I found the .mp3s I saved from 1140 Grant & Mike of Rick, Joe and Elston the days after the firing and the pre-Muss hire. Pretty wild stuff.
I'm re-listening to the audios today. Here are some transcript quotes from Rick's interview about blame in the SA series and how it relates to players tuning out the coach. Grant brought up Mike wandering around during a critical timeout before he blew an assignment on Barry:
"I think it is just an excuse when things go bad. There is no way Mike did not know what we were doing. I mean I know I told everybody and I called them together before they went out again and told them again. We've gone through that situation time after time. If guys are going to make mistakes, if a guy makes a physical mistake, you know like, what about the Dallas game the other night when Stackhouse got that ball and (player?) almost stole it? I mean should he have driven to the basket? Hell yes he should have driven to the basket! They were only down 2. And he had a wide open look at it, he's athletic and a great freethrow shooter but he drives to the corner and basically ends the game for them. Now is that Avery Johnson's fault? I don't think so. You have to trust players are going to make the right decisions. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. And, I think the coach has some responsibility for that but if that is going to be the reason that something happens for a long term event, ya know, I just find that amazing. You know I don't know what else we could have done. You know that's a game we weren't even supposed to be in. Now, it's as hard on me as it is still hard on me that we didn't win that game cuz who knows what could have happened. It's hard on me we didn't win the 5th game where we gave up 5 straight layups. I mean, that's on me too as a coach but I think there's a, it's an equal blame thing. I think everybody is in it together. When someone makes a mistake you all have to bear the brunt of it."
About coaching your team:
"You have to go with what you can do for your players. How do you make them better? How do you make them work as a team? That's what I did. It's easy for somebody to say, like Mike Dantony now, what's he supposed to do? Stress a half court game and the defense? No. That's not who they are. He's gonna win a lot of games. Maybe he won't win a Championship, but i'm sorry, it's all about in this league winning with the team you have. And if I had a really good defensive team, it's funny, when we got Ron everyone said we became a better defensive team, I guess that's the day we started teaching defense (laugh). I mean it's just ludacris. I mean, we're coaches. I mean I have a Hall of Fame coach on my staff, I have two guys who are great defensive players, you know three of four years ago we had the best defensive team in the league statistically. So what is it that you are talking about? That we don't stress it? No. It's just that that's the type of team we have. I'm sorry, but if you want a good defensive team here in Sacramento - then get defensive players. I mean it's as simple as that. I can't say it any simpler. And if the Maloofs want that, then go ahead and get defensive players. If they think it is just so simple to get a bunch of guys who are offensive players, who their strength isn't at that other end, and you're suddenly going to make them something they arn't? You're kidding yourself. I mean you are you, you gotta be kidding yourself. I just find that, it's something that, what you don't have then that's what you need to do. If you have a coach who is a disciplinarian, get a player's coach. If you have a player's coach, get a disciplinarian. That's how it works in this league. You have people just jump all over the place. I think what it comes down to, a successful coach in this league with talent, is they take the team, they take the strengths and they get them to go with those strengths. And they win. And I mean, that's what I tried to do."
It goes on. If you guys want to hear the interviews I will get them to TZ or louis to post or figure out how to post mp3s. Good stuff looking back and seeing what we have now.