Start the presses

Since I've now officially given up on the playoffs (at least for a minute), I've got more time to spend on the real drama: coaching courtship 2005!!! I can't believe how much ink is devoted to the Knicks' efforts to land a top-flight coach, since no one in their right mind would want to work for that franchise, be at the mercy of Isiah's whim, or get saddled with that miserable roster. As someone said on here a few weeks back, the Knicks bias is the most absurd in all of sports. The franchise has been mediocre at best for the last four years, with no end in sight. Thomas has tried to jumpstart things by making a series of increasing predictable splashes, but all that's done is muddle the line-up beyond comprehension. No one with any other options should want to go thereā€”it would be instant shame by association. The only person who makes sense there is Flip Saunders, since he excels at making teams overachieve, taking wretched personel and teaching them to be better than themselves. Plus it would offer Marbury his umpteen-thousandth chance for gravely visible redemption, like going back to New York was (twice), going to jail, etc. Here he gets to prove he's grown to his original basketball father figure. How perfect.

There's a rumor out there today that the Wolves might re-hire Saunders. I don't know who ends up with more egg on their face in that hypothetical case: Flip or the organization. Either way, it's probably the only thing less desirable than the Knicks job. If Minnesota can move Wally and make some use of whatever cap space that and Spree's departure open up, they might be able to make a relatively fresh start without calling in the detonators, meaning there's no need to clutching at the past.

Larry Brown is staying in Detroit. If they win it all this year, they're the Patriots of the NBA. If not, he's still too old to take on yet another reclamation project, and you have to think he'd like at least one more ring before he hangs it up.

McMillian to Cleveland sounds good. He's not appreciated in Seattle, Allen's probably going to bolt for a shot at a championship, and McMillian's the perfect mix of a player's coach and an authority figure.

That leave Phil Jackson. He's got to reunite with Kobe; it's just too perfect. He knows it, the media knows it, and the whole damn Association can feel it in their bones. What could be juicier than a rejuvanated Phil, a reformed Kobe, and a retooled Lakers on a collision course with Shaq for the 2006 Finals? Say what you will about Jackson, but you know he's got as much of a sense of high drama as anyone in the pros.

Jent should keep the Magic job. The problem there is Weisbrod's jack-assery, which is dragging the whole franchise down. They've got a solid core and, if they can convince Francis they're on his side, a star capable of igniting a playoff run. Jent seems like his heart is in the right place and really, who else is going to want to take over what's looking more and more like a sour organization (especially as T-Mac makes it clear they should have done everything and anything to protect him and keep him in town).

Then there's Mo Cheeks. He could work in Orlando, and has a good chance of getting to Francis. But the low morale there smacks of the last days of Cheeks's Trailblazers, which he obviously couldn't do a thing about. Why throw a ton of money at him for a job he might not be able to do? At least Jent will come cheap and can be looked at as continuing a work-in-progress; Cheeks is expected to step in and completely reform an unpleasant situation.

In other coaching news, I agree with everyone: Eddie Jordan is overrated. Maybe he's a useful technician to have on the bench, but he doesn't seem to be able to convert his "offensive genius" to an actual game plan. Everyone said he was the brains behind Byron Scott in New Jersey; I'd like to suggest that Kidd might have actually been the brains behind him.


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