- 밥 힐 감독 해임이후 공석이었던 소닉스의 새 감독으로 샌안토니오 스퍼스의 코치 칼리시모가 결정되었다. 전 미네소타 감독 드웨인 케이시를 비롯하여 여러 후보들이 있었는데 결국은 칼리시모로 가는군. 역시 NBA도 인맥인가?
전면 리빌딩을 선언한 소닉스이기 때문에 기반을 잘 닦기위해서는 감독의 역할이 필수라고 할 수 있다. 칼리시모의 감독으로서의 역량은 믿을만한가? 과거 포틀랜드와 골든 스테이트 감독 시절을 보자면 그다지 능력이 있다고 볼 수는 없을 것 같다. 플레이오프 1라운드가 최고 성적이었고, 스프리웰의 쵸크슬램으로 대표되는 선수들과의 트러블도 있었다. 수비에는 일가견이 있지만 공격에서는 여전히 의문점이 있다.
전에도 글에서 잠깐 썼었는데 칼리시모를 감독으로 영입하는 것은 포틀랜드와 골든스테이트 시절의 칼리시모 보다는 이후 샌안토니오에서 코치생활을 한 칼리시모에게 더 기대를 걸고 있다고 보는 것이 맞을 것 같다. 챔피언십을 차지했던 팀의 코치로서 얼마나 성장했고, 그 성장세를 이제 홀로서기한 이후에 얼마나 자신의 팀에 풀어낼 수 있느냐가 관건이 되겠다.
소닉스에는 감독과 파워게임을 할 만한 올스타 선수도 없고, 감독의 목을 조를 선수도 없다.(대니 포슨은 계약만료.) 어쩌면 칼리시모가 다시 감독 커리어를 시작하기에는 더 없이 좋은 환경일지도.
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Defense, Teaching Make Carlesimo the Choice for Sonics
Kevin Pelton, SUPERSONICS.COM | July 5, 2007
The Seattle SuperSonics took another crucial step in remaking their franchise under new General Manager Sam Presti Thursday, when Presti introduced P.J. Carlesimo as the 15th head coach in franchise history. Presti and Carlesimo, who worked together in San Antonio the past five seasons as the Spurs won three NBA Championships, bring similar visions of how to build a team that is successful for the long run.
Those visions start with defense.
"I look forward to helping Sam," said Carlesimo at a press conference introducing him as head coach, "sharing his vision and building a team that's going to be successful in the long term: A team that's going to play very hard, a team that's going to defend, a team that's going to play together and a team that's going to make the people of Seattle very proud of the Sonics, as they have been over the years."
During five full seasons as a head coach in Portland and Golden State, Carlesimo's teams finished in the NBA's top 10 in terms of Defensive Rating four times. The Sonics last finished in the league's upper third in defense in 1997-98.
"I believe and I know that the day that a college program or an NBA team hires P.J. Carlesimo to be their head coach, they get better defensively that day," said Presti. "Throughout the process, P.J.'s philosophy defensively, his belief in that philosophy and his ability to coach and teach that philosophy were things that were heavily factored into what it is that we're going to do in terms of building an identity at the defensive end of the floor."
There was more to the decision than defense, however. After selecting Kevin Durant No. 2 overall and sending veteran guard Ray Allen to Boston for the rights to No. 5 pick Jeff Green in a multi-player deal on the night of the NBA Draft, the Sonics have a youthful roster with eight players under the age of 25. As a result, the ability to mold young players became a key criterion for the new head coach. That fits Carlesimo, who before coming to the NBA spent 19 years as a head coach at the NCAA level. That includes a successful 12-year run at Seton Hall capped by an appearance in the NCAA Championship Game in 1989 at the Kingdome in Seattle.
"I personally believe that what we need for our program right now is a teacher," said Presti. "Someone that can teach the game at a high level and can communicate the game at a high level. P.J.'s background at the collegiate level, his background in the NBA and, obviously, his background with winning most recently at San Antonio were huge impacts. I've witnessed first-hand his ability to teach the game."
"It's basically what I've done for most of my career," added Carlesimo. "For 23 years, I was in college - I think 19 as a head coach - where I coached mostly young guys from 17 to 22 years of age. That's what I've done my entire life - recruit them, coach them and hopefully help develop them and in some cases prepare them to go on to the NBA."
