(Ed. note: Excellent work, I found myself nodding in agreement through most of the points. Welcome back to DBB! -- MW)
Hello DBB! This isn't my first time posting, but it's been a while. I did some a few years back, the highlight being the high brow thread - proud to have been a part of it! Then I graduated college and spent about a year in Australia. As a result, I missed all of the 09-10 season (I know Laughton manages some but I rarely had solid internet). I credit and thank DBB for keeping me in the loop for that time. Admittedly, coming home to this disaster of the season has made paying close attention a challenge. I've still gone to a number of games and have had them on TV, just not always looking.
Anyways, this thread was obviously inspired by the golden MFMP post. I posted it to my infant blog and thought I'd post here too. I won't pretend it's anywhere near as thoughtful or original as his, but that would be hard to do. Now that I've finally logged in (never did since the SBN change) maybe I'll come out of lurking more often.
Your prayers have been answered. KD has handed off the keys to a guy who, at first glance, has the motivation and the means to do what's best for this organization. He also seems interested in learning how to do it without taking the decision-making burden upon himself just yet. If not for that, one could easily make a case for you losing your job before you get to redeem yourself. I, however, want to see you succeed. You know this culture (or once did) and your past successes are obvious. I don't want to see the last 3 seasons stain your legacy. So consider this list. Maybe don't make a plaque of it like Tom should the Mike Payne Manifesto, but give it some thought.
1.) Let Kuester go (or you're fired), and if your new hire is universally disdained by the end of the season, you're fired.
Firing Saunders, hiring MCIAFI, and hiring Q each made at least a little sense at their respective times. This is the first time in your tenure that you'll be signing a new coach without also having to pay the one you fired. Time to pay the premium for an experienced coach that can bring our coaching back to where it needs to be. Or hire Bill Laimbeer. At the very least, he will bring our culture back to where it needs to be, and maybe both. I kind of prefer that route. And if Ben Wallace retires, do all you can to make him an assistant.
2.) If you don't get rid of either Rip or Gordon, you're fired.
You put yourself in this position. There's not a person out there who can explain the logic behind sinking that much money into SG. I don't care which goes, but at least one has to. Preferably Rip. If our new coach puts Gordon in a position to succeed and he actually does it, he can stay. Otherwise, he should go too, but you aren't required to find a deal for both this season to keep your job.
4.) If you draft another ‘project' or ‘upside' player in the 2nd round when there is a clear ‘best talent available,' you're fired.
Those players are not intended for project teams, but rather established ones with coaches that can develop young talent. You created a project team and you don't yet have a coach, so you lost that privilege. Stop it. If you can get a guy that averaged 15/12 in college, I don't care if his knees are made of wood and he has a limited supply of flubber. We need known contributors now, not maybes next year.
3.) If you draft another SG or SF, you're fired.
No explanation necessary. Stop it.
4.) If you sign Prince to anything near what you signed Rip to, you're fired.
This one's a little tricky. I think if Rip goes and we have a suitable coach, Tay could be a decent piece going forward and into his declining years. Part of me still wants him to retire here. But he should not play starter minutes and this isolayshaun crap needs to stop. I don't mind at all if he goes though. If he wants remain a core piece and demands the money accordingly, let him go. I only want him around if he actually has a desire to help the team grow and is willing to take less money than his numbers would suggest he's worth, but really isn't.
5.) If you keep pretending Stuckey is our PG, you're fired.
This means drafting a real one if you can, or making it known that MFWB should be starting. This also means you do not pay Stuckey as if he is our starting PG. I actually don't mind keeping him at a fair price. I think he could definitely be effective as a rotation guard, so long as he's utilized as the combo guard he is and not your fairytale PG. You were wrong about that. Moving on doesn't necessarily mean getting rid of him, but you need to move on.
6.) If you don't at least try to get rid of CV, you're fired.
I'll have no way of knowing if you actually put forth a concerted effort to get rid of him, but Tom will. He's a smart guy too. He knows how useless CV is, and that little escapade to close the season at home didn't look great.
7.) If you whore out our culture to try transforming a known cancer into something useful, you're fired.
AI and TMac were failed experiments. I'm of the opinion that people don't change like that, especially athletes that get their asses kissed and are paid handsomely regardless of attitude. Some may argue Sheed was an exception, but I disagree. AI and TMac were praised for what they did on the court in spite of their attitudes. Sheed was criticized for what he didn't do because of it. He was still a bit of a head case, but he had a chip on his shoulder and a clear role coming in. Stop trying to repeat it.
8.) If you don't shake something else up, you're fired.
I want to see some creativity again. I don't know what to do about every player on the roster, and I'm on the fence on some. But I'm part of the crowd that doesn't mind anyone being ditched not named Greg Monroe. You have no excuses anymore. The spotlight this season will be squarely on you, and rightfully so.
Let me be clear, these requests are at least a little bit flexible. I understand that you likely cannot do everything here in one season. But everything on this list except for #2 is 100% within reach. #8 is the only other one dependent on other teams, but to say you can't do anything is obvious buffoonery. Let me be clear though - #2 is not negotiable. Even if you do everything else, that just means you're not AFI, and that isn't enough. It's tough, but you did this to yourself. If you can't do it, then you clearly have no more tricks up your sleeve, no more craftiness, and you're simply not the right guy to move us forward.
I really hope you can pull this off and prove us all wrong. I say all, because even your supporters have lost some faith. Those who haven't are awarding you blind or bandwagon faith that isn't worth much anyway. You are fortunate to be in this position with Tom and it's your chance to redeem yourself. Make us proud. Show us what you can do.
Or just resign and save yourself the trouble.