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Day 1 Post-DiLeo

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 12:07

Brian, I agree the coach should be involved in the draft and personnel, but I think E.S. feels otherwise, which I don!t like. J.Mac said something today about talking to former Mav players and how they liked the fact he would sit anybody, even Dirk, if they didn!t play hard, but that is only part of the picture. I hate to say it, but I think a dominent personality isn!t coming in, Jordan has experience and is a guy E.S. may be able to dictate to, which to me makes him a favorite for the job.I don!t want that but it is a good possibility.

I have my fingers crossed that the Kings sign Jordan quickly.

DiLeo is doing a presser on CSN right now.

Can you paraphrase here?

Deepsixersuede seems to be right on the button.

Jody Mac is a moron - stuck in the 50s - but he did ask Ed about the type of coach and eddie basically said he wanted a coach that doesn't whine about what he doesn't have but does his best to make all the pieces fit that he is given (Ed Stefanski would never hire Larry Brown probably, so that's a plus)...

He didn't say 'I don't care what the coach says' - he said he'd listen to players input - but at the end of the day - he's the GM - he builds the roster - and he's going to hire a coach who will do their best with the pieces they're given.

And that's fine with me cause the mismatched toys need a coach willing to work with what he's given not whining about what he doesn't have or trying to arrange trades behind the GMs back.

All this 'talk' about johnson is nice - but again - actions louder than words

1. burned out in two season
2. 'preached' great defense but that warrior series was pretty embarassing
3. claims he developed devin harris - who didn't blossom until away from Dallas (and avery) - I'm not really sure about that and maybe someone should ask Harris about that?

Macs platitudinal comment regarding 'benching anyone' are just that

Pretty much agree with everything here.

I agree that ES is building the roster, but I'd hope that whatever coach he puts in place will have some role in determining the direction of the team. For example, Collins liked using points who could shoot, etc. Stuff like that, even if the coach isn't directly involved in the building of the roster, their strengths/weaknesses should at least influence decisions somewhat.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 12:16

He said game 6 had nothing to do with his decision, I doubt that.He feels it is better to work building a team longterm as a winner rather than the day to day job of trying to win now as a coach.His former position allows him to do that.

I feel bad for the guy and I'm glad he's going back to the role he comfortable/successful in. The team needs him there.

Does anyone think that 'interaction with the media' matters in a coach?

Mr Macdonald indicates that DiLeo was boring in post game interviews which has a small part in whether or not people will keep a coaching job.

I find it asinine to think that way

Doesn't matter at all to me.

john reply to Brian on May 12 at 12:38

So you aren't one of the eagles fans constantly complaining about Andy Reids press conferences?

I find them funny.

Actually, I think interaction w/ the public does have an affect on a job. Of course, if he wins it all, it does not matter. But having a good relationship and likeable to all makes people more patient.

I don't think it is the most important issue but it helps overall in keeping the lions at bay.

john reply to DeanH on May 12 at 12:48

Do you mean the 'fans' when you say the lions?

Seriously, any GM influenced by what the fans think is a GM who should lose his job in my opinion

I was referring to the coach, not the GM. And, yes i meant the fans, ie, lions!]]

GM should not care about what the fans think BUT I think he should listen to what the fans say.

I do not mean do what the fans say but listen to what they say. Just to clarify.

john reply to DeanH on May 12 at 13:28

Why listen to what the fans say? The majority of fans don't know as much as the GM - they don't know the ins and outs of the game, of the salary cap, of available players, of what makes a good or bad coach, how much a coach has to do with winning or losing...fans in general have an emotional attachment to the teams they root for (usually an unhealthy one and put too much of their own happiness towards whether or not their team wins or loses)...emotion isn't a smart way to run a business of any kind...I think a GM should maybe 'humor' the fans and pretend to listen what they say - but if fans want their say - call talk radio and vent - but don't expect the coach or GM to listen to you...in fact I've often thought the phillies front office makes moves influenced by the fans - which usually is the more asinine of their moves.

I have been in leadership for years. I listen to everyone's thoughts and then make decisions based upon facts. I do not make decisions to please others but I listen to their thoughts. Most of the time useless thoughts but sometimes other thoughts make me consider things I missed. My opinion.

john reply to DeanH on May 12 at 13:59

I'm not sure what kind of leadership you are in - but how much 'fan' input do you get - people who are emotionally vested in the performance of your organization - who think they are part of the organization when they really aren't...who have hatred for people they've never met or talked to...fans aren't the alumni donating millions of dollars.

By the way - I'd be curios to know what percentage of the sixer fans who think they have a sya in how the roster is built don't go to a single game during the season - if they're in the city - or spend little to no money to support the sixers?

Yes - you have to appeal to the fans - but winning appeals to fans - but listening to fans is the dumbest thing to do when building your roster - if they want more 'dollar dog nights' fine - listen to that - but don't listen to the fan who thinks that the solution is to sign allen iverson or rasheed wallace - heck there is a portion of the fan base that wants iverson back - probably shouldn't listen to them

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 13:22

J.Obrien!s condensending way of answering questions irritated me as a fan but as a G.M. it shouldn!t matter.

Real and Speightacular on May 12 at 13:23

When I have time, I may take another look at the Avery situation more closely. I like what Mike had to say in the previous thread. But I find it interesting (read: high larious) when Brian has an axe to grind. You completely diminish any possible accomplishments ("Nellie's waterboy," "made a few tweaks," this and "maybe just emphasized defense" that). Reading you, it's like Avery just kinda happened to be in the building when the Mavs took off.

It will be interesting to look at little more closely at his record. If you don't like him for some reason you can't really verbalize, that's no crime but your dissection here is frivolously dismissive and sorely lacks the rigorous attention to detail/balance that you normally provide.

John's after an undiscovered talent perhaps polling some 'chip winning coaches for some advice. Well, fwiw, Avery's about the closest you might get to that as he was hand-picked by Nellie to succeed him and was the floor general under Popovich. The more I think about it, the more I tend to think Ave was cut more for the optics than a conclusion he's a sucky coach.

He's still pretty new at it, not much tread worn off yet. Perhaps he's learned something important out of his last experience. But in any case he'd be leaps and bounds better than DiLeo, I think we can all breathe easier for that.


"In Philadelphia you have a really nice backup point guard in Louis Williams
. I don't think it's a big stretch that with a little more guidance Lou's def a more than decent backup. It's about whether he can be made into a STARTER. Avery believes there's POTENTIAL and that he could be the one to bring it out. *Shrugs* Optimistic? Possibly. Dangerous? Hardly. Remember, he's not the actual GM, yo.

