On my way to the gym this morning the main topic of conversation on the radio was why Steve Kerr had not had his contract taken care of. While I was putting up wall racks in my garage later in the morning, I learned why, as I got the tweet informing me that Kerr was out as general manager.
Later came a reason why: owner Robert Sarver had wanted Kerr to take a pay cut.
I was furious.
I have been easy on the man known by many fans as “The Banker”. I have not been thrilled about many of the moves he made to save money, selling off draft picks and dumping contracts. The worst for me was trading away Kurt Thomas and giving away two first round picks to go with him.
I thought this was classic Sarver. He let Bryan Colangelo go because he didn’t want to pay him more and now that Kerr’s contract was up, he wanted to save a few bucks.
At that point, I was done. I was jumping on the “Fire Sarver” bandwagon (yes, I know it’s basically impossible to fire the owner). I wanted to start Twitter chants of “Sarver sucks!” and write scathing comments, emails, and articles about him.
Turns out that the pay cut was not true (cursed bad sources/reporting). Kerr wanted to work in TV again. My rage turned to him.
I get that he should do what is best for his family. I understand that, as I have a family of my own. But my concern is for the team I love and worry about and want to believe in. One thing that is essential is organizational continuity. Good, successful teams need stable situations in coaching and in the front office.
To be clear, I was not a Kerr fan. He had a few strikes against him. He went to the university located in a state near Mexico (it hurts to even mention it). He played on the Bulls and the Spurs in his playing career (hatred for both teams boil within me). He made the Shaq trade. He hired Terry Porter. He drafted Robin Lopez, who I believed would be a HUGE bust.
But there are times when you have to say you are wrong. I was wrong about Kerr. He did have a couple of mistakes. Remember Colangelo, the guy we all adored? He signed Penny Hardaway and Stephon Marbury to horrible deals. He got lucky that Isaiah Thomas was a horrible GM and put together the Nash-lead Suns that were so successful.
Kerr made mistakes, but then put together a team that was his. He signed Lou Amundson when no one else did. He signed Channing Frye, believing his shooting ability was a good match for the team (smart move). He stuck by his picking Lopez and Goran Dragic. He drafted Earl Clark, who, in my opinion, has the talent to be a star. He brought Jared Dudley over in the trade with Jason Richardson and spoke highly of him before any of us had seen him play.
He also admitted his mistakes. He fired Porter and tried again. He got rid of Shaq. He handed the reins over to Alvin Gentry (very smart move).
Even still, I am ready to light myself on fire as a fan (I bet you thought I forgot about the rage part). If Kerr had any idea he was going to be going back to TV, he should have let that be known a long time ago, BEFORE the eve of the draft and free agency. Now the team appears to be a train wreck.
For crying out loud, as of last week he was eating lunch with Amare’s agent to discuss a contract extension. If he had an idea he was leaving, it should have been the new GM having lunch.
The latest news is that Amare is not happy that Kerr is out. So let me get this straight. We have no GM, no first-round draft pick, and now Stoudemire is unhappy. You might as well punch me in the gut, stomp on my foot, kick me in the crotch, and pee in my drink.
I am not typically one to go crazy when things go awry for my teams. I like to keep an even keel and look at the bright side. I don’t see anything positive right now. I now foresee Amare, Frye, and Amundson all leaving, no draft pick in the first round, and a date with the 2011 draft lottery.
I don’t like to hit the panic button, but I am now. I could call today a rollercoaster, only that there was no up part. It was all down. Maybe I am overreacting. Please let me know if I am and if there is something positive that will come out of this, because I’m looking for something to hold on to. I need some good news.
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