What is Rick Sund up to, I wonder?
Is there really a chance that Avery Johnson becomes the next head coach of the Atlanta Hawks?
Why does this not make me feel better?
It seemed early on that the announcing of Avery Johnson’s interview for the job with the Hawks was little more than “due dilligence” on the part of the Hawks front office. Some have even suggested that it was less than that, more likely a ploy to appease us fans. I can see doing that with a player, somebody that we fans actually pay to go see. But doing that with a coach? Do we really care that much about the coach?
As it is, one of the bigger and busier brand names comes up in conversation again, and now we have to wonder just how real the possibility is. But maybe that’s not the more important question. Perhaps what we need to be asking is do we as fans really want him here? In the beginning, I thought he could be a good, solid choice. Now I’m not so sure. Reportedly, the New Orleans Hornets have turned away from him. Is it because he wanted to be both coach and have a controlling front office position? How in the world do you show up to a job interview, asking for a pay raise and a promotion? Maybe Johnson simply saw an opportunity in New Orleans, and he has a totally different outlook as far as working for the Hawks is concerned. Maybe not. Would Avery initially or eventually get himself involved in a power struggle here? Maybe, just maybe that is what really happened in Dallas. Losing in the NBA Finals isn’t exactly a sin (unless you totally give it away), and it’s more than many other NBA coaches will ever even hope to accomplish. Perhaps the reason Avery had to move on is the same reason his predecessor had to move on: a power struggle. A fundamental difference of opinion. Was it really about success and failure on the basketball court?
If controversy and control is what Johnson is about, and this is what he brings with him, then perhaps the Hawks would be wise to look the other way, as the New Orleans Hornets seem to be doing. A power struggle is what ultimately weakened the organization when the Atlanta Spirit Group took ownership of the franchise in the first place. Another one, even on a lower level, could do a lot to set the team further back. Even worse, it could do more to further alienate a fan base that is not quite 100% behind the team.
In Other News…
Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach Dwayne Casey has yet to receive his interview for the job, but he is reportedly going to get that this weekend. Maybe it’s happening even as we speak. For those who wanted Tom Thibodeau or Monty Williams, you’re going to probably have to wait and see what New Orleans does. Both guys reportedly have second interviews with the Hornets, and the loser may end up in New Jersey.
Meanwhile, Sund seems to be going at his usual pace. Is he leaning towards anybody in particular? We’ll probably never know, the man is a better poker player than we are used to seeing around these parts.
Oh, and if you wanted to see a “Josh for Bosh” or “Bosh if JJ leaves” scenario unfold, word on the street is you can forget it. While the possibility of such an acquisition may have proven to be interesting at least from a speculative standpoint, it would not have been without it’s drawbacks, as many of you have pointed out. So what other possibilities abound, or do the Hawks need to just proceed with the frontcourt duo of Al Horford and Josh Smith, only stopping to fill in better behind them, rather than shaking up the so-called nucleus? The name Al Jefferson keeps coming up here and there, but would that be in place of Smith or Horford? Personally, I can’t see trading Horford for Jefferson (though the T-Wolves may thank us in the end) and I don’t know that Jefferson fits well alongside Horford if Smith were moved. Nor can I see the T-Wolves with a frontcourt of Kevin Love and Josh Smith. But what do I know?