Wednesday, July 4

Seattle's New Head Coach

The new coach of the Seattle Supersonics?
I woke up this morning ready to give P.J. Carlesimo a break. Let’s be honest, in a perverted way, Carlesimo has become the Kermit Washington of coaches – a man whose entire career has been, as the Sonics’ new head coach puts it, “defined by one moment.”

And that’s unfair. Latrell Sprewell has gone out of his way since the choking incident to prove that he’s not the mellowest fellow on the planet, and if making Rod Strickland upset sentences you to coaching prison, well, there’s going to be plenty of inmates in that jail cell.

As I was saying, I woke up this morning ready to extend a hand to Carlesimo, but, quite frankly, after reading the media’s reaction to his hiring, and the quotes they provided, now I’m not so sure.

"I've wondered for several years now why more people haven't attacked P.J. to come run their program," Gregg Popovich told a San Antonio newspaper last month. “It shows how little people look at what's needed to run a program and how much they look at superficial stuff that means nothing.”

Well, that’s one way to look at it. Another way would be that after 5 ½ years as a head coach, Carlesimo has yet to win a playoff series. And those Blazer teams weren’t devoid of talent, either. Two years after Carlesimo was fired, that Portland team (with 3 of the same starters) was in the Western Conference Finals.

As for the Warriors, Carlesimo took them from 30 wins to 19 wins in his first season. (Bizarrely, this will be the first time in P.J.’s career that he won’t be replacing Rick Adelman, as he followed in Heir Rick’s shoes in both Portland and Golden State. Want to hear something even more bizarre? Carlesimo’s father was the head coach at Forham University, as was Bob Hill.)

Anyways, to say Carlesimo is being judged solely by the choking incident is unfair. He’s also being judged on a middling-to-poor record in the NBA. Yes, he’s been at Popovich’s side for half a decade, and he surely has picked up useful information about the Spurs’ “culture” (ugh) in doing so. Yes, he has supposedly mellowed in the intervening years, as the cold, hard hand of reality smacked him across the face so that he may wake up to the fact that unless he changed his personality, he would never draw a paycheck as a head coach.

Can people change? Of course. Personally, though, I’m not interested in whether Carlesimo becalmed his inner anger.

I’m more interested in seeing if he can win a playoff series.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like what Ray Ratto had to say about the situation - PJ's going to get his chance, the team will be crappy for 2 or 3 years, and then he'll get fired before the young guys develop into decent players.

Anonymous said...

I really don't think that you deserve P.J. Carlesimo. He is a great coach. You don't seem very impressed with the fact that he was with the Spurs, who have won four championships in nine years. Could you please tell me how many championships the Sonics have won.

Spurs Fan

Matt said...

When are we going to start poaching Spurs ballboys? You can't cut corners when you're trying to build a culture!

shatner said...

Good job on winning those championships anonymous. You're clearly a superior athlete.

Paul Merrill said...

Dear Anonymous Poopy Pants,

FYI the Seattle Supersonics have one championship, back in 1979, before the league was watered down with 87 teams full of teenagers.

But I'm sure PJ pretty much won those championships by himself, hence the multiple MVP awards for best clipboard holder.

Anonymous said...

I think he might win a first round series in 2010 for the Oklahoma City Sonics...

Drunkn Crab said...

All moves equal screw you Seattle.

chris said...

I can't say I'm very excited about Coach Carlie. I was hoping for Rick Carlisle.

Oh well.

Nuss said...

I forget, what was PJ's record before he started hanging around Tim Duncan?

Oh, that's right, 183-222. You're right, we don't deserve P.J., we deserve someone better.

frank said...

Here's an idea - since we got him, let's see what happens. I mean, watching Pop for the last however many years must have taught him something, something that was lacking in his last Head Coaching position, right? Look at it this way - he was a poor-to-average head coach. He got out, got married, had kids, mellowed out, then went back to school to see how real coaches (albeit, one with a super star called Timmy) do their thing. Isn't it just slightly possible he learned something very valuable, especially considering he'll be coaching young malleable minds instead of set-in-their-ways ego driven head case borderline stars?

I don't know, I'm kinda sick of all this whining over spilled milk without waiting to see what shakes out. My glass is still half full.

mcwalter44 said...

P.J. does anyone know that this abbreviates? I'm thinking Poor Job Carlesimo!!!

