A couple of reports from around the league toda indicate that the Sonics are pursuing both Marc Ivaroni and PJ Carlisimo as head coach while they have finally requested permission to speak with Sam Presti. Various media members flew out along with Lenny Wilkens and Rich Cho to attend a camp in Orlando Florida and from there you can expect the gossip to really heat up.
Presti is by all accounts their first choice and a real whiz kid. He is however only 29 years old. If he and Durant come on board it will be "The Savior" and "The Genius". Maybe PJ can be "The Grouch".
Seriously though I like PJ Carlisimo. I sat next to him at the first day of summer league in Salt Lake City last year and really enjoyed the company. PJ Was extremely impressed with Mo Sene's first game but then again, weren't we all. I was also a resident of Oakland California during his first year coaching the Warriors.
While Ivaroni is the really hot name I think that a basic question needs to be answered and I'll love to hear your thoughts. [b] Given the tentative situation of the franchise can the team affort do bring in a coach with no head coaching experience on the NBA level? [/b] If Presti winds up being the hire as GM can we afford the risk of having first year talent at both the GM, Head Coach, and #1 star on the roster? Sounds like a big risk to me.
While I love the potential for Phoenix style basketball my gut tells me the answer to that question is no and that Ivaroni should be ruled out. I'm not certain how firm my resolve is on that question but I'd like other opinions. Carlisimo on the other hand has a really impressive resume. If you assume that people grow and mature on the job you can look at his head coaching stints in Portland and Golden State as bumps in the road, overlooking his relatively unimpressive performance with the understanding that he has since moved on to become a top assistant for one of the leagues best teams. He's a candidate that was extremely successful on the college level, has several years experience as a head coach, and now several more learning the NBA trade with one of the leagues top franchises. Additionally he is a guy who has been through controversy and moved on.
Carlisimo is not a sexy name, nor likely a trendy hire but I think in a lot of ways he's a good fit. If you buy into the thought that we need experience the field gets trimmed a bit and you wind up with him and Paul Silas being the most likely candidates.
Either way we're likely to know a lot more one week from now than we do today. Keep the comments coming and stay tuned for more news.