We should look more closely at those Iggy-at-the-two games and see what there really is to see. I don't think Avery's been alone in that assessment re Iggy's best position.

No - what I said was - there are more viable candidates out there then retreads who haven't had a job for whatever reason for a couple years - burn outs - has beens - too old - too cranky - too whatever - all we as fans know are the guys who have been coaches before (and same with the media) the hope is that Stefanski has a larger pool to choose from and won't just pick the first name he can think of.

If you want to take a closer look, please be my guest. The fact of the matter is Avery didn't even make Dallas a better defensive team. The year before he took over they were 9th in the league with a defensive rating of 104.1. His first full season as head coach they were 11th in the league with a defensive rating of 105.0.

The change that he instituted was slowing the pace down, dramatically. From 9th in the league at 92.7 possessions/game all the way down to 26th in the league at 87.8 possessions/game.

The slower pace made the offense more effective, the defense a bit less.

If you want to praise him for his work in Dallas, then praise him for realizing they had a huge offensive advantage in the half court w/ Dirk. Don't praise him for a defensive improvement that didn't exist.

You have a guy here who's basically lay out his plan if he was the Sixers coach, it looks a whole lot like this

1. Lou
2. Who knows, probably Willie.
3. Iguodala
4. Thad
5. Brand

That is dangerous. And that's where the conversation ends for me. Sorry.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 12 at 16:13

Now that's a breakdown I can halfway respect. I'll try to look into it further, but in the meantime it'd be awesome if you could turn your fine critical eye in Collins' (and the other potential coaches) direction. I'll bet you wouldn't have to scratch long to discover flaws at least as damaging as Avery's. And then what.

The last bit falls down tho, go boom. You're assigning to Avery things he did not say. When ASKED about it, he said he thinks there's POTENTIAL for Lou to start and that Iggy should not play 2-guard. That's it. If a GM insisted Lou can be a starting point guard, now that would be dangerous and cause for concern. Avery's makin his pitch here, one he supposes might be tantalizing to ownership (oh, we have a dude who might be able to do something w/ Lou?). That's it.

He's saying get rid of Miller, and Louis a "very good backup" right now. I don't think I'm jumping to any conclusions by saying he views Lou as the starting PG. I don't get the impression that Stefanski is a moron, so I doubt by playing up your vision of Lou to him is going to get you the job.

Here are Collins' stats:

Year prior to his arrival in Chicago

Offense rating: 108.6 (8th in the league)
Defense rating: 112.4 (dead last in league, 23rd)

First year w/ the bulls
Offense rating: 108.6 (12th in league)
Defense rating: 107.6 (11th in league)

He also slowed the pace down.

Year before arrival in DET
Offense rating: 105.1 (24th in the league)
Defense rating: 112.9 (27th in league, dead last)

First year coaching DET
Offensive rating: 107.9 (15th in league)
Defensive rating: 105.1 (7th in league)

Again, slowed the team's pace considerably.

Previous year in WAS
Offense rating: 100.6 (21st)
Defense rating: 107.8 (dead last, 29th)

First season in WAS
Offense rating: 104.8 (12th)
Defense rating: 106.4 (21st)

Again, he slowed the pace considerably.

Collins took over 3 teams with the absolute worst defense in the league, didn't realize that. In two cases, he moved them from dead last to upper half in one season. Overall, each of the teams he's taken over have improved drastically in his first season there.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 12 at 17:55
"I don't think I'm jumping to any conclusions by saying he views Lou as the starting PG. I don't get the impression that Stefanski is a moron, so I doubt by playing up your vision of Lou to him is going to get you the job."

Yes, yes you are. That wasn't his "vision" and it's disengenuous of you to say so. But anyway, I guess you have your mission and the tape is around for any who want to listen and interpret for themselves.

Nice breakdown re Collins. Gee, I wonder why he's not in coaching today? My goodness all he's got is a list of thrilling positives (unlike Avery who just happened to fluke into a good stretch there as a barely overgrown waterboy). Just Collins' dumb luck to get fired by a series of retarded GMs, I guess.

There are more layers to peel back, I'm sure. Dammit I wish I had a blog gig. By the time I "research" stuff, we'll have long moved on.

p.s. once more for the record, I was initially most in favour of Collins. all I'm saying is that Avery is hardly a terrible second choice.

p.p.s. pardon me if it's been linked already, but realgm has a favourable view of Curry as well. I remain unconvinced. He'll be nice in just the right set up (team/coach/system), but in anything close to a more traditional set up, I wouldn't want him running things. Sweet backup 2-guard tho.

Real and Speightacular reply to Real and Speightacular on May 12 at 17:56

Money quote from that article:

I've been a skeptic of Curry's value as a potential lottery pick, but my concerns have been addressed and he is definitely going to be a starter in the NBA at the point guard position and he will become even more valuable to a team with an off guard or small forward that can take on a lot of ball-handling duties to free him up to spot-up.

If you do the research, either post it here or send me an email and I'll definitely post it somewhere prominent so we can discuss.

Both Collins and Avery have had short shelf-lives with their respective teams. Neither is coaching now, so I'm not sure we can use either's current employment as a positive or a negative. I don't know what happened w/ the Bulls and Collins last season. People didn't exactly seem to be fawning over Avery after Cuban fired him, though.

Collins has engineered dramatic improvements in three teams, Avery hasn't. Not to mention the fact that when Collins has announced Sixers' games he's made common sense statements like "Why are they running all these plays for Willie Green and ignoring Thad Young?" Whereas Avery's Sixer-related comments have been "Iguodala is not an NBA 2," etc.

My points hold, and I went back and listened to the Avery tape before I wrote this post. Came out feeling the exact same way about him. Want no part of him coaching this team.

john reply to Brian on May 12 at 18:58

I'm not sure where it goes - but Avery Johnson did say in his radio interview that he felt Louis Williams should be the starter

Real and Speightacular reply to john on May 12 at 19:17

Should be or could be (in the context of potential)? Dammit, you're gonna go make me listen to it again?! If someone asks Avery who he'd rather have as his starting point guard, Sessions, Felton, Maynor, Lawson or Lou and Lou is the answer, ok, game over for me. Otherwise, I hear a dude with a pitch to the owners. Not a crime, not even a misdemeanor.

