Desperate Times Call For Desperately Bad Ideas

Ailene Voisin has the magic bullet:

Reggie Theus hasn't asked, but if he does, this is what I would suggest: Give management and its fan base what it wants. Play the kids and spare the rod. Tell the older veterans to give their knees, elbows and attitudes a rest. Simplify the offense. Introduce a defense.

But the biggest change? The one that might save Reggie's job? Walk down the hall, knock on the door and lure Monarchs general manager John Whisenant out of coaching retirement. Call him an assistant or a consultant. Call him a golfing buddy helping another golfing buddy. Whatever.

Call him Big Brother. Call him the noose hanging around a coach's neck. Call him the hired assassin, granted wholesale permission to work from the inside. Whatever.

***

Whiz_mediumIf the Kings front office or ownership hires Whisenant to do anything related to the Kings before the end of the season, Theus should start packing immediately. Voisin tries to get fans on her side by comparing the idea to Geoff Petrie adding Pete Carril to the Garry St. Jean's staff. The difference, of course: Carril never had designs on St. Jean's job. Whisenant campaigned hard for the Kings job two years ago ... and he would have had it if not for Petrie's interference. If the job is vacant this summer (as we expect it will be), Whisenant will make himself a candidate. By every reported indication, he wants Reggie's job.

Voisin argues a Whisenant addition could save Theus' job. Are you frickin' kidding me? Let's go through the hypothetical best-case situation.

* The Kings, 10 or so games under .500, hire Whisenant as a "defensive buddy" for Theus.

* Team's defense improves by leaps and bounds.

* Team makes a charge, and gets to 35 or so wins.

In said situation, do you think Theus keeps his job? Or do you think the Maloofs push hard for Whisenant to take over? Hmm, tough guess. Tough guess.

What about a hypothetical worst-case scenario if Voisin's advice is heeded?

* The Kings, 10 or so games under .500, hire Whisenant as a "defensive buddy" for Theus.

* Team continues to tread water/suck.

* Maloofs fire Theus in February, give Whisenant an audition.

No good can come to Theus by adding Whisenant to the staff. Bringing Whiz in effectively kills Theus' (already troubled) Sacramento career.

***

That said, Theus seems to be perfectly safe right now. We have been over Joe Maloof's feelings on Chuck Person -- he doesn't think very highly of the Rifleman's defensive chops. Kenny Natt, the only other experienced assistant on Theus' staff, has been in and out of the hospital this year with a bad illness and some vision problems. He'd be an acceptable interim on paper, but his situation makes the possibility bleak.

Randy Brown was selling real estate 18 months ago and has basically been portrayed as the Oakley to Theus' MJ. Shareef Abdur-Rahim is less involved in Theus' huddles than Kenny Thomas (which says a lot). Jason Hamm, I think, has the respect of the front office and the key players. But he's in his third season as an NBA assistant coach. Rex Kalamian is a mystery -- he's young with lots of coaching experience, but he's not exactly on the tip of everyone's tongue.

As Melody Gutierrez reported this morning, Petrie is ill -- bed-ridden. There's no better stretch for a coaching change than this week, with no games until Saturday. Something tells me the Maloofs aren't going to be sitting in Petrie's living room putting together a pink slip with no succession plan apparently in place. (For the curious, Jason Levien doesn't start until later this month.)

Realistically, the front office is in a complete bind if it wants to can Theus. By luck of the situation, it seems near impossible to sack the coach and maintain a shred of respect. (And shreds are all that's left.) Which brings us to Whisenant.

Petrie does not want Whisenant on the sidelines. I feel like we say this time after time, but since the columnist ignores it time after time ... Petrie pushed Eric Musselman to foil Whisenant's candidacy! This has been reported. By the same newspaper which employs Voisin.

Clearly, Petrie wanted Terry Porter in '06. Porter was still in the playoffs, and it looked like the Maloofs would refuse any old Adelman acolyte regardless. (Exhibit A: the Maloofs failed to interview Porter in '07, despite media reports of impending interviews. The Maloofs did not attend the Elston Turner interview.) Whisenant, if you'll remember, became the overwhelming favorite for the job. Petrie's "choice" of Muss was clearly, clearly meant as a compromise. Remember the PowerPoint? The hurrahs of defense? Muss said exactly what the Maloofs wanted to hear. I'm not saying Petrie hated Muss and chose the lesser of two evils -- he bought into the noise, as well. But given hiring autonomy (which Petrie has never had under the Maloofs when it comes to the coach), Petrie would not have chosen Musselman.

And let's not forget that Theus is a Maloof hire. Sure, the Maloofs could hire 20 straight failed coaches and keep righteous autonomy -- so burned they feel by the Adelman relationship. But in no way can the Theus choice be used by the Maloofs in advocating within for Whisenant. If Petrie remains opposed to Whiz (which seems likely, as the Levien hire hints at), then the Maloofs risk losing Petrie over it. I'd venture they seem unwilling to do so.

***

This is all to say Voisin's column is blind, foolish and completely dumbed down to the point where only "fans" who casually follow the Kings could believe it possible. And let's be honest: that sort of fan certainly isn't paying attention to the Kings or columns written about the Kings right now.

I can't imagine Voisin is so dulled within the organization she can't see the full situation as laid out here. If it was all just basketball -- no politics, no jobs at stake, no egos, no preconceived notions -- it might work. But in the real world, it's not a remotely tenable situation.

As such, the column can only really be seen as a ploy by an ardent, long-time Whiz supporter (Voisin) to build support for a Whiz ascension.

Not working on us, Ailene. Not. Working.

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