Terry Porter marched out of the US Airways Center well before any other NBA luminaries, and looking grim – even for him. The reason became apparent within the hour. The Suns had fired him as Head Coach.
GM Steve Kerr covered his mistake by making the move with a few days still left on the trade deadline, and timing it so it had no chance of leading Sportscenter. (A-Rod unwittingly helped this considerably).
We hope that Kerr finally grasps that you adapt the system to the players – not the other way around, particularly at the NBA level, where they are (theoretically) no longer learning how to play.
I suspect this culminated a player-organized coup.
The deal – and this is purely my speculation would be this:
“Look, Steve, (many of the Suns have played with or against Steve Kerr. He is hardly a wizened wizard.) this guy is killing us. We’re never going to be the Pistons. We gotta play the way we play, but every time we try, he puts on the brakes. So you got three choices: Either we keep losing, in which case [Suns owner] Sarver’s going to fire all of us, We openly defy him on court, which we [Hill, Nash and probably O’Neal] can’t bring ourselves to do, Or you fire the guy.
“But, if you get a guy on the bench who will let us run, we guarantee we’ll get far enough into the playoffs to save your job…”
The Alvin Gentry era Suns beat the LA Clippers by 40 points. Now, the Clippers contributed a lot, since the only defense they mounted was Zack Randolph’s punching a player, but it still seemed like better days had returned. The Suns were smiling.
They have always been at their most dangerous when they’re smiling.
Other things I learned at the NBA All-Star Game:
Construction tradesmen and stagehands use different logic about how heavy things should go up and down, and these differences are not always reconcilable.
Do not mention that a followspot “flickers” over a headset during a camera rehearsal. This will panic and then stampede the vidiots. Make them notice it.
The catwalks at USAC are held up by the same all-thread and magical thinking that holds up much of the structures above our heads. However, due to turnover in engineering firms and rennovations, no one could give a real number to how much weight they would hold. That’s a problem since the NBA planned to put transformers up there. We spent much of the pre-rig re-enforcing the catwalks.
Even spaced out over 10 days 112 hours is a lot of time served. Last night I dreamt about sleeping.
Over the weekend, satellites collided in space, adding 600 pieces to the 18,000 that they track in orbit. But I don’t worry about that any more than I worry about the USAC catwalks – even when the shake beneath my feet.
I just smile.
Now you know.