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.