Real and Speightacular reply to john on May 12 at 19:51

Alright, just listened to it again and he said no such thing. I invite you to find the point in the playback (the Lou talk starts a little before the 5 min mark).

His initial response re Lou was that since AM is 33 and def on the downside, it's probably best to move on with Lou in that position. Based on what he'd seen of Lou (and you have to admit there are some games where Lou looks pretty danged impressive. It really does depend what night you catch him), Lou looked to him like he had potential (and again, he stressed that he was using the word potential).

Like Doug, Avery also said Willie Green is not a starting 2-guard and that the Sixers don't appear to have a vocal team leader at this time. You guys keep lettin that drawl fool ya.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 12 at 19:11

Alright, I've peeled back a couple more layers. I wish I had the time to do more.


The year before Collins came on board, Jordan played only 18 games and Charles Oakley, essentially teh 2nd best player on the team, was a green rookie.

Collins' first year as Chicago coach (1986-87) I have the following numbers:
Offensive rating: 105.4, Defensive rating: 104.7

I'm going to suppose you were looking at some other funky rating system. I pulled those numbers from BasketballReference.com


The year before Collins got there was Grant Hill's rookie year. That was about the only highlight of that squad. Think Grant's gonna get better? You're right kids, he did.

Collins was hired to coach in the 1995-96 season. I have Offensive rating as 105.4, Defensive as 102.1, again as per BasketballReference.com. Also Theo's rookie year.


The season before Collins' arrival, Juwan Howard and Christian Laettner were featured players. The next year (2001-2002 season), Jordan was a starter and thanks to a big trade Howard was off the roster (Jordan got way more steals and blocks than Howard, a PF/C, in about the same mins).

Offensive rating that season: 102.4, Defensive: 103.7


So it looks like you're willing to discount Avery's achievements on account of his inheriting better hosses, but then attribute any of Collins' supposed gains all to some crazy genius, not respecting changes in personnel. Sly dawg, you.

In all seriousness I'm surprised at you, Bri. I expect you to lay alll the relevant info out for us, pretending we're bright boys and girls too, and give us your considered opinion. What you've done here is be so selective as to almost come off like a propaganda bit. You're so much better than that. I want to be able to trust your insights aren't agenda driven.

The offensive and defensive numbers I used were from basketball-reference.com, that's where I get pretty much all of my stats.

And I never said this was a comprehensive comparison, I was just looking up the same stats I had already posted for Avery in regards to Collins.

If you want to be thorough, take a look at the improved roster Avery had in his first full season with the Mavs. Harris was a "green" rookie the year before. Shawn Bradley played almost 900 minutes, Josh Howard was only a second year player, so you'd expect a big jump from him. Still, virtually no improvement, year-over-year, even when you'd expect at least a moderate improvement based on the maturation of a couple of key players and the removal of a nothing like Shawn Bradley.

I'd also like to know how you see Jordan and Grant Hill making huge strides under Collins as a bad thing.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 12 at 19:57

So if we're both using the same site, how is it that your quoted stats are way different from mine? Like, not even close.

"I'd also like to know how you see Jordan and Grant Hill making huge strides under Collins as a bad thing."

Strawman construction here. I never said any such thing. You're setting this up as a versus thing and I've twice now said that's not what it's about for me. Mebbe this is great for page views and wot not, but if you've been paying attention that's not the case I've been making.

Enough of this, time for a break, real life beckons.

Check the link I put up top, you're using a different site. basketballdatabase or something. Here's Collins' first year in Chicago.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 12 at 19:22

Please find the stretch of games of Iggy playing 2-guard and let's look at how he fared. Iggy's not a rook with a gigantic learning curve and the difference between playing 2 and 3 shouldn't be that dramatic for most wing players. Let's lay it out, have a looksee how absolutely nutty Avery (and others) are for making such a statement.

I really don't care about personal success as much as team success, or more importantly team efficiency. They were a superb defensive team with Iggy at the two, Miller, Iggy, Thad, Brand, Dalembert was by far their best +/- per minute lineup. The reason they started 9-12 is because they got ZERO from their bench. Mostly due to Lou Williams completely killing the team. Of course if we get Avery to coach Lou will have the pleasure of killing the first team in 2009-2010, so we won't have to worry about pitiful bench production.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 12 at 19:59

Please point out the period and all the minds here will either draw the same conclusion or point out something perhaps you missed.

Ok, now I'm headed off to real word :)

The period is the first 21 games of the season.

Or if you'd rather see the cumulative numbers of Iguodala at the two, check it out here.

Best defensive unit in the league with more than 130 minutes played, and they had 343 minutes on the floor together. Seems like a "failed experiment" to me.

That was just a dense statement, but maybe it's the drawl.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 13 at 0:32

I love this stuff.

A: Man, sure looks like Iggy doesn't really work out at the 2 -- look at the won-loss record and his own play.
B: No fair, it's a small sample size!

Funny how the sample size issue disappears when you find some snippet of a stat to justify your argument. But let's roll with your "Best defensive unit in the league" bit and look a little closer, shall we? Who did they play? Oh my, it's a bunch of crap teams, mostly. You mean it's possible to run up great defensive numbers against soft teams? And they didn't even win all those games. Well, how'd they do against the good ones, the ones who wound up in the playoffs? 0-8. That's awesome.

We all have our man-crushes and I don't hide mine. Bri, you seem to get a chubby over these stats that depend a great deal (more than the usual set of stats anyway) on the other nine guys on the court. It's a weird Plus-Minus fetish, like it should greatly outweigh other figures.

Anyway, for all that hotandbothering over the defensive numbers, the dudes didn't score a whole bunch. That fivesome you schwing for didn't even rate among the top 50 units. Iggy himself for the whole month of November (that's 15 games) as a 2-guard averaged just over 13 pts a game at .407 shootin (.297 from 3). Yes, he had his usual nice boarding and assist numbers (5-3 A/TO), but if you tell me that's what you want out of your starting 2-guard, that's nutty talk. It's a waste of the talents of your team's best player when he can't really produce out of position.

They gave it a good decent trial and it wasn't like they were seeing improvement as it was going along (they were 2-6 the last 8 games of the experiment). There's no sense forcing an issue if you're not seeing the returns you were hoping for. And the wins were generally squeak bys while the losses were generally much more decisive. You can spreadsheet it out to check the deltas yourself, I just eyeballed it.

