Whither Phil, Doc and Turk? Read on.
Join Doug Smith at noon Friday for a live basketball Q&A.
Bit of a dog of a game but it was close and compelling at moments and went down the wire and that’s about all you can ask for.
I do honestly think the better team won and the right guy was named Finals MVP (Kobe) and if the final wasn’t exactly an epic, it was at least seven games and had some drama.
Now, one of the big questions being kicked around yesterday was about the future of the two coaches and whether Phil Jackson will ride off into the sunset with his 11 titles now that his contract is up and whether Doc Rivers will take a bit of hiatus to watch is family grow up.
I, and every other person writing about the issue today, have no factual basis for our assumptions and guesses but I can see Phil handing over the reigns and not taking the significant pay cut that Jerry Buss wants him to take. He and Kobe have slain the last dragon out there – the dastardly Celtics – and perhaps it’s time to pass the torch to either Brian Shaw (a well-respected assistant) or Byron Scott (the ex-Laker who is sure to be in the running if the job is open).
Doc’s a bit of a different story. He’s got no one behind him ready to take over – although the well-connected Marc Stein’s suggesting Kevin McHale would be logical and that makes entire sense to me – but I can definitely see how he’d be tired of whole circus and the pressure and the personalities on his team and it might be time to go and savour his kids for a year and watch them grow up.
It’d be too bad if either, or both, left the game because they are interesting personalities to say the least and the coaching ranks would be worse off without them.
You cannot imagine the number of immediate e-mails I had yesterday asking what impact the Sixers-Sacramento trade (Sam Dalembert for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes) would have on Hedo Turkoglu and the Kings.
Well, impeccable sources, people I trust and who have never, ever steered me wrong, tell me it has no impact.
And that’s because the Raptors and Kings have not had a single discussion about a possible Turkoglu trade and there are no indications they ever will.
A couple of people have intimated to me that there some interest out there in Turk (“a handful of teams,” according one person who’d know) but that the King are not one of them.
I have no idea what those teams are – sources are loathe to give too many details lest it scare off potential suitors – but I’m pretty sure someone will eventually whisper a team name or two and then the fun can begin.
But as for the Kings?
They aren’t in play right now.
Here’s the thing about draft workout kids and guys like me.
More than jump shots or ball-handling or the nebulous “work ethic” we want quotes. Good quotes from well-spoken young men we might have to deal with 175 days next season.
So, I’m all for Patrick Patterson being the No. 13 selection. Insightful, looks you in the eye, speaks slowly and clearly.
But if he’s gone, I’d be quite in favour of Xavier Henry getting the gig because that kid knows what’s going on.
With the big muddle in the middle of the first round of the draft – No. 6 could be No. 16, No. 7 could be No. 9 – we asked him whether it matters if he’s in the group from, say, 6-10 or the one from 11-15.
“I want to find my right team. The number thing doesn’t matter, you’re playing for your second contract not your first so finding the right fit for you is more important than just going as high as you can.”
That kind of honesty about the contract and the future is refreshing.
Greatest interview of the post-finals melee?
Ron Artest with Doris Burke thanking everyone you can imagine.
Including his psychiatrist.
It really was stream of consciousness rambling and pure joy and it was delightful.
What are you doing at noon?
Well, if you’ve got some time, we’ll be here for an hour or so to answer questions in between what I hope is a really good football twinbill with Slovenia-U.S. and England-Algeria.
And since it’s Friday, there’s an afternoon stool with my name on it near home and that’s where the mailbag starts so click here, send a question and help give me something to do pass the idle hours.
As part of our workout regimen (and I mean draft workout media regimen not something silly like, you know, a workout regimen) we get to chat with some designated Raptors spokesman who is not the president and general manager.
It’s usually Jim Kelly, although Masai bailed us out with the nice story about Solomon Alabi the other day, and Jim’s usually quite forthcoming.
Yesterday, he dropped this nugget on us and it looks like whatever “list” they are developing now has all its parts.
There was a suggestion in a private conversation earlier this week that the Raptors might try to have another group in next week.
Not so, says Jim.
“We’d always like to get a few more guys in but I think at this point, we know that we’re not probably going to get anybody else in. We’re probably looking at we might bring a few people back next week.”
Speaking of Raptors and workouts, this will save me a lot of typing.
Now, I warn you: These guys are here mainly to fight for spots on the summer league roster, the chance of any of them even getting in invited to the main training camp in October is thin.
I think this is the fourth time they’ve had one of these things and only one fellow – Jamario Moon – has turned to be a player.
So, please, don’t get too excited quite yet.
Okay, I’m sure there are other specifics of the final we should talk about – Kobe’s legacy, the future of the Big Three and whatnot – but we’re out of space and time here. But there’s always tomorrow and it gives me time to collect some thoughts.
See you then.