I can't believe I have to work today ... but plan to make up for it by not working very hard. Who's with me?
Although Hornets owner George Shinn and NBA commissioner David Stern have both vowed to return the Hornets to New Orleans following the 2006-07 season, the Seattle Sonics have widely been assumed to relocate here in the event that the franchise's new Oklahoma-based ownership group is not successful in acquiring a new arena.
Litvin, however, said that won't be the case.
"It will be without a team after this season,â€ Litvin said of Oklahoma City. "But it's got to be a natural next spot in the event of expansion or relocation. We're not currently planning to expand further, and we hope not to have teams relocating, so we can't offer any promises.
"You're not talking about teams moving, you're talking about teams talking about moving,â€ said Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith, whose franchise also was on the brink of relocation before city officials agreed to build a new arena in downtown Orlando.
"We're doing that to get a reaction. Most of those teams stay where they are. They don't move. NBA teams have generally been in the market that they've been in for years. For the most part we don't have teams bouncing around from place to place.â€
"I love it when Danny's here," guard Ray Allen said. "He sends a message. Guys, they almost try to tippy-toe around him and jump for the rebound and he clears them all out. His presence is that of intimidation. Just to know that he's there, I appreciate his presence. That's why people love him."
I was thinking of the irony of the casual Seattle fan who bemoans thug play in the NBA but somehow Danny Fortson is a crowd favorite. Must be the pigtails or something.
Some might think a similar move would be prudent now. One local columnist who endorsed the hiring of Bob Weiss, who barely made it into the â€™06 portion of the 2005-06 season, already has written less than a year later that Hill should be fired and replaced by Wilkens.
Wilkens is affable and forthcoming on most topics, but when this subject is broached he virtually bristles at the suggestion.
â€œI have no comment,â€ he said. â€œI donâ€™t want to talk about any of that stuff.â€
As for Hill, Wilkens says he is not looking over his shoulder even while on the road with the team, attending practices, ostensibly reporting back to Bennett.
â€œIâ€™m not just saying this, I donâ€™t worry about that,â€ Hill said. â€œI actually think it was a smart move on Clayâ€™s part. This is just my opinion, but Clay is going around doing things the way they should be done. If Lenny can help that, why not hire him?â€
Hill said he and Wilkens occasionally talk basketball philosophy.
â€œHe understands trying to get this team to play defense when it is not really built to play defense,â€ Hill said. â€œHe is a good guy. At the end of the day, if they want to fire me and make him the coach, they can. I donâ€™t know what you want me to say. Probably, I canâ€™t imagine he would be too anxious to coach this team right now. I mean I canâ€™t imagine that he would be.â€