It's all about the new guy and first impressions
So, what’d you think?
Of the new guy, that is.
Seems to have a bit of a “presence” doesn’t he?
Seems to be able to command respect from those around him, can make his points quickly, lucidly and with passion, leaving no doubt that he’s in charge.
I don’t know for sure how that’s going to translate once he gets on the floor as the guy in charge but as first impressions go, I think he made a good one with the people in the room.
The one thing anyone wants in a coach is to be able to capture the attention of his players, get them to buy what he’s selling and a lot of the good ones do it by the force of their personality.
The Xs and Os don’t change all that much from one organization to the next or from one coaching philosophy to another; what the good ones do is get players, fans, bosses and, yes, even the media who distribute the message to listen intently and give respect.
This might have been one of the best lines from Casey:
I don’t need players to like me, I want them to respect me.
Fooled you on the mock draft, didn’t I?
Sorry about that, got caught up in a whole bunch of Dwane Casey for the web and the paper and it got put back a day.
Tomorrow’s paper and the website later today for sure. I just need to find the precise reasons why Brandon Knight makes more sense that Kemba Walker here. You understand, right?
So, another bargaining session comes Friday and that has to be good news.
But when they start talking about billions of dollars and hundreds of millions in give-backs or takeaways or whatever, my eyes kind of go all glassy and my mind wanders.
I don’t think there’s an appetite among fans or readers for the minutia of contract negotiations, I know for a fact that I don’t have the expertise or even the contacts to fully explain it so I don’t know that I’m going to be much help as this story drags on interminably.
My Man Sheridan does a good job explaining things, he’s been far closer than I to these kinds of stories for years so here’s what he wrote about yesterday’s chat.
Speaking of the draft, I had a couple of guys in the organization make the same point to me in separate conversations yesterday.
Is there anyone at No. 5 who is better than what they have at the same spot now?
Think about it and we’ll discuss it a bit more in the morning but right now they have a young team with some promise, a new coach who may be able to change things, and there is a feeling of optimism around there. It may be cockeyed optimism but at least it’s not dread and when you look at the possibilities for the pick, is it really a huge upgrade at any spot?
More specifics tomorrow but here’s one: Is Kawhi Leonard really an upgrade over James Johnson? Seriously. Maybe in a few years but that’s a total guess. Is he today? I don’t know. And neither do a couple of Henchmen.
Oh, this is going to make the new coach popular in some circles.
A hockey analogy:
“In the playoffs, we spliced in some hockey into our game film because we thought we were playing too soft at the start of the Miami series and it really set the tone. I don’t know a lot about hockey, I’ve heard about it, but we spliced in guys checking players up into the windows and boards, that type of thing. That’s the way we’re going to play.”
This is why I like Rick Carlisle.
Sent him a text early yesterday morning wondering if he was around and able to chat for a minute or two about Casey.
Got one back about 30 minutes later saying, yeah, he was around and to call right then.
I did, we talked, got some good quotes and a bit of insight and when we were making small talk about life in general, he told me he was walking the streets of Paris on vacation.
That’s above and beyond the call of duty for anyone, there are players and coaches who don’t have time for you when they’re in the same gym, let alone on a different continent.
All kinds of players filtering back into town, I hear.
Saw DeMar and Sonny at the Casey thing yesterday, I understand Jerryd Bayless and Ed Davis are in town and I expect there’ll be some working out and fooling around going on in the gym over the next few days, the same kind of unofficial workouts that happen in September.
That’s not a bad sign, I guess. It’ll give them a chance to at least meet the new coach, hang out a bit and, perhaps, get to know whatever draft pick they end up making on Thursday night.
Oh and because you know me and hairstyles/fashion/stuff I really don’t know a lot about, DeMar shows up with these cornrowy things on his head and all I can think of is that if he lets it grow for a month or two, he’ll look like Oak when he had those twisty things that were, um, unique.
One more Casey quote on his demeanour, which can be quite animated during games:
As a head coach, I’m not going to be as hard-charging as I was an assistant. With our staff the way it was built in Dallas, that was my job, my role … that’s what I had to bring every day. I may have to do it here, I’m not going to say I’m not going to do it but I may have to temper that and my staff has to do a good job of making sure I temper it with the right disposition.
I don’t want to wear our players out, I want it to be fun to come in and play hard every day … that’s on us to be innovative, be creative as part of our approach to practice.”