Because of Presti's history with Carlesimo in San Antonio, there was a natural assumption at the time Presti was hired that Carlesimo would be an obvious choice for the vacant head coach position. However, Presti and Professional Basketball Club, LLC Chairman Clayton Bennett went through the interview process with what Presti described as a "blank canvas." The process was thorough, but Carlesimo proved to be the right fit.
"At the end of the day," explained Presti, "we just came to the conclusion that P.J.'s philosophies are very much aligned with what we want to do here."
Carlesimo's philosophy was shaped in part by his five years as an assistant to Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. After his last stint as a head coach, in Golden State, ended with Carlesimo unable to bring the team out of the lottery (nor were five subsequent coaches before the Warriors finally returned to the playoffs last season), he spent three years working as a broadcaster before joining the Spurs coaching staff.
Like Presti before him, Carlesimo profusely thanked Popovich, Spurs GM R.C. Buford and Chairman Peter Holt, the rest of the staff in San Antonio as well as the players, saying, "I wouldn't be here if not for them."
It was only natural, given the time he spent with the Spurs, that Carlesimo was asked how he has changed since his days in Golden State.
"I think I've evolved," answered Carlesimo. "I don't know that I've changed all that much. Next year will be my 35th year in coaching, 23 in college and it will be number 12 in the NBA. I think a coach evolves from day to day, from week to week. I think I learned an awful lot from Pop. I think a lot of my beliefs were reinforced by Pop and the other coaches and players in San Antonio and the way they operate.
"Having said that, I'm still who I am and I think that when you get outside your own persona, that's not a good thing. You need to learn from mistakes, you need to learn from your past experiences. In the same way that we ask players to improve, coaches need to improve too. Hopefully I'm a much better coach than I was eight years ago when I last sat in the seat I'm sitting in now. You're constantly evolving, you're constantly learning, and hopefully you're getting better all the time."
During his first couple of years out of the league, Carlesimo wondered if he would get another chance to be a head coach, but it wasn't something he obsessed about. As his time in San Antonio went on and he began to sense that another head coaching position could be a possibility (he was reportedly a finalist for the Minnesota job two years ago), Carlesimo felt the attraction of running his own team.
"When you've been a head coach and you've been an assistant coach," he explained, "it's night and day."
Carlesimo had little time to reflect on his new position. After the press conference, he was due to fly to Las Vegas, where the Sonics will begin play in the NBA Summer League with the professional debuts of rookies Durant and Green tomorrow afternoon against Dallas. Still, his excitement about being a part of the new Sonics, with a new GM and new coach overseeing a roster that has been injected with youthful talent and potential, was clear.
"I think it's unusual in the NBA when you have a singular vision in place and you're going to build things a certain way and you're going to do it for the long haul," said Carlesimo. "I'm looking forward to working for and with Sam. I think if you look at a franchise like a Utah or a San Antonio or Miami where there's been a singular vision in place for a while and you stay with that singular vision, success is going to come."
- 소닉스 섬머리그 로스터 발표.
San Diego State
San Diego State
North Carolina State
소닉스는 7월 6일부터 15일까지 라스베가스 섬머리그, 6월 13일부터 20일까지 로키 마운틴 리뷰 섬머리그에 참가한다. 오늘 그 명단이 발표되었다. 올해 소닉스 드래프트에서 뽑힌 케빈 듀란트, 제프 그린을 포함하여 미카엘 젤라발, 요한 페트로, 모 세네등이 참가한다. 로버트 스위프트도 연습을 위해서 팀과 동행하기는 하는데 경기에 뛰지는 않을 것이라고 한다.
초청선수로 뛰는 선수중에는 그다지 눈에 띄는 선수가 없네. KBL에서 뛰었던 데이빗 잭슨정도. 줄리어스 하지도 괜찮고.
- 무릎부상이후 재활에 전념하고 있는 로버트 스위프트. 스위프트는 그동안 7-0, 245파운드로 표기가 되었는데 키가 계속 자라고 웨이트를 꾸준히 한 결과, 지금은 신장이 신발벗고 7-1(신발 신고는 7-2.5), 몸무게는 275~280 파운드가 되었다고 한다. 벤치프레스는 315정도 들고. 이제서야 슬슬 센터에 걸맞는 몸을 갖게된 것 같다.