Two weeks ago, the Sonics demoted Mo Sene to Idaho, with PJ Carlesimo telling us pinheaded Sonic fans that the reasoning was to get a better read on the alleged “skills” of Francisco Elson and Donyell Marshall.
At the time, I went off and wrote a (in retrospect) overly critical piece about how ridiculous it was to deny time to someone who has a possible future with the franchise so that you can evaluate 30+-year-old players who have already clearly established what their skills are, when clearly those skills are speaking Dutch (Elson) and braiding hair (Marshall).
What happened in the meantime? Well, Mo Sene got hurt playing in Idaho, with an injury that will possibly cost him the opportunity to play in the summer league a couple of months for now.
Oh, and Donyell Marshall, the guy Carlesimo said he “needed to evaluate” in the final weeks of the season? Here are his minute totals per game for the past five games:
0, 10, 7, 0, 0
Marshall is suffering from “right knee soreness,” causing him to miss the past couple of games, but is that really a surprise? And what about the games before that, including the double-overtime game when he played all of seven minutes?
But wait, it gets worse. Apparently, when Francisco Elson was dealt from San Antonio to Seattle in the Kurt Thomas trade, he was told that he would not get much playing time, in that the Sonics were looking to develop their own youngsters (this info thieved from Eric Williams at the TNT). And after getting the start over Johan Petro last night (in the Sonics 103-80 loss to Houston; there’s your game re-cap, folks), this is what Elson told Williams, in regard to receiving the starting nod:
“There’s four games left. I don’t understand it. I mean I didn’t expect [to get regular playing time], but why would you want to do it now? It ain’t like we’re going anywhere.”
I’ve been watching the NBA for 25 years now, and that must be the first time I’ve ever read a player complaining about getting a starting spot. How dumb is this coaching staff, when even their own players think they don’t know what they’re doing?
Honestly, I don’t think Carlesimo is trying to tank the season, and I don’t the think the players are giving any less effort than they were earlier in the year. But this whole idea of giving time to people like Elson and Marshall at the expense of Petro and Sene is just baffling.
At this point, I give up. If anyone can shed light on why the Sonics would go down this road, I’m all ears, because I’m just about done trying to figure out PJ Carlesimo and Sam Presti.