A good move all around and a gaggle of 'tweeners stops by
Seriously, what’s not to like about the addition of P.J. Carlesimo?
You get a guy as an assistant who’s entirely familiar with the head coach and with whom he’s enjoyed a fine working relationship for years.
You get a guy who’s been a head coach of four different teams (people seem to forget the three seasons and 137-109 record in Portland) with varying degrees of success.
You get a guy who sat to the right of Gregg Popovich for five seasons and if you don’t learn a thing or two about coaching doing that, well …
You know what we’re also getting?
A raconteur of the first order.
I remember back when P.J. was working for the Spurs when they were winning titles. Whenever the masses would be allowed on the court before San Antonio practice to do our work, a handful of us would make a beeline to wherever P.J. was stationed because he’d offer insight – sometimes in, um, colourful language – and a story or two that would fill our notebooks.
Can’t ask for much more than that, if you’re a guy writing every day.
This is a good hire all along; a hire, some of us think, might have come a year later than it should have.
The interesting dynamic, to me, is how the staff will get along.
This is the addition of a rather forceful personality into the room and how the interaction between P.J., Marc Iavaroni, Alex English and Micah Nori develops will be something to watch.
Now, I’m not saying it’s going to have any detrimental effect on what transpires on the court, and if there are differences of opinions, I’d expect they’d be ironed out behind closed doors but this is the first time in franchise history there’s been a staff assembled like this.
Because no one was talking on the record about the hiring last night, it’s still unclear exactly what the division of responsibilities will be.
I’m presuming, knowing now things worked out last year, that this will be a more collaborative effort in all aspects and that you won’t have one guy being in charge of one facet. It’ll be by discussion and consensus with Jay having the final say and I’m quite all right with that.
And, yes, Alvin Williams and Eric Hughes are back in their roles as assistant coaches for basketball development as I mentioned last night, there are no other changes to the staff anticipated at this time.
Sorry to disappoint the dozens of you who were waiting but we have to delay the question-and-answer stuff until Thursday at noon.
Reprising my role as a golf scribbler who can bluff his way through a week or so of the national open, I’ve been seconded to a news conference starring Mike Weir and the guy who won last year’s Canadian Open this afternoon at St. Georges.
(Without looking below or using Google, tell me who won the Open last year to win a nifty prize. Actually, there is no nifty price. Answer below)
Anyway, what it means is we have to push back the Q and A until Thursday at noon, so we’ll see you then.
Besides, by Thursday, someone may have tweeted, my picks for the Final should be available for mocking and there might be more news to chat about.
One of the more interesting things from a ho-hum day around the practice gym yesterday was that Jim Kelly put the kibosh on any thoughts the Raptors would back in the draft.
“I don’t think we would look to do that all. There is always the possibility of picking up another pick. Especially as we get into the workouts here, when you get attracted to one player who came in and personality-wise and basketball-wise, you said, ‘man, this is a guy we should try to get on our team’ but maybe he’s not a 13th pick, maybe he’s a bit deeper than that.”
Now, as for moving up?
Sure, they’ll explore that option but it’s going to have to be some kind of significant package that gets it done. But, as we say way back in ’08, when it was this time of year when the news first broke, Bryan’s willing to give up a middling first-round pick if he can get someone back (hello, Jermaine O’Neal!) that he wants.
Well, there goes the perfect season.
Yeah, Mighty Yankee fans are somewhat subdued today I’m sure, as news of their 14-7 loss circulates across the internet.
It’s too early to whack the coaches, right?
After all, we can still finish 15-1.
No, not Nathan Lane. Nathan Green.
There’s your reigning Open golf champion.
Oh, and all you mouth-breathers who e-mailed me last night to suggest this assistant coach hiring is a bad move simply because P.J. has an Italian heritage? Can you please, for the love of all that’s good in the world, go away.
So, what happened in the workouts Monday?
Not a whole lot surprising, actually.
We didn’t get to see too much but after watching for a bit and talking to some folks after, the general consensus is that Gordon Hayward and Avery Bradley are sort of Players Without Position but both of them are good enough overall to make up for that.
Stanley Robinson? Freak of an athlete (Jim Kelly said he could “jump to the moon”). Willie Warren? Well, we hardly heard his name mentioned, which kind of goes to my original thought that he was kind of workout fodder to make sure they had two guards and two forwards so they can run drills.
You all read, of course, the missive on our site, right, that includes a wee bit of overall draft thinking from Jim Kelly?
He also said:
"You’ve got a little star power up on the top with (Evan) Turner and (John) Wall but I think after that, it’s a pretty deep draft with maybe not a lot of star potential but I think you have a lot of good players who will be NBA players for a lot of years."
And I think that’s what you’re going to be hearing for the entirety of the next three weeks as the process unfolds.
Today’s workout roster just landed in the in-box and it includes: Guards Ben Uzoh of Tulsa and Michael Roll of UCLA and forwards Latavious Williams of the D League, Devin Ebanks for West Virginia, Samardo Samuels of Louisville and Gani Lawal of Georgia Tech.
Guess I’ve got some research to do.