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

The Nate McMillan Rant

Alright, everything I'm reading is far too nice, so it's time for someone to go off. That someone... is me.

First off, Steve Kelley is yet again a moron. Nate McMillan was "lowballed"? What? You honestly think he's worth 6 (looking now like 7) million a year? He's as good as Rick Carlisle or Larry Brown? That's a ridiculous argument. The Sonics wouldn't negotiate a contract extension during the year? Also stupid. The Sonics offered plenty of times to start up negotiations again and Nate turned them down. Basically, this article is garbage. Don't read it.

Let's start with this... Nate McMillan is a good coach. He was an integral part of the success of this past season. In that, he was more than worth the 4.5 million dollar annual salary that the Sonics offered him. However, let's remember some important facts.

1. Nate never had a winning season prior to this year
Some have said that this isn't Nate's fault and he shouldn't be held responsible for it. I guess my question is pretty simple then. If Nate isn't responsible for a team sucking, why is he responsible for them rocking?

2. Nate consistently had problems with rotations prior to this year
He had this issue with trying to change the personality of the Sonics every other week when he wasn't satisfied. He was a square peg in a round hole coach far too often.

3. Nate has not been able to deal with malcontents
Hello? Jerome James? Name one player that Nate got to shut up and play. Danny Fortson is nothing comparatively to what he will have in Zach Randolph and Darius Miles. Those players ran a better coach in Maurice Cheeks out of town. How's Nate going to react the first blowup they have?

4. How much of Nate's success was Dwayne Casey?
Nate is going to enter this year with enough question marks already, but if he had stayed there were a few... could the Sonics repeat the success? What involvement did the assistant head coach have? I think Casey was a tremendous loss even before Nate.

Nate McMillan should not have accepted this position, although I can't blame him for taking an insane Paul Allen contract. Portland is years away from being competitive. His highest paid players aren't worth near the kind of salary. His most exciting players are years away from being worth anything (point guards take years to develop). He doesn't have players interested in defensive intensity (Nate McMillan staple). He is guaranteeing himself becoming a "flavor of the month" coach. Byron Scott was fired two years after back-to-back Finals appearances. Doc Rivers was fired two years after blowing everyone away with Orlando. Do you think that Portland is going to be patient for three/four/five years with Nate? You think he didn't like our front office? What about the one who keeps on signing idiots, and the one who doesn't back their coach when players shout insults and threaten them (like what happen with Darius Miles last year)?

For crying out loud, there was a reason we didn't offer Nate an extension last summer. It was for the reasons listed above. He was not a great coach. We could do better. When we jumped out to the huge start, why should we have a kneejerk reaction and sign everyone to huge contracts? Many an idiot front office manager regrets those decision based on two weeks of production (like us with Jerome James).

The Sonics offered Nate a good deal. They didn't look elsewhere. Now they have the chance to pick up Mark Iavaroni, a man who potentially fits our style of play even better than Nate. Mr. Sonic was an above average coach. He was not a 7 million a year coach. Our money can be better spent elsewhere.

Nate, we will miss you, but you will miss us more. You will miss us when you lose yet another boring game that your team gives up on in the fourth quarter. You will miss us when you lose control of the locker room. You will miss us when Abdur-Rahim signs elsewhere.

Thank you for the memories. Thank you for an amazing last run. But don't think that I will miss you next year. Don't think that at all.

posted by Gavin @ 1:06 PM  0 comments

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