Really didn't we do this all wrong I thought we were to hire Aldeman first, have success but fail to meet expectations and then fire Aldeman so that we can hire Carlesimo (see Portland and Golden State) so that Carlesimo can finish off the job so send the franchise into turmoil? Didn't we just skip a step?

Ok, enough joking around. My local paper down here in San Francisco had one of it's best writers pen a story on how PJ deserves a second chance.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2007/07/05/SPGC3QR65L1.DTL

Gwen Knapp does good job explaining how we all deserve second chances. Hell, Spreewell got a second chance and nobody in New York or Minny batted an eye about the choking incident. The problem with PJ by the way isn't him being choked out, it's with his coaching style. That said, nobody has seen him coach a game out side of the few contests that Poppovich has been throw out of over the past 5 seasons. Perhaps, like the Frank said up above, that he's grown, matured, and/or mellowed over the years. I doubt it, but perhaps his temper wasn't ever his problem. Perhaps he's just a terrible coach, though I doubt that too because he did a great job with Seton Hall and the Spur won't have keep him around for 5 season he didn't know what he was doing.

T dawg said...

Great Hire. Better than we could have hoped, considering the current state of the roster and the youth movement currently being undergone.

Guy was well over .500 in the Big East in the 1980's, back when the Big East was the dominant conference, and he did so at a small catholic school whose facilities and enticements were not on par with the rest of his conference.

He got Anthony Avent to play hard... He will be a perfect coach for a young team, and not only that but a huge part of the "culture" we keep hearing about will be support from above. If a player doesn't hack it, they will be shipped.

And don't worry, both Durant and Green will hack it. They both play hard on both ends, they both play like they want to win. PJ will fill in the rest...

The Sonics will play hard game in and game out. Watch and see. They may not win many, due to the talent disparity in comparison to the west, but they will play their asses off. I can live with that.

Anonymous said...

We will be young with a LOT of PROMISE to look forward too. Durant and Green will be all stars in a couple years. Durant ALL PRO.
Phil

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Merrill said...

In the three+ years we've run the site, I don't think I've ever deleted comments, but Anons constant trolling actually may cause retardation, so for the better good, consider yourself banned, dipshit.

t dawg said...

what is trolling?

Paul Merrill said...

"trolling" = roaming around on various websites or boards trying to pick fights anonymously with no other purpose than getting off on the thrill. Often this condition arises in individuals who still live with their mother and have little or no chance of sexual contact in their lifetime. Also common in Spurs fans.

As most of you know, it's not like we have incredibly high standards around here! We welcome any half-way intelligent opinion, whether you're a Sonics fan or not. But we have to draw the line at morons who piss on the site and leave the verbal equivalent of pre-school graffiti.

I know a lot of it is just from random lunkheads passing through from the ESPN link, but we may have to go to a registered users only comment system, which would be a drag, but easier than having to spray down the walls every ten minutes.

P Nussbaum said...

I'll give P.J. the benefit of the doubt. Let's hope some of the anger is gone, and he lets the young players make mistakes.

mcwalter44 said...

Paul, just publish everyone's IP or MAC address, then when we get the same trolls over and over again we at least can reference them by that (assume they it's the same people over and over again, using the same computer over and over again).

By the way, this site is pretty classy so don't let these trolls get ya down. Another idea would be to just go slashdot on them and change the Anonymous poster name to Anonymous Coward or some else to that effect.

Keep up the great job with the website.

JJ said...

PJ sucked in Portland & GS - He got lucky and got to sit on Duncan's bench in San Antonio. Big Deal.

Wish we had hired Casey.

Sonics will be lucky to win 30 games next year. But - I think Presti is gearing everything for about 2009/2010 When Durrant & Green hit year #3 & Wally's contract at 12 million a year is gone. Probably another lottery pick next year. The Suns, Spurs, Rockets & Mavs could be fading to different degree's in about 3 years. Then the Sonics will have a core of young guys around a superstar in Durrant & hopefully will be ready for a long/solid run around him when 50+ wins & legit shots at the finals will be happening annually.

Hate to say it Sonics fans - but we need patience! Presti is thinking longer-term all the way.

Chris said...

^^^^I wouldn't normally have a problem with this thinking long term stuff since very team has to rebuild at some point. I just hope seattle is a part of that rebuilding process. 3 months left right?