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Old 05-11-06, 01:31 AM
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Other teams coming after Spurs' staffers

Mike Monroe: Spurs staff members are hot commodities

Web Posted: 05/11/2006 12:00 AM CDT

San Antonio Express-News

Even as the Spurs face what has become a best-of-five Western Conference semifinal series with the Dallas Mavericks minus the home-court advantage, other teams are coveting members of their staff.

Denver owner Stan Kroenke held general manager Kiki Vandeweghe responsible for bringing Kenyon Martin's negativity to the Nuggets, so he ditched the man who turned one of the NBA's worst franchises into a division champion. The move made the Spurs' bright, young assistant GM, Sam Presti, a target for Kroenke's headhunter, along with Spurs director of pro player personnel Dell Demps.

Denver's interest in Presti and Demps is no mere rumor.

The Maloof family council met after the Sacramento Kings pressed the defending champions before falling in six tough games in the first round. It was decided that Rick Adelman had taken the Kings as far as he could push them, so the family dumped a man who won 395 games in eight seasons.

Spurs assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo was immediately included among the candidates to replace Adelman. Three other former NBA head coaches — Don Nelson, Terry Porter and Eric Musselman — also are on the informed list of candidates, along with John Whisenant, who coaches the WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs.

Truth be told, if Gregg Popovich decided that living within driving distance of Northern California wine country outweighed the stability he has in San Antonio and would make himself available to the Kings, the Maloofs might be willing to pay him more than the $10 million per season Phil Jackson commands from Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Of course, Popovich is under contract to the Spurs through the 2007-08 season. An honorable man, he won't renege on a deal, let alone leave Tim Duncan.

But such is the esteem the Maloofs hold for Popovich and his defensive-minded approach to the game, which should make Carlesimo's candidacy for Adelman's job grow serious sooner than later. He is, after all, Popovich's No. 1 assistant and the man who takes over when Popovich occasionally gets ejected.

There is no real urgency for the Kings to have their new coach in place weeks before the draft because GM Geoff Petrie and his vice president of basketball operations, Wayne Cooper, are more than capable of making draft decisions any coach would be happy about. Thus, a long playoff run by the Spurs wouldn't necessarily hurt Carlesimo's chances.

After the go-go years under Adelman, when 50-win seasons were expected and defense seemed to be a dirty word to the Kings, the Maloofs appear to have seen the defensive light. They pushed Petrie to trade Peja Stojakovic for Ron Artest. Joe Maloof told the Sacramento Bee the owners now understand there is no success in the playoffs without an emphasis on defense.

That's why it is impossible to buy into the presumption that Nelson is the Maloofs' leading candidate. Hasn't anyone paid attention to the Mavericks' status as a legitimate NBA title contender because Avery Johnson got them to buy into a Popovich-like grit at the defensive end after years of relative neglect under Nelson?

Nellie is an offensive innovator and the master of manipulating matchups, but when it comes to coaching defense, he is no Chuck Daly.

Besides, why would a 66-year-old with a beautiful retirement home on Maui give up the stress-free life for an NBA hot seat?

As for the others who have been mentioned, former Spurs guard Porter did not seem to have full support of the front office in a prior stint as a Kings assistant; Musselman is highly regarded as an assistant but might have been too intense when he was head coach of the Warriors; and Whisenant's candidacy likely was doomed by Michael Cooper, who failed as the only WNBA head coach to make the jump to head coaching in the NBA.

If the Maloofs are smart, they also will ask to interview another former Spurs guard, Mario Elie. He's an assistant in Golden State and has both a commanding presence and Popovich's approach to defense that the Maloofs seem to want.

Here's the morning line on the candidates for the Kings job: Carlesimo, 5-2; Nelson, 5-1; Musselman, 10-1; Porter, 12-1; Elie, 15-1; Whisenant, 20-1.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/s....1c861ed0.html
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Old 05-11-06, 05:46 AM
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wow, Musselman might have been too intense on the Warriors when he was coaching ?
He looks like a pansy, how could he be intense

Hire P.J. sitting alongside Pop all these years will definately get ya somewhere.
Look at Mike Brown, granted he's got Lebron James but he's taken Cavs to the 2nd round since 13 years ago.
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Old 05-11-06, 06:16 AM
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I actually think its Pop that's benefited more than PJ has from sitting together.
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Old 05-11-06, 08:43 AM
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So PJ goes to the Kings, who else thinks Pop would pick Adelman as his new top assistant. Could be a great fit.
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Old 05-11-06, 09:28 AM
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I think the chances the Kings hire PJ is slim

he isnt what their looking for. He really isnt a defensive guy. he helps mostly with the Spurs offense
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Old 05-11-06, 09:29 AM
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Presti better stay they can have rc but not him
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Old 05-11-06, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pessimist
I agree -- I still believe the choking incident scares away a lot of GMs -- and players.
Forgive and forget is not in alot of GM's vocabulary. I notice that players are forgiven, but it seems to me coaches are not.
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Hibbert, who worked out with Duncan in San Antonio during the lockout, said he has grown close to the perennial All-Star. On Friday, he texted Duncan and asked how he should guard him.

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Old 05-11-06, 04:35 PM
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SPURS need to keep Pesti at all costs. There are replacements for PJ although his leaving would be a big loss. Nevertheless, new AC bring new insights.
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Old 05-11-06, 04:47 PM
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I'm wondering why people aren't targeting Pistons staffs.
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Old 05-11-06, 04:49 PM
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Its obvious PJ's been blackballed in this league. His only hope of coaching again as the head guy, is in college. Its sucks because I think the dude deserves another shot at coaching, he's a great guy in my eyes.
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Old 05-11-06, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
I think the chances the Kings hire PJ is slim

he isnt what their looking for. He really isnt a defensive guy. he helps mostly with the Spurs offense
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Old 05-11-06, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason R
I actually think its Pop that's benefited more than PJ has from sitting together.
I agree! It seems like Pop relaxed when PJ came. Maybe it was coincidence but Pop has let loose of the reigns more and been more flexable with his offense and even defensive schemes.

I hope he doesn't leave, but I hope for him the best. Whatever that is!
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