If Theo's post-game comments after game 6 left any doubt that he'd either retire or find another team to play for next season, Ed Stefanski removed the doubt by saying he doesn't want Theo back. After the jump we'll talk a little about coaches and other P.D. developments.
First, check out this story from Tom Moore, some of you guys are actually quoted in there (Mike, I think the anti-Lou rant is yours).
Now, let's take a look at a piece from Rich Hofmann. His theory is that the Sixers need to answer their player questions (Miller, Dalembert, Green and Brand) before they worry about a new coach. I completely disagree. I think the new coach should absolutely be involved in the personnel decisions, if not directly, at least indirectly. Meaning, they need to know what direction the coach wants to take the team in before they decide what adjustments need to be made. You also have to face the fact that a Dalembert and Green solution is most likely going to be made by the coach in terms of playing time, not by the front office in the form of a trade removing them from the equation.
Finally, I'd like to clear something up regarding the coaching decision. Right now, this is my list, in order of preference:
- Jeff Van Gundy - I think he's the best man to turn us into an elite defensive team, which seems to me like the most likely route to contention.
- Doug Collins - I like what he's done with talented wings in the past, I like the fact that he's shown dramatic improvement with every team he's coached and I like the idea of de-emphasizing points in the offense.
- Eddie Jordan - Definitely don't like him as much as the first two, but he has an offensive system that could make the team better.
- Avery Johnson - I think his ideas are dangerous, more on that below.
Really, two things about that ESPN interview completely turned me off, and if you're going to use the "He just wants the job, he'll say anything" argument, that's another strike against him in my book. Here is the first quote:
"The experiment with Iguodala at the two position, that was going to be a failed experiment from the beginning. Iguodala is an NBA 3. That's what he is. He's actually a player that you could slide to the four if you want to play fast."
The "experiment" of playing Iguodala at the two was given roughly 342 minutes this season. It just so happens the lineup of Miller, Iguodala, Thad, Brand and Dalembert was the most successful lineup the Sixers used by just about every measure. Mo Cheeks pulled the plug on that experiment when the Sixers had a 9-12 record and his job was on the line. Tony DiLeo flat out failed to reinstate it and give it an honest shot. If I'm interviewing a guy for this job and his opening line is that using Iggy at the 2 and Thad at the 3 will not happen, the interview ends right there. That's simply a foolish statement.
"In Philadelphia you have a really nice backup point guard in Louis Williams...With Young and Spragues (sic) you have some really nice pieces on the front line."
OK, so from these quotes I infer that Avery sees Lou as a point and Thad as a four. Two more reasons to end the interview.
Johnson took over a team he knew very, very well from Don Nelson in Dallas. He made a few tweaks, or maybe just emphasized defense, and he had two successful regular seasons, one successful run to the finals, and three disappointing exits from the playoffs in his tenure there. Including losing to a #8 seed when his team tallied 67 wins in the regular season. He loves to take credit for the development of Devin Harris, what he doesn't tell is that Harris didn't blossom until Avery was out of his life.
For all I know, Avery could've had a huge impact on that Dallas team. But I really can't know for sure. What the facts tell me is that he took a complete team, a team that had won 50 games 4 straight seasons before he took the reins, including a 60-win season, and he wore out his welcome in just over three years. I'm sorry, but I want no part of him running the Sixers, not with what I see as a questionable track record and dangerous ideas coming in.