Now, to you, those defensive numbers against crap teams is reason enough to declare anyone who supports the keep-iggy-at-SF a know nothing. That's your opinion and you're entitled to have it, but I still hold out hope that one day you'll realize that cherry picking does not the whole story make. It is fair and reasonable for people to conclude that the experiment did not work. Avery with 16years of pro ballin claims he knew it wouldn't work from the start. Who knows if that's really true, but ball don't lie, it didn't work out and that's plain as day. You can't even cry "inconclusive!" At what point do you stop and try something else? A month and a half isn't enough? You need a third of the season with a losing record? Half? Trade deadline?

I looked at the losses and while sometimes the bench needed to do more, in general it was the starters' contributions that were anemic. Lou shot pretty terribly in the month of November, but he did make up for it by getting to the line at a tremendous rate (a skill of his that y'all took pains to pound into me just a couple months ago). And back then his minutes were quite limited. He was hardly a root cause of those losses.

Might be interesting to see how Iggs playing 2-guard affected point guard play. Miller sure improved a lot after the switch back.

Defensive rating alone doesn't tell the whole picture, obviously. Differential, however, does. So while their offense was anemic, as you put it, the differential was superb because the defense was so good.

343 minutes is not a limited sample size, the time Iggy was on the court at the two, this team played it's best basketball. The defended the best, the rebounded the best, and they put more separation between themselves and their opponents, which is, you know, the goal in the game of basketball.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 13 at 12:01

I have no idea what you're looking at. I clicked on the the 1yr adj +/- and that quintet does not appear in the top 50 units.

Are you talking differential between Offense allowed/gained then? Like I said, they were mostly playing a bunch of crappier teams so naturally those numbers are going to look good. At least you would hope so. They were oh and eight (0-8) against all of the quality teams they faced.

You're just cherry picking. There is no way you can say this was a "successful" experiment. The goal of basketball, I'm pretty sure, is to score more points than your opponent. The logic is simple and plain: check the scoreboards, they lost (worse) more than they won.

So playing Iguodala at the 2 is the reason the team performed so poorly when he wasn't playing the two? I mean, that's your logic here.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 13 at 12:12

So you're saying Iggy at the two was a success? Yes or no? Did HE play better than he normally does at the 3? Did the team win more than they lost? Did they perform well against good teams?

Yes or no.

With Iguodala on the floor as the two, the team played it's best basketball of the season. That's what I'm saying, take it or leave it. The stats support it.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 13 at 12:19

I'll leave it, thanks. I'll take ALL the stats, you just stick to the ones that make you feel smart.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 13 at 7:25

(I've responded, just waiting to get my linked out comment to get out of 'jail')

Real and Speightacular reply to Real and Speightacular on May 13 at 11:42

Brian, you still have my very lengthy response awaiting moderation. Please release.

It's been up there. I already responded to it. If you'd like more of a response, in the 21 games of the "experiment" the Sixers out-scored their opponents 662 to 599 when Iguodala was playing the two.

When Iguodala was not playing the two, they were outscored 1319 to 1399. Clearly, the problem in those first 21 games was Iguodala at the two. Clearly, moving him to the three changed everything as you can see by the team's 4-8 record in the next 12 games.

Listen, if you want to hide your eyes from any kind of advanced stats, that's fine. I'm not going to ignore them. And I really don't want a coach who's going to eschew something out of hand even when it's been successful in the past.

I don't want Johnson, I've stated why. You've made a ton of excuses for him, none of which hold water for me. Let's just move on.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 13 at 12:10

I'm all for advanced stats. Just ALL of them, not just the ones you cherry pick to support your notions. There's lies, damned lies and numberfied propaganda.

As for excuses?! You run around with your head afire b/c Ave says LW has POTENTIAL and Iggy's really a natural '3'. You harp only on Ave's potential negatives, completely dismiss his experience and any positives while only lauding Collins' potential positives. I'm not sure Avery (or me) needs any excusing.

Yeah, let's just leave this alone.

Real and Speightacular reply to Real and Speightacular on May 13 at 11:52

Woah, my bad it's in there (I was writing the other response before I saw it). Please excuse.

I definitely feel that a) Lou is NOT a point guard, and b) I can count with my fingers the number of games in which his play was actually 'nice'.

Real and Speightacular reply to Alvin on May 13 at 7:23

Fair enough, tho I remember a time I was pooh-poohin Lou and got drowned out by the but-he-gets-to-the-liiiine! crowd. Where'd everybody go?

Anyway, it was easy to find the ESPN/ABC schedule. Avery got to see the Sixers (and Lou) 4 times this past season. How did Lou do?

Nov 26 : Lou scores 13 points in 17 mins. 3-1 A/TO
Dec 10 : Lou scores 22 points in 28 mins. 1-2 A/TO
Feb 18 : Lou scores 15 points in April 4 : Lou scores 15 points in

Against good teams, too. You tell me that's your backup point guard, I'll take it. I would generally want hella more assists but I understand management wanted him to shoot, shoot and shoot this year. Avery is neither crazy nor stupid, from what he saw (which if you listen he did stress that repeatedly), Lou's obviously indeed "a really nice backup point guard." As for starter potential, HE believes there's still POTENTIAL (another word he stressed repeatedly) for this 22yr old.

It took like 45 seconds to find this stuff. Gott bless the internets, cuz all the info we want is there if we take the time to look beyond preconceptions.

I can understand a preference for Collins, I'm probably still in that camp myself, but all this nutso hyperbole over AJ like he'd be the team's death knell is totally mind boggling and I'm beginning to feel like I've been just suckered into a dumbass argument just for entertainment's sake. More clickety clicks. *Sighs* At least as reasonable men we can agree that any difference between Collins and Avery is not anywhere near as gaping as the gap between Avery and DiLeo, right? Right?

You cannot judge how Lou will do as a point guard until he does it? Will he succeed? Who knows, some think so, some do not think so. Personally, I think he would do very good and surprise most of you. In watching the sixers this year (almost every game, most in person in Philly), he became better as the year went on. Yes, he made mistakes. But, I saw every game bad passes by AI and Miller, also.

And, I believe he would had been better if he had a chance to play with the 1st team more.

john reply to DeanH on May 13 at 10:47

Much like "Andre Iguodala has never been a two guard" - the whole Lou Williams hasn't played the point argument confuses me. Most of last season, they tried him at point guard...he was the back up point guard to andre miller, hell most of this season he was the back up point guard to andre miller.

DId people miss all those minutes at point guard where lou played more like iverson than even andre miller?

