The Sonics put rest to any fears that Lenny Wilkens would stage a coup d'etat by naming P.J. Carlesimo head coach at a press conference today. The team had planned to announce the signing of a veteran small forward to help in the growth of youngsters Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, but that plan has fallen by the wayside.
Instead, Carlesimo will now preside over Seattle's most highly anticipated rookie duo since Dana Barros and Shawn Kemp, or perhaps since Jon Sundvold and Scooter McCray. I'm not sure. Anyway, he's got plenty of work to do, and P.J. will get right at it with a game tomorrow at 6 pm west coast time in the Las Vegas Summer League. Most of the games will be on NBA TV, although the Milwaukee tilt on Wednesday will be on webcast only.
Personally, I'm a bit ambivalent about the whole Durant Era. I think for non-Sonics fans, it's a no-brainer: you're amped for the greatest thing since Jordan. But with the threat of the team moving hovering over this season like a distant storm cloud at a picnic, it's a bit difficult for me to get too excited about the year ahead of us. After all, why bother getting overly enchanted with a franchise that may be leaving in less than a year's time?
It's a weird time for Sonic fans: A gutted roster, exciting rookies, our fifth coach in four years, new ownership, a new GM ... heck, it's gotten so odd that Luke Ridnour is starting to look like an elder statesman on this club.
Whatever your feelings, Kevin Durant puts on a Sonic jersey in a competitive environment for the first time tomorrow afternoon. Let's hope the good times start to roll.
On a completely different note, I just bought Rocky Mountain Revue tickets and can't wait to see Durantula in 2 weeks against Joakim Noah and daaaa... Bulls.
The stadium situation is the elephant in the room and it's quickly becoming a catch 22. It's difficult for the Sonics fans to get excited because they are afraid of getting burned. However, if they don't support the team, it will make it easier for politicians to support a buyout without fear of repercussion.
Really, the Sonics fans should take the high road, enjoy this season and not let fear of an uncertainty ruin the joy of seeing one of the best young talents come to the city.
I remember in the early 90's with the tenuous Mariners situation. However, if I would have gotten wrapped up in that, I would have missed out on watching Griffey, Buhner, Edgar, Randy, etc.
At some point, Sonics fans have to compartmentalize their love for the game and the stadium situation. If this is the last basketball you will see, it's going to be a fun group to watch.
If I had a loved one diagnosed with cancer, I would want to spend as much time as possible with them while they were still with me and hope for the best. I think Sonics fans need to take a similar attitude.
Jeremy, you are a voice of reason.
If I had a loved one diagnosed with cancer, though, I would hope they wouldn't have to spend their last days in Oklahoma City.
Clay Bennet = Cancer? Ouch...
Great analogy, though,
Agreed; that's a very good way to look at it. From here on in, I'll try to look at the Sonics from a one-year perspective. Otherwise, it just bugs me and ruins the enjoyment you'd associate with the team.
The Sonics aren't dying on us, they're filing for divorce.
Here's another analogy using your divorce scenario. The mom and dad are fighting, but the kids still want to spend time with both their parents because they love them. However, the kids are being hurt by their parents fighting all the time.
In this analogy, the parents are the city and the team. The fans are the kids. The fans don't have a lease with the Sonics, the city does. We've just been sucked into all the fighting by the 2 sides that should be able to get along and get a deal done. Both sides should be able to step up and do what's right for us as fans.
My point remains: you get to watch Kevin Durant this year! Enjoy the team, support the team, love the game.
Is it just me, or is the 8 on the veteran small forward's jersey upside-down? God, the T-Wolves have an ugly font.
I'm only putting this out there because there is no where else to ... but back when Carlesimo and Sprewell had their fight, Spree was in the news every day, as you may remember. Living in Vancouver, it was a unique situation to find NBA news on the front page of the sports section. My wife worked in an office in downtown, and one of the women remarked that "that guy that choked his coach is kind of cute, don't you think?"
I think she might have been the first and last person to ever call Latrell Sprewell "cute."
Again, it doesn't belong in this conversation, but I've been holding onto that anecdote for 10 years now and I've never had a better opportunity to use it.
After hearing PJ today, it sounds like he has a much better handle on what it takes to be a head coach. I would assume that 5 years under one of the best coaches in the league would do that.
I'm confident that the Sonics made the right choice because I believe in what Sam Presti is selling. So far, his stated philosophy has been right on point and I believe he understands what it takes to build a perennial championship club.
I'm looking forward to watching to see if our new coach can install a defensive mentality into this team.
I ran some napkin calculations yesterday and I believe I have the Sonics averaging 95 PPG next year. If the defense can hold teams to roughly 92 per game, they should be a good team next year.
I'm ready for some team defense and ball movement. The new Sonics era starts in about 24 hours. Yeah baby!
Durant - 23ppg
West - 14ppg
Wally - 14ppg
Green - 10ppg
Swift - 10ppg
Collison & Wilcox - 15ppg
Ridnour/Watson - 15ppg
Realistic? maybe, if swift starts showing some potential. West averaged more than 15ppg after the allstar break last season, durant and green will get the ball, wally averaged 18.8ppg as a starter last season. So if we play good enough defense maybe we'll win 35-40 games.
I'm still holding that Presti & Co. will be making some more moves before Free Agency ends.
I am new to this blogging stuff, so be nice to me.
Consider a couple of the past players who had trouble with Carlisemo; Sprewell and R.Strickland (a combined 13 NBA teams played for). The Supes need more Lou Pinella, less Bob Weiss. Good, hard-working players will respond just fine to P.J.
Remember Sonic fans a couple of years ago when is was "reported" that R.Allen had signed a new, 5-yr. $70 million deal starting at $14 million? Turns out it started at $13.7 with 8% increases totaling $80.7 million. Now Lewis is "reported" at $15.0/5 yrs and $75.0. . . No way! Lewis will start at $15.0 with 8% increases end at $20.4 and total $88.0 million.
Why is this important? Orlando really overpaid for a non-difference maker while Seattle screwed themselves by not trading Lewis at last seasons trading deadline given that he was "worth" so much to somebody; while Clay knew he wanted to blow out Allen's and Lewis' contracts anyway.
I wonder just what Rick Sund knew or was told at last seasons trading deadline?
Jeremy gives a very good perspective, but....just in case.
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