A bit of coaching news and more appreciation for a great series
So here’s how it works if you’re on the road for 16 out of 17 days and you see a whole bunch of people who know a whole bunch of others and because the NBA is an insular world, someone you know always knows someone you need to know and information gets passed around.
It’s how things like finding out about the May 20 deadline on the Bryan Colangelo stuff comes about, and the fact they needed to use a search firm to help with some background checks. You go to things, see people you know and eventually something comes up.
Well, since the Finals are a true basketball event, as opposed the corporate schmoozefest that the all-star weekend is, there’s basketball chatter and at this time of year, it has to do with what’s coming in the summer.
So, after this conversation and that conversation and this guy talking to that guy and the other guy telling another fellow something, I’m 99.9 per cent certain that there will be three new faces on Dwane Casey’s bench next season.
Not that Dwane or Masai would ever confirm this at the moment, on or off the record, the word around the Finals has been that Johnny Davis, Scott Roth and Tom Sterner will not be back next fall.
Who replaces them?
Well, I keep hearing Popeye Jones and Nick Nurse, who coached Dallas’s D League team but here’s one that I couldn’t confirm anywhere but one that might make an awful lot of sense according to a couple of guys I know.
Rex Kalamian, one of Dwane’s best friends who’s now on the Oklahoma City staff of Scott Brooks, whether he’d come or not on a one-year deal is the great unknown which is why I’m not nearly as confident about that possibility as I am about Popeye and Nurse.
And here’s one other thing to consider: If there was an assistant on George Karl’s staff that Masai got to like a lot after watching him work for a couple of years, wouldn’t it make sense for the new GM to at least set up a chat for someone with Dwane to see if they were a match?
But whatever happens is going to happen soon; I’m thinking we have total resolution on the three vacancies by Wednesday.
Heard one of the warblers from this group was in a pretty prime seat for Game 7 and that’s enough for me.
Not bad, eh?
That was as good as it gets, no?
I think the word that best sums it up is “classy.”
It was two great teams – and they truly were – playing a lot of the time at the absolute height of their abilities and going at each hammer and tong for nearly two weeks.
We always wonder if a Game 7 can possibly live up to its hype and that that one did, it was nip-and-tuck the entire way, the best players on the floor were at their best and it was everything we wanted.
The phrase in the original game over was “maybe the winner was the game” or something trite like that and that could very well be true.
I don’t think there was a flagrant foul in the seven games but they played incredibly hard; I don’t recall a technical foul in the seven games because the officials were outstanding; I think if you played Games 6 and 7 a dozen times, each team will would probably win six of them.
It was professional sports at its very best; our game are fraught with issues and the seasons are too long and the players often feel too detached from reality and some of them have a sense of entitlement that’s shocking and, well, think of all the other stuff that mars pro sports.
Toss it in the garbage for today at least because I don’t know if we’ll see as compelling a championship series for a very, very long time.
As we depart the mid-30s heat, constant humidity and daily storms …
Things I won’t miss
The 12-year-old songstress
Yes, she had a big voice. Yes, it was cute. But, no, I won’t miss her.
The explosive-sniffing dogs checking every bag just inside the door of the arena was a bit much.
Things I will miss
Walking it at any time of the night and probably finding two or three familiar faces, knowing the crowd will swell to a couple of dozen on any given night and letting the stories roll.
Like I said, that was compelling a series as I can remember and the first seven-game Finals I’ve covered all the way since 2005.
Gonna make the regular season kind of mundane.
Mail? We have a fair bit there and there were all kinds of questions and answers here but if you’ve got more, I’ve got time.
I have seen a lot of athletes at various levels of despair after final defeats over the course of the years.
I don’t know that I’ve seen one more publicly morose than Tim Duncan was last night.
You have to give him all the credit in the world for sitting at the podium and answering everyone’s questions but, man, it was almost too tough to watch.
That interview (I think this links to it here) was as raw stuff as you can have; a great, great athlete realizing what had just gotten away from him.
Okay, American Airlines willing, we’re back about mid-afternoon and I have to hit the ground running so I’ll get to the comments when I can; might be late so don’t get stressed.