OK, I'm going to run with your logic first:

11/26: Lou shoots 3/10 from the floor, 7/7 from the line. Essentially, he used up close to 1 possession per minute.

12/10: 28 minutes, 15 shots, 11 trips to the line, 1 assist, 2 turnovers.

2/18: 26 minutes, 14 shots, 10 trips to the line, 3 turnovers

4/4: this was the only decent game, for a shooting guard. 28 minutes, 10 shots, 2 assists, 2 turnovers.

In total, 99 minutes played in these 4 games, 19/49 from the floor (38.7%), 2/6 from three (33%), 25/32 from the line (78.1%), 9 assists, 8 turnovers. And THAT, is a very good backup point guard. In fact, it's a guy with the POTENTIAL to step in and start for Andre Miller.

Now, let's talk about the logic a little bit. At worst, Avery Johnson is an analyst who was asked to go on the radio and talk about the Sixers. What you're suggesting here is that he went into the interview (and you're also suggesting that this was his push to get the coaching job, so he went into this initial JOB interview) with 4 games of research. He couldn't check the stats to see how ill-suited Lou is to play the point, he was merely going on what he witnessed in these four games. Four games in which Lou played nothing like a PG.

Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 13 at 11:51

By many of your accounts Lou was told he had the green light to shoot. Lou. Lou Williams. Who is already naturally a shoot-first guard. Of course he's going to then look for his shot. After the fact there's bellyaching about how he shot more than looked to set other guys up (except the Lou-Sp8s connection, which was often purdy).

I've already conceded his shooting was well off, but his trips to the line compensated for that. It really suggests more that he's not a good finisher at this point. Anyway, when you add it up, and you know the danged formula, I think his PPS works out to something very impressive for anybody, less a 21-22year old.

You see what you're hell bent on seeing.

I'd be curious to know how keen you were on Avery before this "damning" local radio interview. If you can say with a straight face that he'd be likely well worse than DiLeo, you've lost me entirely.

I'm not looking for "better than DiLeo" in a head coach. It's not about DiLeo or Avery. It's about the best coach for the team. Avery isn't even close.

bebopdeluxe on May 12 at 13:23

Stefanski emphasized in both interviews that he needs a shooter...well, if Iggy, Thad and Brand are your 2, 3 and 4, the shooter has to be the PG, which 1) closes the door on an Andre Miller return; 2) would seem to lean things towards Collins, who emphasized a shooting PG in Chicago with Paxson; and 3) makes me wonder even more how much Miller was REALLY available at the deadline (i.e. if Stefanski knew we needed a shooter, and he knew that Iggy, Thad and Brand were the future, then why do you let an asset like Miller simply expire at the deadline? I will believe a Miller S&T when I see one...)

Shooting PG's:

Hinrich (don't know how we'll get him)
Curry (have to trade up to get him)

Any other options?

Can someone explain to me why the 20 year old player who improved from season one to season two offensively is being written off already as 'not' a shooter?

Sean reply to john on May 12 at 13:43

I completely agree with you, and tack it up to radio & media people(fans and hosts) not knowing a damn thing about the game. IMO, I always assumed that Thad will evolve into a three-point threat in the high 30s to low 40s percentage wise. That being said, Iguodala I hope will be mid 30s with hot streaks. That means I would prefer Dala's backcourt mate(PG or just 6) to at least shoot the percentage I expect from Thad. Given that i heard that Ed is not ruling out a Smith/Speights combo playing next to Brand, that could mean a big who potentially could shoot 3's as well.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 13:33

bebopdeluxe, Bibby, and in a Bulls kinda way, J.Terry.I keep waiting for Dallas to blow it up and actually watching last night wondered about a Thad,Spieghts, Lou and Sam package for Dirk,and would it ever happen, no, but I would think about it.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 13:38

John, I assume you mean Thad; I think he will become a good #2 shooter for a team but slashing will probably be his best strength. The type of shooter I want is a catch and shoot guy for Willies minutes, Thornton and Ellington, from the games I watched this year fit that bill the best.

On this team - when all are healthy - willies minutes drop precipitously and become bench minutes...neither Ellington or Thornton are points - and ellington probably is gone long before the sixers pick.

Just to play devil's advocate for a second, how exactly are Willie's minutes going to drop if we have a coach who is unwilling to play Iggy at the two? Are we going to bring in a new guy to start at the point and a new guy to start at the two? Or is it going to be Lou starting at the point?

john reply to Brian on May 12 at 13:52

IF a coach is hired unwilling to try Iguodala at the two - I'm disappointed (another reason not to hire Avery by the way) - and I think Stefanski knows that some how, some way - whether it means re=signing miller or getting someone else - you gotta improve the point guard make up of this team as it currently exists of contracts for next year.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 13:48

John, Ellington, along with Lawson, has major issues as far as his release,is he going to get his shot off in the pros, I love Thornton,buried fadeaway 3!s coming off of screens.I think 20 to 25 minutes at the backup 2 is where they want their shooter. In an ideal draft their p.g. will be a sniper also but that may not be at the top of wish list.

I don't know a lot about college guys - but I know that of those three names only Lawson is considered a point guard in the NBA - and only thornton projects to be available where the sixers pick (right now thornton is at 23)

There haven't been work outs yet - the full draft make up isn't set yet - so a lot of unknown variables exist in who will really be available in the draft still (i think)

Thornton is the hot name right now - but hot names always worry me just in general - hot names after the regular season - was dude just ignored - or what?

Smallwood just called into the JOdy MacDonald show and Jasner will be on in the next hour or so.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 14:04

John, I think they take the best guard available, not just at point.Thornton!s been there all year, his team came closest to knocking N.C. out of the tournament.I watched him about 6 to 8 times and he is good off the ball, doesn!t over dribble and the only drawback is how big he is [listed at 6!4

I'll be a little bit concerned if they don't draft a point, to be honest. Or at least a guy who can nominally play the point.

FYI, disregard Thorpe's praise of Blair:

Rocko (NY): How legit is Dejuan Blair out of Pittsburgh? Some compare him as a shorter Kendrick Perkins with a longer wingspan.

