn out making other than Rick Adelman. (Maybe better given the circumstances.) The ironic thing was, I think the Maloof’s wanted Rambis instead. Funny how things work out sometimes.