Tuesday, May 30, 2006

[Kings] Message to the Maloofs: Stop it before it's too late

Yes, I am mentioning to their potentially blind hiring of Mr. John Whisenant as the new Sacramento Kings head coach. (Although reading from Sacbee, you would get the impression that it has already set in the stone, if not earlier than the ugly dismiss of Adelman...)

Sorry Maloofs, but John Whisenant is NOT the appropriate candidate to the head coach job of Kings, as of now, for several obvious reasons:

1. He has absolutely NO NBA-related experience. Mr. Whisenant has NEVER been a player, head coach, assistant, general manager, scout, and any kind of team stuff members of NBA in his basketball career, and in the league history, there's almost zero coach would get any success under similiar background. (The only current head coach as I can recall of lacking NBA experiences before directly becoming the head coach in this league, is Flip Saunders of Pistons. However, Saunders has been one of the best CBA head coaches for 7 seasons before he got promoted by the TWolves)

Yes, Whisenant brought Sacramento it's first professional title last season and was the WNBA coach of the year, however, NO WNBA head coaches have any success in the NBA as of now, and there's even only ONE WNBA head coach, Michael Cooper (led the LA Sparks to 3 titles in WNBA), who got promoted to the interim head coach of a NBA team (the Nuggets in 04-05), and his short stint had a losing record (4-10) while leaving a bad rep with players.

Bottom line is, I don't know if the Maloofs had any ideas about this, but NBA is a completely different basketball league than any others existing right now. It's an 82-games long season with players full of ego and agendas, and too many issues going on on and off the court other than simply basketball. Too many fans who can't wait to kick Rick Adelman out of the Kings gate probably ignored about the fact that in the past 8 years, this team has almost no locker room problems and was always in a peaceful atmosphere, no matter the drastic change of different players, and the team, despite the first 2 months of 05-06 season, always responds to the coach. I doubt seriously that "coach Whiz", without any significant coaching experience than the WNBA, could acheive the similar status without harsh experiment period between him and the players, but it seems like it's the price the Maloofs are WILLING to pay right now, what can you say?

There was little success for coaches in other organization (whether it's CBA, WNBA, NCAA or europe basketball league) in their first coaching season in NBA. In hiring Whisenant, the Maloofs are putting the Kings, who had a late surge last season and is on the rise again after the arrive of Artest, into another uncertain position, and you can imagine how will the local fans react to it, if the team once again had a losing season and falling to the bottom of Pacific division. Don't forget, the next oppotunity of public voting for the approval of sale tax as the new arena buliding fund is on this August...

2. How will the dismiss of Adelman and hiring of Whisenant give any impressions to the players, especially Artest and Wells? Both were blossomed under the free-lance approach from Adelman, and now the team is replacing him, who led the team to 8 consecutive playoff berths, to a former WNBA head coach with no NBA experience. How will they react to that? It could be a road show waiting to happen everyday in the locker room. Whisenant demanded tight, high pressure team defense to every of his players and got significant success in the WNBA, but what kind of reactions will he get from the NBA players if he is applying the same approach? (see Rick Pitino in Celtics for an example) Don't forget, Ron Artest wanted out of Indiana because his head coach Rick Carsilie, one of the best X-&-O strategist in the league, put strict orders on his players both in offense and defense.

3. There are certain more capable candidates around. How about Eric Musselman (Griz assistant who led the Warriors to the brink of playoffs few years ago), Mario Elie (a tough, no-nonsense veteran who is gaining experiences on the Warriors bench right now) or Mark Iavaroni (Who is one of the up-coming assistants in the league and almost became the Blazers head coach last season before McMillan jumped in)? The 3 names above all had more NBA experiences in their resume, been regarded as one of the better possible head coach candidates by experts before, and had lower risks in their possible head coach transition period to this team.

However, the interview sessions held by the Maloofs and Petrie for searching a new head coach, was inelegant and crass, to say the least. They only interviewed Musselman and Elie before talked with Whisenant, and appeared to end their search just after that. Considering the close relationship between Whisenant and the Maloofs in the past 30 years (Whisenant was a successful businessman and acted as an advisor in Maloofs' purchasing of the Kings back in 1998), one can't help but wonder: is this another important decision, that followed the recent trend of this franchise, that the owners again put their hands and alter the outcome?

Actually, after all the things happened in the past 12 months, I won't be surprised by the answer of this question. It's just sad that the Maloofs finally let their emotion and blind judgement took over, and ignore the professional opinions by 2-times best GM of the league.

As I said earlier, this might be just another straw on the back of camal named Geoff Petrie. I won't be surprised now if Petrie resigned at any juncture in the future, and that could just be what the Maloofs planned for all along, since Whisenant also acted as the GM in the Monarchs...

4. Speaking of the Monarchs, how will the "promotion" of Whisenant leave any message of the defending champion of the WNBA? Sure, this is all just part of the Maloofs' business, but it's blatantly unfair to the Monarchs and its fans. This could be another rude awakening of Maloofs' public image and relationship to the fans.

With all those said above, I am not ruling out the possibility, even if only slight, that Whisenant could coached respectful results to the Kings, should he become the head coach. However, the whole fiasco once again demonstrated the arrogance, blindness and stupidity by the Maloofs in their interference of professional decisions which should be made by professional people. And this is the biggest problem of them all, regardless of the possible outcome from their decisions.

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