SportsNation Chad Ford: He's probably going to be a better offensive rebounder and a better scorer than Perkins. He's been working out at IMG in Florida and I'm told he's already lost a lot of weight. If he comes into draft camp in great shape, that will really boost his stock.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 14:44

Brian, if they stay where they are the better value may be at the 2.The jury seems to be 50/50 on Maynor and Collison or Calathes may be a reach.The fact free agency is after the draft sucks sometimes.If A.Miller isn!t brought back what do you think is the main reason? 1]bad fit with Iggy at the 2 2]wants too much money 3]gets better offer elsewhere

I'm not sure what the team is thinking. Personally, I'm thinking if they can sign him to a 2-year deal, then do it. If it takes 3+ years to bring him back, then you have to move on. I don't want any contracts (beyond the rookie deal[s]) to extend further than Dalembert/Green/Evans.

If he does wind up going elsewhere it will most-likely be about money, if it's Andre's decision at all. He can say he wants to play out West because that's where he's from, but I highly doubt he's going to turn down more money to go there.

If the Sixers don't offer him a contract even in the neighborhood of other offers, then maybe the team has decided it's time to move on. Bring in a point who can shoot the three and shift the playmaking responsibilities to Iguodala. Frankly, this is the direction I hope they're headed. I love Miller, but with him at the point I think the team has a glass ceiling they aren't likely to break through.

Ideal situation is a sign-and-trade that brings some value back in either (a) a player or (b) a trade exception. Ideally, both.

I'm with you 100% on these points.

Esp. since resigning Miller makes it harder to add other players given their cap situation.

They could re-sign Miller for 2 years and move Sam, Evans or Green in exchange for a needed shooter- but the odds of pulling that off are slim. More likely re-signing Miller locks them into a roster for 2 years with limited upside.

This quote from a Q&A w/ the Rockets' GM, Daryl Morey, really drives home how I feel about Curry for the Sixers:

Keri: On the statistical front, are you, or people in the organization, searching for a catch-all measure of player value, like VORP in baseball? Is John Hollinger's PER that stat? Or is basketball too context-dependent for a catch-all measure of value?

Morey: There's certainly value in a catch-all stat, especially from a public or media perspective. I look at it this way: I don't think people who minimize it are right, or the people who trumpet it. Being able to rank players that way is a way to simplify for mass audiences. But in terms of decision-making, it really is almost useless. Everything becomes more contextual. How will this player fit in our system, with the plays we run, with our defensive scheme? Those are the questions that rule the day, not whether a player is No. 7 or No. 6.

This is the reason I want the Sixers to trade up to get him. Everything I've seen and read says he's without question the best shooter in this draft class. His performance in catch-and-shoot and pick-and-roll situations was excellent in college. That's what the team needs, more than anything else. I don't see any reason to pussyfoot around with a guy who you hope will turn into what the Sixers need in a couple of years, I want them to be bold and get the best player available in the area of weakness.

When Brand's contract is over, Marreese Speights may be a perfect guy to step in as the PF of the future for the team. He may also be a bust. For this season, and probably the next couple of seasons, he's a nice piece to have coming off the bench which seems to me like more of a luxury than a necessity. Especially considering we have so much money tied up in Brand and Iguodala. If I'm making the decisions, I'd trade a chip that looks like a luxury for the better part of Brand's contract for a guy who I see as a perfect fit for the team, and a perfect fit capable of coming in and filling a desperate need immediately.

Now I have no idea if Stefanski or DiLeo or anyone else in the world see Curry as a perfect fit for this team. But if they do, I wouldn't hesitate to use Speights to move up and get him. He fits the biggest need now.

bebopdeluxe reply to Brian on May 12 at 17:10

Excellent post, Brian.

I totally agree about getting a shooter to put next to Iggy, Thad and Brand...I desperately wanted ES to beg, plead and/or perform any services needed on Paxson at the deadline to trade Miller (and his expiring contract to re-sign Gordon) for Hinrich...solid 3-point shooter...great defender (another of Miller's HUGE deficiencies that hasn't gotten much play here)...but it was not meant to be. To me, Curry is BY FAR the best shooter in this draft...he has (when he wasn't hurt) played UP to his competition in college...he has much better size than Lawson, Flynn or any of the other smurf-like PG's in this draft...we have a SG in Iggy who is an EXCELLENT passer - he can certaibly facilitate the offense, and will benefit GREATLY by the spacing that Curry will provide.

And while I like Speights, I don't see where he's going to get moster minutes once Brand gets back...I have no idea if he is going to become a solid two-way player or just a slightly bigger Charlie Villenueva...and if it costs us Speights to move up in the draft to get the perfect compliment to what we need (an elite shooter who can play PG well enough), I think you have to consider it.

I just wonder if ES has the sack to make that kind of move.

If we don't do that, sign Jack for the MLE...see if you can get Blake and an exemption in a S&T for Miller...do whatever you have to do so that Andre Miller (with full respect for what he has contributed to this team for 2 1/2 seasons) NEVER wears a Sixers uniform again.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 16:51

Brian, an option I put out on Danny!s site last year would fill the bill also but the other trade partner has since changed its roster drastically, so it doesn!t look feasable now. Marreese, straight up for Augustine.Augustine was the best pick and roll guy coming out last year and L.Brown seems to like Felton alot. But with Diaw and Diop there now, it probably doesn!t work now.

I was wondering about Charlotte, whether they'd pay to keep Felton this Summer. My conclusion was that LB probably wants both of them.

Would brown even be interested in speights - he's not exactly the type of big men brown likes - he's got offensive talent

I don't think a trade w/ LB is in the cards, whether he likes Speights or not.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 17:06

Somebody brought up Spieghts and #17 for that pick, I would not do that,but straight up it makes sense.Now, what is better; 1] Miller,Ellington and Spieghts or #2]Curry,Ellington and a m.l.e. big; that is basically the issue.

Have you looked at the mocks out there? Ellington at 17 is kind of an iffy projection right now

I'm not sure either is really question. Unless something drastic happens, and you were able to move up to get Curry, you'd probably be looking at something like:

PG: Curry, Lou, Ivey
SG: Iguodala, Curry, Lou, Ivey, Willie
SF: Thad, Iguodala
PF: Brand, Thad, Evans, Smith
C: Dalembert, Brand, Smith

That's 10 players and you still have pick #17, the MLE, the Bi-Annual exception and veteran minimum's left to fill out the roster.

Or you could have this (if you bring Miller back)..

PG: Miller, Lou, Ivey
SG: Iggy, Lou, Ivey, Green
SF: Thad, Iggy
PF: Brand, Speights, Thad, Smith, Evans
C: Sammy, Brand, Speights, Smith

11 guys under contract, plus pick #17, plus a very small portion of the MLE, the bi-annual and veteran minimum contracts to fill out the roster.

