Posted by: Kingsguru21 | May 29, 2009

Eddie Jordan hires on with the Sixers

It’s official. Marc Stein says so. Which means it is. Ha!

Okay, let’s start again. The Kings were clearly thinking that Jordan would never choose them over Philadelphia. So, they clearly waited. I though Philadelphia would be just as interested in Avery Johnson, and apparently not. Or, whatever Johnson demanded wasn’t the type of thing the Sixer franchise was interested in.

I gotta shrug here. I’m not mad. I’m not happy. To be quite honest, I don’t really care. I think if the Kings had gotten the 1st overall pick, than Jordan might have had a real decision. But, as is, the Sixers have a better team and more talent today. They have more chances to win. Jordan’s record is not that pretty when you look at it from an overall perspective. There’s even a possibility that with the emergence of one of their young big man (Jason Smith or Marresse Speights, and Speights is definitely more likely) and a big return of Elton Brand could see the Sixers become real contenders. As it was without Brand in a pretty atypical season, they still made the playoffs.

I think Philly is looking at this from “what can he do with our players” angle. Maybe he can make it work. Good for him. I like EJ, and am glad he’s getting another shot. In Philly or Sacramento, he’s a damn good coach. Maybe he’s not elite, but he sure isnt in the bottom 3rd either. Maybe he becomes elite.

As an aside, I suggest checking out Liberty Ballers over the next few days, along with Depressed Sports Fan and Sixer 4 Guido’s. They’re all going to have distinctly different takes.

Good luck Eddie. I think you will need it. Even more so because of the nature that Philadelphia historically has had with sports teams.

*****

How does this effect the Kings? It means they’re the only team around to hire a coach. That’s a good thing. It also means that they likely didn’t get Petrie’s #1 target they had perhaps a 30-70 shot of getting. Once EJ got a 2nd interview, I figured it was a formality that he would go to Philly. Yeah, I said he would be better off coming to Sacramento, and that might be true. It also might not be true. He didn’t want to take that chance.

*****

I don’t think Sacramento did anything wrong. I don’t care if Eddie Jordan did skip town. He had a great interview with Geoff Petrie. And, he probably never committed to the organization beyond saying he had an interview with Philly and would see how it would go. That’s probably why the Kings knew he would go to Philly, and unless something badly wrong, he was going to go to Philly. Clearly, I read that angle wrong. Still, I don’t find it surprising that this happened a week & half after the lottery. Eddie wanted to see what kind of players he would be coaching in Sacramento. It’s safe to say that Blake Griffin or Ricky Rubio is probably a bit more inviting than developing Brandon Jennings. This team lost a bit of hype, today.

As I said up top, this isn’t about EJ. I respect his mind, and his desire. I never have, nor will I. I understand that certain people have queestioned his defensive mindset, but that’s fine. There are always those people out there.

*****

Let’s say for a moment that the Kings decide that they really like Kurt Rambis or Tom Thibodeau. Lets ignore Thibodeau for a moment.

What if it’s Rambis? He’s got a bit of head coaching experience. He was a finalist for the job 2 years ago, along with Brian Shaw, but didn’t have the edge then.

I wonder, quite honestly, who has the edge now? It would seem surprising that Petrie would bring Rambis in this time around, but not Shaw. Maybe that lends great credence that Shaw thinks he will be the Lakers head coach when Phil Jackson retires.

If that’s the case, okay. I can live with that. Kurt Rambis doesn’t bother me. I don’t think any head coach would really bother me. Would I prefer a Mike Budenholzer or Ettore Messina? Yes, absolutely. But, Messina himself squashed a ton of rumors when he said he wanted to talk to CSKA Moscow, the current team he coaches, during the EuroLeague Final 4. Here’s what he said:

“I’m happy for the good publicity all of you are making with this gossip. Until some of this gossip will result in an actual phone call, we’re talking about nothing,” Messina announced in a stern tone.

“If all the gossip leads to the fact that no one calls me, then that’s a problem,” he added.

Yeah, Messina is a lock to come over here.

It would not shock me if Rambis is the guy. It would not shock me if Thibodeau is the guy. At this point, I would be shocked if Ettore Messina was. Let’s put it that way.

Let’s just say that right now whatever coach comes on had better figure out a way to utilize the young talent properly. They need to figure out how to integrate some potential overlapping and redundant pieces properly. Managing ego’s on the worst team is always very difficult. On a team like the Lakers, I bet it’s ridiculously impossible.

Who would I prefer? Rambis or Thibodeau? Well in a sense, I don’t care. There was a story that Rambis spent time learning some defensive concepts from Thibodeau last summer. There have been stories that Thibodeau has a hard time dealing with the personal aspects of the game. Namely personalities.

So here is what I prefer. The Kings hire Thibodeau. (IW, there, I finally admitted it. You stinkin Islander punk. I’m going to get you for making me admit this you voodoo child Jerzey punk torta.) On a more serious note, if Thibodeau’s personality is not a problem as Doc Rivers says (just click on the Rambis learned from Thibodeau link), then perhaps it’s not an issue.

But, it’s not just Thibodeau. I would love to see the Kings hire Rambis as the top assistant coach to help Thibodeau every step of the way. If the Kings want Thibodeau at this juncture, why not offer Rambis the possibility to audition as a top assistant for a struggling franchise and show his chops. Give him a chance to spread his wings away from the Laker organization. If Rambis wants another shot, and I would think that he does, why not give him the top assistant spot and let him work closely with Thibodeau. Treat Rambis like the Kings did with Terry Porter and Byron Scott.

That, is not something I feel angry about. That is something I could get behind. This is something that could spin into very positive vibes for any number of reasons. The Head Coach is crucial. But, so is a staff. Having a guy like Rambis, with a little head coaching experience, and Thibodeau a newbie, could be a terrific combination. The Celtics-Lakers rivalry extended so far that Rambis went to help Thibodeau last summer after the Finals ended. And, it’s not like Rambis didn’t play a part of it in the 80’s either. He wants to be a head coach in this league. So does Thibodeau. Based on knowledge, I think Thibodeau could be the true find here. (Hardly a revelation in NBA insider circles.) But, I also think it’s worth believing in Rambis as a real assistant to Thibodeau. Pushing that idea even could be the right move.

We will see. But, this coaching search is bound to end, and it’s bound to end with a coach Petrie is interested in. It seems pretty likely this could be Thibodeau or Rambis, and if it’s Thibodeau, I wonder then what kind of staff he hires. One of the criticisms that surrounded Reggie Theus and his staff was that they didn’t have a ton of experience in the NBA as coaches. When that criticism kept coming back around, I think it’s one of just a few reasons Theus ended up losing the team. I don’t think that Tom Thibodeau, and the basketball staff, can afford the same mistake this time around. There has to be some insistence that someone, with a lot of real experience, is at the head assistant spot. Rambis fits that bill perfectly.

I would like to see Thibodeau, or Rambis, give themselves every opportunity to succeed with young players. That’s not been a process that has historically served coaches well. I’m hoping the Kings are one of the exceptions. I’m hoping that this process being done in a calm and deliberate fashion means that the franchise is thinking about the whole process from A-Z. (And, with a sense of calm that this whole dirlingwhervish will take some time to sort out.) The process feels right this time around, and regarldess of the coach, Thibodeau, Rambis or somebody else, I trust that this team has made real strides. That’s good news, and since fans need some of that given the arena situation, the Kings getting the 4th pick 10 days ago, and Tom Ziller making a sad face, we need something. Consider this a start.

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