UPDATE From the Wilcox Press Conference, 3:36pm
The Chris Wilcox press conference did not turn up many suprises. In attendence were all the regular fixtures and the mood was light. While I have no audio of the event there were a few tidbits worth mentioning.
Bob Hill shot down criticisms of Wilcox' work ethic problems in a conversation after the main interviews, saying that he had no problems with Chris' work while in Seattle. He denied reports of a poor work ethic prior to Wilcox' arrival in Seattle but hedged that comment by stating that players often have difficulty working hard day in and day out when they have no set role on a team. He specified that this did not apply directly to Chris but to NBA players in general. Of Wilcox he said, "He practices hard, plays hard in games. What more do you want?"
Hill also burst out in a grin when Wilcox was asked which skills he had to improve and the first word out of Wilcox' mouth was "Defense. Wilcox advises that he feels he needs to work on all aspects of his defensive game, specifically shotblocking to be a better player. This summer he advises that he has been working out in Houston with former NBA coach and player John Lucas and that he will return to Seattle to work with the coaches sometime soon. He has a set list of skills and drills to work on assigned by Coach Hill who advised that "The first three things on everybody's list were all the same and they were all defense." Hill believes that Wilcox will benefit greatly with a full training camp in which he has a set role and goals on the floor.
Defense was a common theme for the conversation and which, as a result often turned to Mo Sene who is clearly in good favor with the organization. Coach Hill described how Sene seemed pretty good in all his drills, but then turned things up a notch in his first practice, and yet again in his first game. It is clear that this competativeness makes people pretty happy with the #10 overall pick and they seem to think he will have an impact this season. Sene departed the area after summer league, returning to Senegal to rest and make arrangements. Apperently traveling to 24 different pre-draft workouts, a brief training camp, and summer league exhausted the 20 year old. He is due back Sept. 1 to begin working out with the team.
Today Chris Wilcox and the Seattle Sonics agreed to terms on a 3 year $24 million contract. It is a win/win for both sides as has been discussed on the blog here, primarily by Brian Robinson who has been saying all along this is what the deal would be. Wilcox wins in that he gets a higher yearly salary than he might otherwise by taking a shorter number of years. Wilcox also wins because IF he performs, he could potentially get a larger, even possibly a MAX contract following this current 3 year deal. Wilcox will be only 26 when this contract expires, hypothetically entering into his prime playing years. The Sonics win in that the shorter deal means less risk for them IF he doesn't perform. The Sonics also win in the court of public appeal. This is great for their PR, and should calm many concerned fans about the direction of the team with new ownership. There is a news conference scheduled for this afternoon, and more details will most certainly become available then.
Vlade Radwho? :-)