That's just the dif between trading up and re-signing Miller, which obviously aren't the only two options. I also think trading up is HIGHLY unlikely, for the record.

john reply to Brian on May 12 at 17:23

When's the last time the sixers traded up like that...i mean i know the carney thing was a trade - but meh - and jwasn't jason smith in a trade?

When's the last time the sixers traded up into the lottery and what's the history on 'trade ups' into the lottery being a guy coming off his rookie year who wasn't a lottery pick?

Heck - i think the last time the sixers 'bought in' to the second round was the korver/green year?

As far as I can remember, they traded down in the Van Horn deal, they traded down for Carney. The traded up (1 pick) to get Jason Smith.

that's just off the top of my head. I can't remember anyone trading up into the lottery. The Pacers moved from #11 to #5, basically, last season.

The Sonics traded into the #4 spot in the Ray Allen deal in 2007.

The Warriors got the #8 pick for Jason Richardson in 2007.

The Griz traded Battier for the #8 pick in 2006 (Rudy Gay).

The Mavs traded Antwan Jamison for the #6 pick and Jerry Stackhouse in 2004 (Devin Harris)

The Knicks traded the #7 pick, Marcus Camby and M. Jackson to the Nuggets for Antonio McDyess in 2002. The pick wound up being Nene.

In 2001, the Bulls traded away Brand for the #2 pick (Tyson Chandler) and the Hawks traded away pick #3 for Shareef Abdur Rahim (pick was Pau Gasol).

That's pretty much it since 2000.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 17:10

John, good question; Ajinca didn!t seem like a Brown pick either, I thought B.Lopez was a no brainer for them last year but they must feel Okafor can!t cover p.f.!s.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 17:25

Draft express has him late 20!s, I think he is definitely there, but I don!t know if I want him.Henderson [defense],T.Williams [defense,handle],T.Evans[upside] all, I believe go in front of him at the 2 guard.But the workouts will tell all.His defense and slow release have gotten better, so we will see.

deepsixersuede on May 12 at 17:46

Brian, what did N.Jersey do when E.S. was there; or did Thorn make those decisions.

Draft-wise? I can take a look, but there's no way to tell who was pulling the strings.

Real and Speightacular on May 12 at 19:12

My comments are being held for approval now???

Real and Speightacular reply to Real and Speightacular on May 12 at 19:13

oh wait, I'm going to assume it's cuz i had more than one link?

Yeah, sorry about that. The filter catches anything with multiple links.

Do you guys think that maybe a sign and trade, miller to maybe the knicks for the 9th pick. Knicks need a true/decent point, and we could end up getting Curry.

This starting lineup looks nasty:

PG: Curry
SG: Andre
SF: Thad
PF: Bramd
C: Dalembert

The only weakness I can see is Daly, at center, but Jason Smith will be back, and we got Speights in his sophomore season. As stated, Curry would be great with another guard with play making abilities, and I immediately think of Iggy. I can't think of a better fit for this team!

Just wishful thinking, or could this actually happen :)

I think D'Antoni would rather have Curry than Miller.

john reply to Brian on May 13 at 10:48

As I understand it free agency starts after the draft as well no?

you are correct, sir. can't sign and trade or any of that fun stuff until july 1st. also, teams don't have their cap space until then either.

Why aren't more people talking more about Mark Jackson as a potential coach? Bright guy, great professional temperament (from what we can see), and outstanding point guard during his playing days.

Many people are willing to go with a starting rookie point guard based on potential but don't consider seriously a rookie coach with great potential. I don't get it.

john reply to paul on May 13 at 13:34

You're comparing apples and oranges.

A point guard can't get NBA experience without being a rookie - and they don't 'want' to start a rookie point guard - they might not have a choice.

There are 30 NBA teams - all who have assistant coaches - if Mark Jackson REALLY wanted to be an NBA head coach - he'd pay his dues like everyone else - former Knicks however seem to think they are beyond such things (Ewing as well as Jackson)

If Jackson for some reason isn't willing to be an assistant he shouldn't get a head coaching job in my opinon - he hasn't earned squat...

If you're willing to hire mark jackson i guess you'd be willing to hire eric snow?

it's easy to have 20/20 hindsight and analyze with replays - that don't make you a good coach - let's see what you do with some training wheels as an assistant coach...if jacksons ego is too big that he doesn't think he should have to be an assistant, then he's a guy whose ego is too big to put the team before himself.

Real and Speightacular reply to john on May 13 at 13:41

Have to agree here. Mark Jackson doesn't impress me enough with his on-air, replay-assisted insight enough to hire him without a lick of experience. I doubt anyone could, for my money.

Let him pay his dues, learn the ropes, proove himself. We've long passed the days of the player-coach. Avery was the very last one (we'll see what happens with Lindsey Hunter).

Avery Johnson was an assistant for at least part of a season before taking over for Nelson wasn't he?

Real and Speightacular reply to john on May 13 at 13:53

Sorta. Officially he was a player on the DL or something like that. But the whole idea was that things would have to come crashing down for him to have to actually suit up in anything other than a 2-piece with tie.

I also count his time as the floor general with Popovich who also gave unusual amt of trust in Avery to run the plays.

And Avery Johnson won't let you forget how important he was to Pop's initial success in San Antonio

Real and Speightacular reply to john on May 13 at 14:10

Oh see now, that's just spiteful.

No it's not - it's one of the reasons I lost interest in Johnson as the head coach...on that 950 interview he tooted his own horn WAY too much - way back to the days in San Antonio - he didn't seem to admit he had any flaws - took credit for things he shouldn't be taking credit for - and said Lou Williams is an NBA starter.

Real and Speightacular reply to john on May 13 at 16:19

That's not so, John.

The only horn-tooting I heard was re Harris. I'm not going to NOT hire a guy with his track record for that alone. I'd have to hear more about why he feels so, perhaps I get feedback via Harris' agent, etc. There are vays of mekkink arguments validate. Don't sweat it. Fortunately for Avery, he has a lot more powerful cards to play than the I-helped-develop-Harris card.

I invite you for a second time to point to the point in the interview where he says, "Lou Williams is an NBA starter." That is one HELL of a paraphrase, dude. I believe you are at this point just making stuff up.

paul reply to john on May 13 at 13:51

"If you're willing to hire mark jackson i guess you'd be willing to hire eric snow?.....if jacksons ego is too big that he doesn't think he should have to be an assistant, then he's a guy whose ego is too big to put the team before himself."

