Posted by: Kingsguru21 | April 4, 2009

More Whisenant thoughts

Unlike yesterday where some of my thoughts paralled TZ’s, and I guess I have more to say as I’ve had more time to think about it, I guess my thoughts here won’t parallel TZ’s on this particular subject.

I do agree with TZ (on several things) that Theus was hired because he was a Maloof guy, and that Petrie saw the opportunity to do things his way by firing Theus when he did. (In Theus’ interview with KHTK shortly afterward, he didn’t talk about Geoff Petrie at all. He just thanked the Maloof’s.) In some sense, it’s their right to pick who they want. It is afterall, as TZ points out in his piece, THEIR team. When it’s yours, you can do just about anything you want with it. The Maloof’s have. Of course there is a flip side to all this too.

That flip side is that if you don’t have the basketball acumen to do things the right way, what eventually happens is that respectable and quality coaches will bypass you, and your players will eventually walk away. There are so many issue’s surrounding this deal I’ll try to tackle them all. Forgive me if I miss a detail or two here. The dysfunction surrounding this team is noticeable, and unfortunately, the one area Geoff Petrie can’t get around.

The Geoff Petrie category

This is going to be simple. Geoff Petrie has to lay it on the line with the Maloof’s or walk away. One year of John Whisenant is going to be bad for this team. But in a way, I’m morbidly interested. However, I’m more interested to see what happens with the Maloof’s, and their dynamic with the next GM. What does this mean for Jason Levien who will naturally want a chance to hire his own coach at some point. Geoff Petrie has a legacy here. He cares about winning. So do the Maloof’s. So, why, oh why, won’t he lay his own job on the line to get the coach he wants? Why won’t the Maloof’s just let him do it? What does Geoff know now we don’t know? (Well other than that this team won’t be as good without him for one thing.) Maybe he thinks he can get the Family to agree on a one year deal to see how Whisenant does. (If I was a real assistant coach in the NBA, I wouldn’t take less than four years. It’s going to take somewhere in the 1-2 year range for this team to get past 500.) Maybe Petrie knows this. Maybe Petrie knows that he won’t get a chance to hire a real assistant, so why bother? Why not let Whisenant flounder and fail, and that way, among other things, you have Whisenant looking bad with ANOTHER coaching hire going wrong for the Maloof’s? Seems like a plan.

Except. Oh, yes that “E” word, but there’s one catch. Can Petrie afford to do that without only one year left on his contract? Perhaps that’s the rub that Petrie has. He wants a one year deal with Whisenant so he can use his expiring contract as leverage to re-gain control of a franchise he’s far better suited to run than any Maloof.

I don’t know the answers here. But, at Geoff Petrie’s age, my view is I haven’t done what I’ve done for the organization and have it end because my owners are too stubborn to listen to their own basketball people.

The Colleen, George, Adrienne and possibly Phil Maloof category

I have 2 theories. The first is in this section. It states: Because Whisenant has been very successful with the Monarchs, and the Kings having never won a title, perhaps the reasoning is that Whisenant’s time as a GM has seasoned him for the job of taking over the Kings.

I can’t imagine John Whisenant being a head coach, regardless of the point that he’s been successful at the WNBA level. That has little, to absolutely nothing to, do with it. Yes, icoaching in the professional ranks is technically a description for coaching in the WNBA (it’s not like anybody is pining for Sonny Allen to be head man now), but coaching in the NBA is like any other job in the world. The best basketball players in the world play there. It’s not like coaching the WNBA, or really, any other basketball job for men either. They just aren’t comparable. Yes, there are comparisons. Yes, there are similarities and overlaps. That doesn’t mean Whisenant was qualified. There is also durability concerns too. He’s turning 64 in June. Yes, older men have coached in the NBA, but will Whisenant last? Even worse: Does Whiz really want this job? It’s hard. On Family. On the men themselves that do it. Rick Adelman is lucky he has a wife who understands. Not every coach who does. (Many are multiple times divorced. Which I suppose, in part, explains some of the difficulties that men & women have in marriage over time.) Does Whiz want that? Is he really up for it? Coaching in the WNBA is stressful, sure. It’s a professional league, and they represent the best women players in the world. That’s not an easy job. (Nor do I plan to insinuate that the WNBA is inferior because it’s full of women. The league is inferior to male players because not many of the women players could even out play almost any man in that league. Not those women’s fault. Not the NBA players fault they’re better at it either. They’re league is more popular and makes more money. Simple. Easy.)

