Friday, June 8

Whither Wilkens?

If you haven't read Frank Hughes' piece on Lenny Wilkens, well, you really ought to check it out.

I don't think it's a mystery to anyone who reads this sight that while we're in love with Classic Lenny, the New Lenny isn't quite as beloved. Whether it's his neverending whining on television, his lackadaisical approach to staffing issues, or just the way he went about stabbing Bob Hill and Rick Sund in the back, the guy just creeps me out (and I don't just mean his accent; although, since I mentioned it, have you ever heard anyone who sounds like Lenny Wilkens? Other than Chris Walken?).

Anyway, Hughes points out that Wilkens' foot-dragging on the GM hire - including failing to contact the Spurs about Sam Presti - led to his downfall and the removal of his title. Going into today, I was a bit concerned about the Wilkens/Presti/Bennett power struggle. Would Lenny clamor for more Silas-type folks? Would he co-exist with a 30-year-old guy?

Well, worry no more. Not only has Lenny been removed from the color commentator position (the Sonics seem to go through commentators the way the Egyptians went through plagues), but I'm putting the over/under on his time in the Sonics' offices at 6 months.

Unfortunately, it likely means Rick Carlisle will soon be checking into the Hotel Sonic. In the sense that Carlisle has performed admirably in helping two franchises (Indy and Detroit) turn the corner in the regular season, it's wonderful. In the sense that Carlisle's offenses are about as fast-paced as 405 traffic on Friday afternoon, it's less wonderful.

Hopefully, Carlisle will adapt to his roster, and not the other way around. With Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, and possibly Rashard Lewis, this is a roster built for scoring. Obviously, if the Sonics can find a way to win 55 games by winning a plethora of 85-82 slugfests like last night's Finals game, the fans will come around. But is that the kind of basketball you'd get excited about watching?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Personally, I've always felt that Carl was the real player in that relationship.

Rich King said...

I agree

The new Lenny is kinda wack