Yes, I would, although I don't think Snow is as savy or verbally adept as Jackson. I think such things, including personality, are important for leadership positions.

And how do you know anything about Jackson's ego? Because he hasn't been an assistant coach, does that mean his ego won't allow it? Maybe he's not an assistant coach for the same reason Collins, Van Gundy, and Fratello are no longer in coaching. They have a good gig that is hard to walk away from.

As far as starting rookie point guards, well the Bulls didn't have to start Rose. Heinrich was a starter in the past (and a successful one). They chose to start Rose based on expectations of the potential that could be developed.

If we can elect rookie presidents, we can hire rookie coaches - particularly at the NBA level where almost all of these guys have been playing the game for a minimum of twelve years or more and there is a fair amount of personnel and resource support for the head coach.

Real and Speightacular reply to paul on May 13 at 13:55

Good argument, Paul. Still not buyin it in Jackson's case, but good argument.

john reply to paul on May 13 at 13:56

Ok - so now we're talking about 'rookie' presidents.

Well see the issue there is that there's a (stupid) constitutional amendment that prevents someone from being president more than twice - guys don't have a choice but to leave the job and thus you get 'rookie' presidents because there's no choice.

Do me a favor though - point to me the rookie point guard WHO HAS NEVER PLAYED BASKETBALL AT ANY LEVEL - who starts in the NBA

Mark Jackson has no coaching experience, he played in the NBA he went in to broadcasting, no college experience, no high school coaching, no nba coaching...if a guy wants to coach, he'll learn to coach.

Your arguments to me are untenable and incomparable because they aren't even close to being the same...you went from rookie point guards in the NBA (who have played basketball most of their lives) to rookie presidents - so your comparisons, i'm sorry, get more ludicrous.

If Mark Jackson wanted to be an NBA coach, he'd do what it takes to be an NBA, coach, if he's unwilling to be an NBA assistant and pay some dues - that's not the same as guys like collins and fratello etc...as THEY HAVE experience already.

Real and Speightacular reply to john on May 13 at 14:07

The analogy, and paul please correct me if I'm wrong, might be that being a successful point guard in the NBA might be like being a senator. It's not the same as being a Governor of a state with a full budget, etc (eg. being a long-serving point guard isn't the same as getting direct experience as a coach/asst coach at some level), but should count for something and then you can judge based on what you perceive as the person's "character," approach to solving problems, etc.

A lot of what coaches do overlap with point guard duties, esp motivating and calling the right plays. It's not a gigantic stretch. But on the other hand it's not an easy jump for all of them. It takes the right kind of persona and mind. Mark Jackson just doesn't strike me that way. Kevin Johnson might (old Suns guard), but not him. I have no "proof" to offer, just a hunch. Could be wrong. But with other proven guys out there with experience, why take the chance?

I'm sure in the history of the NBA there's been successful coaches who never had previous experience. Del Negro's managed to not screw things up too much in Chicago, for example. Happens. Just have to see what happens in the interview -- does he blow you away with his knowledge, planning, vision, temperament, etc. etc.

Del Negro worked as a radio commentator for the Phoenix Suns before being promoted to director of player personnel for the Suns in 2006.[2] In 2007, the Suns promoted him to the position of assistant general manager.[3]

See that front off experience?

Tony DiLeo - more qualified to be an NBA head coach than Mark Jackson in my opinion (even before he was made head coach after mo cheeks was fired)

Real and Speightacular reply to john on May 13 at 14:34

John, you're grasping here. Del Negro wasn't a coach which is what you were going on about here. GM experience by itself does not trump point guard experience.

Anyway, I think too often we confuse 'good for the job at hand' and 'most qualified for an interview'. They aren't always the same.

Also, TD has actually had some coaching experience. So. Goes to show.

I'm grasping?

You agree with a guy who compares and NBA rookie head coach with no experience to the president of the United States

You disagree to the 'death' with Brian on his point when he presents a mountain of evidence supporting his side and you have none.

I'm the one grasping?

Okely dokely

Real and Speightacular reply to john on May 13 at 15:53

If you and Brian suppose it's a good idea to keep on blatantly mischaracterizing people and positions, be my guest, it's a free country. Mebbe long term that's the best plan for sustained interaction, what do I know?

I agreed with the 'guy,' Paul, in the idea that having no prior coaching experience should not automatically disqualify someone from an interview. But for me, that applicant better have a bunch of other wowee traits to knock my socks off. However, for my tastes, Mark Jackson is not that guy. But whaddaIknow, I have no idea how he might actually perform when the grilling begins.

I hope the secret service doesn't arrest anyone for daring to make an analogy involving the prez.

"You disagree to the 'death' with Brian on his point when he presents a mountain of evidence supporting his side and you have none."

No, that's not grasping at allll. Noooooooo ;-)

S'funny when the egos get bent out of shape, the commentary takes the same form.

See now you're just rambling - when did i bring up the secret service, i didn't say it was an illegal comparison, i said it was ludicrous, down right asinine, analogy...

It's also funny when people don't have a leg to stand on factually so they start 'picking' at the person as opposed to their points.

Yes, you are correct. That was my message. He hasn't been a coach, but he has been a very successful player and he may have the personality skills to be a good leader of professional athletes.

But, I will keep in mind your opinion about Mark Jackson. Maybe I haven't seen enough of him, but, when I have, I have found him impressive.

First of all, if we're going to compare this to the presidential race, at least complete the picture.

You have two coaches to chose from, one has a ton of experience, the other really has none. The one with no experience says, "I'm going to bring John Wooden on board to be my lead assistant," the other says, "Isiah Thomas is my right hand man."

"You have two coaches to chose from, one has a ton of experience, the other really has none. The one with no experience says, "I'm going to bring John Wooden on board to be my lead assistant," the other says, "Isiah Thomas is my right hand man.""

Yes, that would seal the deal in favor of the less experienced one, much like it might of in the real life version of your analogy. Unlike Sara Palin, though, Isiah is not a relative unknown, and also unlike her, I don't think he would take the number 2 spot even if someone was crazy enough to offer it to him.

If Eddie Jordan can make it here, he can make it anywhere

"I think that's a good team, one that's ready to compete at a high level, ready to go deep in the playoffs," he said. "I think that's an exciting team. You know how they say if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere? To me, Philadelphia is the equivalent of a 'Sports Broadway'; if you can make it in sports in Philly, you can make it anywhere.

"To me, it's the truest, toughest sports town in America, and I'm 54 years old and it's time to test my mettle."

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