(LTTG's headline says it all, right? -- TZ)
So, I flew to Vegas today for work, there in the morning and back in the afternoon and I ran into Geoff Petrie waiting for the plane back to Sacramento. I did a 'walk' by him and said,
"If it means anything from me - Blake Griffin".
(in a nice way - really!)
Later as I got on the totally full flight, the middle seat between GP and an attractive young lady (who never got a second glance) presented itself - so I took a seat with a 'I won't bug you too much.' He smiled and said it was fine, he wouldn't have to move again.
I won't try to verbatim the wide-ranging conversation which covered last season, the draft, the economy, the real estate market, the May 19th special election - and I didn't and won't pretend to have received any bombshell news.
My first question: How did the interview go? He said very well but I was still not sure enough how he would react to questions to follow up. (sorry, there's quite a bit of that, I didn't press)
On last season: We talked about how surprised we both were at the 21-game differential from the previous year, disappointed (no kidding) at that drop off, and he said he might have expected 5-10 games with all the young guys - and went on to mention the 2-14 (or 2-15) record in games by three points or less. I admit he said 2-14 and I said I thought after that last 'no review' game it was 2-15. He wasn't happy how nothing started working better even as players returned from injury, etc.
On the defense: I commented that I grew sick of watching teams run layup drills on us and that was why I had searched for and found an affection for Hasheem Thabeet, someone who could protect the rim. On Thabeet, he did not specifically say his opinion, but said 'he's a ten year center' (could have been tenure, I have some tenitis in my left ear). I think he was saying he thought he'd be a solid starting center - but I won't swear to that. Then on his own he talked about how we failed defensively to take anything away from opposing teams, inside, outside - and mentioned the 41% from 3 we were lashed with. 'If you can take something away you have a chance - but we didn't do anything well defensively.'
On the Draft: You've heard most of it before. He did say he thinks Blake Griffin has the best chance to be a star, but expressed some skepticism as to whether there was an actual impact guy, Kobe, LeBron, Duncan (those names), anywhere in this draft. He did wonder aloud how big Griffin really is but said the top of the draft was dicey (same words) after him.
He referred to Rubio as an 'intriguing young player' who he was going to Spain to watch this weekend. He added that Rubio was a bit of a Youtube sensation, however you want to take that - but it wasn't with any particular negative tone - I think he likes him. He expressed dismay that last time he went to see Jennings he was only on the floor 7 minutes and didn't even play the following game and that there was very little on-the-floor work to go on to judge his game.
On other PGs: He said there were a lot of great college PGs in the draft but without exactly saying it, left the impression that he wasn't sure any of them or which of them might develop the full package. I mentioned Curry and I don't know if he's that high on him - sorry ExG!.
Note: He mentioned the layoffs during our discussion of the economy, said it was painful - which I should have but did not follow up on, just shook my head (I had no idea Koz was among the fallen). We talked about the payment plan available of tix this year, I said we appreciated it, he said it wasn't his department.
Then our conversation drifted to the economy, the ballot initiatives, Obama, the real estate market, my gig, where he asked my opinion on the Sac market.
There were other things that I don't want to talk about on the danger of taking them out of context but i did want to say that I thought he was a very nice guy and pretty approachable.
If you have any questions I'll try to answer them and try very hard once again to not read more into what was said then was there.