As expected most of the stories this morning are about the team picking up Bob Hill's option for next year. Percy Allen gives us Part 3 of a five part magnum opus dissecting this year's Sonic season.
He had it. That unmistakable quality they could put on a billboard or on the cover of a magazine. He had that rare ability to hobnob with deep-pocket sponsors one minute and mingle with coupon-cutting season-ticket holders the next.
He had presence.
"He looks like the guy," the front-office exec said. "We didn't have that before, but now you look on our sideline and there's no question who's in charge."
â€œI feel like everything we went through has paid off,â€ Hill said. â€œWe persevered, and it lets us know that we are taking the ship in the right direction.â€
Though nothing firm has been decided, it is likely assistants Jack Sikma, Ralph Lewis and Walt Rock will return. Detlef Schrempf will make a decision on his future in the next week
Also, Hill has said he would like to add another assistant as a development coach, somebody who can work with players during the summer and monitor their offseason workout programs. Hill said he and Sund will meet in the next week to make that decision.
Excellent idea for a team this young. But then ...
Though the move was expected to come at the end of the season, Sonics general manager Rick Sund said he and CEO Wally Walker made the decision a few days early to remove doubt as players and coaches start the process of exit interviews and head off for their summer vacations.
Hill has one year remaining on the contract, though his salary has not been disclosed. It is thought to be around $2 million.
Sund said the decision had nothing to do with the fact the Sonics also are going to pay Bob Weiss $2 million next season, or that it gives the team flexibility with Hill or a prospective new coach if things donâ€™t go well next season.
That doesn't sound like the team intends to give Hill an extension past next year, does it?
This article is a couple days old but John McGrath takes some well-deserved shots at David Stern.
Now for some solutions. The NBA commissioner can issue all the hot-air threats he wants, but itâ€™s the fans who control the Sonicsâ€™ destiny in Seattle. If Iâ€™m Schultz, Iâ€™m beginning a five-step campaign to change the publicâ€™s perception of KeyArena.
â€¢ Hire an electrician to dim a few bulbs so the â€œKeyArenaâ€ marquee appears as â€œK yAre a.â€ Nothing on the entertainment circuit shouts â€œlost causeâ€ as much as two or three letters missing from a neon marquee.
â€¢ Circulate a rumor about how a thumb was found in a concession-stand hot dog.
â€¢ Speaking of urban myths, go for rats. Long lines and steep prices are stereotypical complaints, but rats are special. They resonate.
â€¢ Employ ushers who arenâ€™t so vigilant. A KeyArena usher admonished me last season for chewing on a cigar in the upstairs press box, even though the last person known to actually light a cigar in an NBA arena was Red Auerbach, when he was coaching the mid-1960s Boston Celtics.
â€¢ Stop cleaning those restrooms!