Tough to do in this dead period before camp, but when we get in excess of 150 posts on the last thread I feel negligent if I don't throw something up.
The SuperSonics BIGGEST news of the moment is Doug Christie having a workout scheduled with the team. Doug is one of the few NBA players I can claim the privelege of having shared the court with while we were both going to school in the Seattle area. At the time I thought he was a prick with a huge ego. Now I look back and realize we were 18 years old. Thus we were both pricks with huge egos and he should be excused.
That doesn't mean Doug can still play. Last year I was encouraged by reports that he looked really good in camp. Those reports were contradicted by a senior member of management who is no longer with the team. Whe I asked whether Christies hometown ties, defense, and veteran leadership could be valuable to the young team he provided this deep and profound insight: "The guy is no good. He can't play anymore, there is nothing left."
If Christie gets an invite it will simply be more stocking of the veteran, quasi-coaching role they figure for Kurt Thomas and that won't be a bad thing. In fact I think that the organization continues to astound me with their willingness to bring in talent in areas that I think are money well spent. Last week they brought in Paul Rivers from Detroit to run film sessions. Who is Paul Rivers? I certainly can't say that I know much about him personally but the guy spent two years with the Pistons after coming from the Spurs. Following that move they appear to be on the verge of adding Paul Westhead to the coaching staff. We continue to see a solid investment into the braintrust of this franchise combined with the ability to sell our situation to guys from elite franchises. That is good, good news.
It is oddly contradictory that ownership continues to spend money in this way and I think they do deserve a lot of credit. Whether they're trying to build a foundation for their move to Oklahoma City or just running things professionally we can't accuse them of much skimping too much when it comes to basketball operations. This summer an unreported decision was made to invest $1 million in refurbishments to the Furtado Center. Nobody I know of can figure out why they made this commitment to a building that is going to be torn down whether they stay or not, but the investment was needed. Furtado is a dump that does not reflect a first class environment. Getting it cleaned up should make a statement to players, coaches, and front office execs who work there.
I wish I could be as positive regarding the arena. I have talked to just about everybody involved in the Muckleshoot deal and I am not getting the sense that there is any real interaction between the tribe and ownership. The tribe is going great guns to initiate this but I think they are likely holding things very close to the vest because they are not certain that there will be legitimate negotiations. It will be very interesting to see how their overtures are reacted to.
In a nutshell Clay finally took a look at the property and they formally sent him the report. There has been no substantial back door negotiations, overtures, or progress made.
Lastly we can talk about the Kirilenko deal. Is there any chance that between him and Jermaine O'Neil there are a couple of deals left to happen this summer? It would be exciting. Kirilenkos salary, combined with last years stats push his value down really, really low and I don't see him having a role on our team. However I would love to see us get in the mix for a three way, perhaps sending Chris Wilcox and Earl Watson in some type of package. The amazing thing is that I think Jerry Sloan would find a way to make really, really good use of Wally Z and his salary slot. Kirilenko had virtually no role on the Jazz last season. They should just dump him if they can.
Just a few weeks until hoops season. CANNOT WAIT