12.11.2008

Hire Jerry Sichting


He was a fiery combo-guard off the bench who played pesky defense and once shot an astounding .570 from the field and .924 from the stripe. He owns an NBA championship ring, and has played with Hall of Famers Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, Bill Walton, and (should be HOFer) Dennis Johnson.

An assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves since 1995, he interviewed for the Celtics head coaching job in 2004. Last year he filled in for Wolves' head coach Randy Whittman, who was recovering from back surgery, and led the lowly Wolves to an upset win over the Phoenix Suns. Kevin Garnett gives him credit for adding arc to his otherwise flat trajectory, while Mike Miller has given him credit for helping to improve his head fake.

And Glenn Taylor chose Kevin McHale.

Everyone knows by now I love Kevin McHale. I say the Celtics should re-retire his jersey, and find him a job as Danny's "special assistant" once he parts ways with the Timberpuppies.

But someone please tell me what is accomplished by returning Lurch to the bench?

He hates to travel. He hates dealing with the media. McHale is fully aware of his reputation as a GM. The only reason he is hanging on is to "right the ship," and leave a good taste in everyone's mouth before he cashes his last check.

But is it worth it?

As coach, McHale will now be within earshot of the same fans he could tune out when they were blasting him on the radio or in the newspapers. Not only will Kevin McHale be forced to hear taunts about JR Rider, Joe Smith, Ndudi Ebi, Marco Jaric, Mark Blount, Ricky Davis, Michael Olowokandi, Cherokee Parks, and Paul Grant. The players will hear those taunts, too. Not exactly an environment that instills respect.

Yes, McHale has a winning record as a head coach. But that was back when he had Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell, and Latrell Sprewell still on the roster. Keep in mind, too, that when McHale originally took this job, he told the owner that he couldn't make a full time commitment. He still planned to spend time with his family in Hibbing, going hunting and fishing and enjoying the outdoors.

Kevin McHale doesn't need this job, and the Timberwolves don't need Kevin McHale.

Jerry Sichting, however, deserves a break.

Make him the interim coach.

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