Asked why he could be successful in Seattle as a head coach compared to his other jobs, he said, "We don't have any players on a respirator. The first couple jobs I had were complete rebuilding jobs....This is first opportunity I've had to work with talents like Ray, Rashard, the nucleus, Luke (Ridnour), Nick Collision ...”
Seattle Times, July 18th, 2005
That would be a wonderful reason to hire Bob Weiss, if it were, in fact, the truth.
Unfortunately, it is not.
Sadly, while Mr. Weiss is correct in that his stints with the Spurs and Clippers were with teams that were going nowhere, he seems to have conveniently forgotten what happened in Atlanta.
Let us take a quick look at the talent on the “rebuilding job” Edelweiss was stuck with down south lo, those many years ago (all stats for 1990-91, Weiss’ first year):
Dominique Wilkins (age 29, 27 ppg, 7 rpg)
Moses Malone (age 34, 19 ppg, 10 rpg)
Doc Rivers (age 28, 13 ppg, 5 apg)
Kevin Willis (age 27, 12 ppg, 8 rpg)
And let’s not forget the other players on the Hawk bench, men such as Antoine Carr, Kenny Smith, and Spud Webb, or players that arrived later in his tenure, such as Mookie Blaylock and Stacey Augmon. Seriously, would you trade that Atlanta roster for Seattle’s right now? Doc vs Luke? Nique vs Rashard? Willis vs Collison? Moses vs Johan Freakin' Petro?
Or how about that during Weiss’ three years in Atlanta, the Hawks never won a playoff series, then promptly advanced to the 2nd round the year after he got canned (under Lenny Wilkens)?
No, Bob, you’ll have to peddle that crap somewhere else. Look, it is evident the Sonics’ roster seems to like you, and you have a familiarity with the team that no outsider would. But, quite frankly, who cares? After all, did Larry Brown know anything about Detroit’s roster before he took them to the Championship? Did Phil Jackson in LA or Chicago?
Weiss is right, though, his failure in Atlanta was due to a lack of talent. It’s just that the lack of talent was his.