Chris Sheridan Defends Himself

Yesterday, we blasted Chris Sheridan for bashing Mike Krzyzewski's motivational tactics on the opening day of Team USA's training camp.

This morning, Sheridan defends himself:

A good 90 percent of the e-mailers were of the belief that I've lost my mind, and a good percentage -- even a few Tar Heel fans -- also took the time to point out that Coach K has won more NCAA championships than me. And while that may be true, I can at least retort that I've seen a whole lot more international basketball than Coach K has (I've covered every single game Team USA has played with NBA players since 1996), so I know that of which I speak. And I'll repeat the point I made Wednesday: This team's job is not to dominate every quarter of every game it plays. Its job is to win the World Championship in Japan.

Emphasis mine. I've watched a lot of Kings basketball in the past decade. In fact, I know I've watched more Kings basketball than Eric Musselman. I've watching thousands of Mike Bibby and Brad Miller pick-and-pops. I watched every minute of the Artest era (except the Washington away game, which wasn't televised). I'd venture to say I've seen nearly every single professional shot Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia, and Ronnie Price have taken.

Eric Musselman has seen at least four Kings games a year each of the last four years, and probably pieces of a bunch more. But there's no way he has seen more Kings games than I.

Now would it be reasonable for me to criticize Coach Musselman's motivation speech he gives October 10, or whenever camp opens? Would every fan in shouting distance not give me some hell? I'd be embarassed, personally. Yeah, I've seen this team and I've seen these players much more than Musselman. How in the hell does that give me more knowledge on how to motivate these players than a guy with lots of professional head coaching experience and a lifetime of learning his craft? Watching does not equal doing.

Because you wrote for the Associated Press and now you write for ESPN.com doesn't make you smart, and it doesn't make you a coach. Even if Coach K hasn't watched every last Team USA game over the last decade (and who's to say he hasn't?), that doesn't automatically make him a lesser authority on the task at hand: coaching a team to the world championship.

Yes, after those hundreds of column inches on Dream Team III and Larry Brown and Sydney, Sheridan is a better authority to write about, say, the history of NBA participation in US international competition. But it doesn't give him one iota of authority in that lockerroom, or in the minds of Gilbert Arenas or LeBron James or Brad Miller. Not one.

After Sheridan's silly defense, I'm starting to think he just wants to tout how qualified he is to cover this team. He's just puffing his chest out, trying to incite some more readership by being ridiculous. I guess it's working, but his reputation is suffering greatly for it.

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