Almost immediately after the Chris Paul trade to the Clippers was finalized, people started pointing out that they're still coached by Vinny Del Negro whose hire with the LA still baffles me. Not long after that, Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News has already called for Del Negro's firing and the hiring of Jerry Sloan,
Give SI's Chris Ballard full credit for raising the idea that Del Negro ideally has figure out how to coach Griffin & Paul similarly to the way Sloan coached Karl Malone and John Stockton in Utah.
But wait: Sloan is available. He's said he could get back into coaching.
If the best way to coach the Clippers now is the way we know Sloan can, why not just hire Sloan?
Other than Phil Jackson (now wouldn't THAT be a gobsmacker, too? but no, I think Sloan would be a better fit with the Clips), Sloan would be the one guy who could singularly seize command of everything in Clipperland.
Introduce toughness to the Clipper franchise.
Instill a total sense of integrity, even to a team owned by Sterling.
While it would be better than seeing Sloan coach the Lakers, it's still LA and I don't see Sloan wanting to head there. Also, the position isn't open and I don't know if even Sterling would let go Del Negro if he knew Sloan wanted to be there.
However, if he wants to coach again, he has an ideal group of players. Along with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, he would have veteran point guard Chauncey Billups and Deandre Jordan. I mention players because the organization is terrible starting at the top. That's the biggest reason why Sloan would never coach the Clippers.
Two important highlights from Brian T. Smith's article on Alec Burks,
"I feel like I always could shoot," Burks said. "I just didn't shoot a lot because I get to the rim so much. I feel like it's just going to prove a lot of people wrong."
Bell said Burks' slashing ability is obvious. What could separate the rookie from the pack is an unselfish passing touch.
The Jazz haven't hired me as a lead scout just yet, but what I saw of his jump shot at the charity game at SLCC, he has a smooth stroke and shouldn't have a problem developing his outside shot. Trying to get your shot up in a real NBA game is a completely different thing, but the mechanics are there. I hope he doesn't stop trying to get to the rim though.
While I'm looking forward to all of the young players develop and play, Memo's return may be my most anticipated moment of the season. It doesn't sound like Al Jefferson is happy to be guarding him again. From Jody Genessy,
"Yesterday, he had me running off a double screen," Jefferson said. "I ain't never run off a double screen in my life."
That's a component that most teams don't have -- a center that can stretch the floor and provide spacing not only for guys like Jefferson and Paul Millsap to work, but opens up lanes for cutters and penetration. From all accounts, Memo is 100% and looks and is playing fantastic.
What's the reaction when Memo hits his first three? Even when he checks in? The roof on the ESA may *literally* get raised.
Last night was the last installment of KJZZ's Classic Jazz moment games. The best part about these replays has been the reminders of how things played out. For example, we all have the memory of Stockton getting the assist to Karl that broke the all-time record. That was last night's game.
What I forgot though is how Malone was almost left on the bench when it happened. Had Adam Keefe and Jamie Watson made a couple of shots, we would have had a different image in our minds. In fact, Sloan said he had to give in to the pressure and put Malone back in. That's what everyone wanted.
It's too bad that they're done. I really think there is a market for old Jazz games and not only the highlighted ones. I would much rather have the season, but perhaps these games could become a summer-time thing?