The other part is that Whiz comes cheap. Or, will he? After all, he’s gotta know he’s going to be a guinea pig in this deal. He’ll be the first. Which, among other things, is not necessarily bad, buttttttttt, is it something the Kings should consider? Do they really need to be this out of the box?

The last part of this makes me wonder about Colleen (Mama) Maloof herself. I have a big feeling she’s a part of this as she believes the family needs an insider and someone they can really trust on the sideline. They probably never felt that way about Adelman, but felt that he was successful and needed to back him until he wasn’t. When he stumbled in early 05-06, that was their opportunity. They’ve since seized it. (Which way do you think was more successful?) I think the Maloof family believes that Petrie is someone they trust, but doesn’t have the gumption to hire a quality coach that will deliver the Kings a championship. (I disagree. I don’t think Geoff ever had a problem with Rick behind the scenes. They had worked together before, after all.)

So in essence, because of Whiz’s ability to be successful at every level, they feel why not in the NBA too? What does he have to lose? What do they have to lose? In a sense, I get it. But, I don’t worry about Whisenant himself. I worry about AFTER Whiz. That’s where the family’s belief that they know how to hire a coach worries me. They haven’t shown much of an acumen so far. During Jim Thomas’ time as owner, there were 2 (or 3 if you count Adelman) head coaches. Garry St. Jean and Eddie Jordan. During the Maloof’s time (if you don’t count Adelman), there have been already 3 head coaches. 4 if you include Whiz. This is not well thought out management in NBA terms.

The Joe and Gavin Maloof category

I think Joe & Gavin are different. I think because they are around the team more, and because they’ve seen more games close up, they think that what’s really failed is the ability to produce a style that’s condusive with winning a championship (defense). They think Whiz can be that guy who has both the ability to reach the players and give them the coaching they need to win games. I think they see some minor adjustments can be made and improvements are totally possible. Personally, and while I don’t feel like quoting Jerry Reynolds, but that’s what Dick Motta said too. How well did Dick do here? This is really the crux of the 2nd theory.

Beyond even that though, I worry what this will do for Joe & Gavin when they have to get another head coach. They both seem like some of the luster has gone out for them as they’ve seen how the other half of the NBA lives. It’s worn on them. They hate losing. (I don’t blame them. But, Joe and Gavin, get used to it if you’re going to run your franchise in such a dysfunctional fashion. The problem is you think you know things others don’t. That’s where your problem starts. I know a ton more about basketball than either of you. And I know piddly compared to Whisenant, and even less compared to Petrie, Stirling, Cooper, Reynolds, to name just a few.) I wonder will keeping the team, and keeping them in Sacramento, remain viable without owners whose first interest is to keep the team in Sacramento.

The end to this nonsense

If you ask me, and nobody is, the point of this ordeal with Whisenant may be just to mobilize public opinion. See what the Bee readers think. See what the Sactown Royalty readers think. See what the readers think. (They don’t ask blogs after 10 days of existence what that particular blog thinks.) In a sense, they may be floating this to gain some perspective on where they stand within this measure. But, if that’s the case, that’s dumb. You shouldn’t make decisions based on community pressure. This whole ordeal stinks like it’s Denmark, and the problem to me is, there isn’t a classic literature looming to be enjoyed by many for many seasons to come. It’s just shit, and the problem with lots of cow dung, as anybody who has driven between Stockton & Bakersfield can attest to, shit just stinks.


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