Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mr. Blazers?

Sure as hell isn't Mr. Sonic anymore. *Sigh*

I am sure that I will write a glowing remembrance of McMillan at some point for all he did in a Sonic uniform. If you want to read something like that, go here, here, or here.

I guess that I am not a fan of anyone in this scenario. Schultz and Wally (screw 'em) Walker allowed him to be a dead coach walking going into last season. They didn't give him any help, and expected him to fail so they could fire him. McMillan was angry at their treatment, feeling that he was completely left out to dry. And he would be correct.

However, McMillan's revenge was to go 52-30, destroy the expectations for this team, and help give us the most exciting season of Sonics basketball in years. McMillan's revenge was to watch as everyone stepped up their game and played as a team under his slightly changed philosophy, one that involved more running and gunning and less concern with a semi-Detroit Pistons style of basketball.

That is where McMillan's revenge should have ended. To me, anything more is petty. He had already shown up Sonics management to the fans, the community, and the rest of the NBA world. He had gotten them to offer him 18 mill over 4 years, vaulting him into a top-4 paid coach. But that was not enough for him. It had to end with him leaving, and going to the Sonics biggest rival, Portland.

I simply can not believe that this was a move based on going to a "better" situation. The Blazers do have Sebastian Telfair, who has shown flashes of brilliance, and they did just draft Martell Webster and Jarret Jack. One just can not expect a high schooler to be ready to contribute next season, however. Who else? Zach Randolph, the troubled and talented low-post player who is a complete head-case. Not to be outdone, there is Ruben Patterson, Damon Stoudamire, and Darius Miles, who basically ran a great head coach in Maurice Cheeks out of town. This is a rebuilding team who is at least a year or two away from being competitive in a league where patience runs thin very, very soon.

Previous success can buy you a cup of coffee as an NBA head coach. Flip Saunders was canned during his first underperforming season. Byron Scott was fired after taking the Nets to 2 NBA Finals. Jim O'Brien was let go after leading the 76ers to the playoffs. Eric Musselman was fired after changing the Warriors into a respectable ballclub, which Mike Montgomery is currently building upon.

McMillan wanted to stick it to Wally Walker. Plain and simple. Sure, the money plays into it. The Blazers overpayed for him, causing the NBA coaching community to jump up and down with joy as Allen, once again, breaks the curve. It allowed McMillan to profess a final ill, that the Sonics low-balled him, when in fact the Sonics were going to give him a huge pay-raise.

I blame everyone. I blame Walker for the way he treated McMillan before last season. I blame McMillan for letting his anger and need for revenge trump the loyalty he had previously held to the Sonics and the fan base.

Yes. I feel betrayed. By everyone. I am not yet sure whether I will cheer or boo McMillan. I am grateful for everything he did as a Sonic, always giving his all whether as a player or as a coach. However, this move was a slap in the face.

Walker, go get either Flip Saunders or Marc Iavaroni. Sonics, beat the Blazers. Good luck, McMillan. You'll need it.

posted by colin_hesse @ 10:31 AM  0 comments

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