Thursday, July 7


Former NBA coach Eric Mussleman
Eric Musselman: Future Sonics coach?

G-State W-L in the five years pre-Mussels:
Warriors in Mussels’ two years:
Warriors post-Mussels:

Does not rely heavily upon the 3-point shot
Gets the most out of his talent
Capable of coaching up-tempo or slow-down game
Develops young players. Arenas, J-Rich, Boykins, Brian Cardinal, Troy Murphy, and Dampier are all players who had some of their best seasons under Mussels, or else began to show improvement in play during his reign.
Knows the importance of rebounding. GS went from outrebounding or matching their opponents in his two years to being outboarded by a 320-rebound margin last year.

Not a fan of Da Fort. Fortson went from double-double pre-Mussels to trouble-trouble and see ya later.
Did not develop Adonal Foyle or Mike Dunleavy. But, then again, neither has anyone else.
Didn’t take the Warriors over the hump and into the playoffs.
Had a less-than-fantastic relationship with his team.

To me, the minuses do not outweigh the pluses. The Sonics are a veteran-type team that needs a guider more than a punisher. Unlike the Warriors, who needed guidance but didn’t want it, the Sonics have an established leader who knows that winning is the only thing separating him from true greatness. Collison, Ridnour, Lewis, Radman, Allen – these are all solid citizens who just need someone with a bit of intelligence to help them along. It’s unknown if Mussels can handle Sugar Ray’s (thanks, Hank) large number of FGA, or if he and Fort can coexist, or if he can enable Lewis to develop into a legitimate all-star.

Still, he’s relatively inexpensive, has a good hoop pedigree, and has a modicum of NBA experience. Unlike Saunders (too expensive), Carlisimo (too much of a headache), Silas (not enough energy), and Iavaroni (no experience at all), Musselman is ready to help the Sonics right away at a fair price. Most important, putting Mussels in place doesn’t mean the Sonics will take a back step next season. If I’m Wally Walker, I make the call today.

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