Other Side of the Paul Westphal Frittata

In the interest of both fairness and in not causing a run on cyanide at Sacramento hardware stories, I'd like to point out two well-written, detailed endorsements of Paul Westphal as a Kings coaching candidate.

New StR member KevinSalvadori (who is not, I believe, the actual Kevin Salvadori) discussed some of the perceived weaknesses of Westphal.

It’s saying something that former "malcontents" like Barkley openly endorse him, and applaud both his ethic and personality. The PHX ownership at the time of his hire was very solidly aligned with Fitzsimmons, and while it is easy to say Cotton got the trigger finger over anger at his style, it’s just as easy to say there was a large bit of jealousy over the job he did compared to Cotton in the role. And his departure from the game to date has as much to do with personal choice as it did with job offerings. In fact, Cuban was considering him for a short time following Johnson’s departure before hiring Carlisle as head coach. And his time in Pepperdine was chosen to spend more time with his son, and stay on the West Coast.

Later, new StR member PWfan -- someone claiming to be close to the Westphal/Fitzsimmons situation in Phoenix -- chimed in to back up KS' sentiments and add quite a bit, including this:

The two top players Baker and Payton were very good friends and both of them to put it mildly were highly dysfunctional and they fed off of each other. The result was chaos. Payton is and was a thug and although a great talent a poison in the locker room. Baker suffered from severe bouts of depression and had a significant substance abuse problem. On top of that Seattle was for all practical purposes rebuilding the team but they did not want this to be known by their fan base. In spite of this Westphal managed to get them into the playoffs. [...]

[Rashard] Lewis came to Seattle right out of high school and the Westphals as a family committed to doing everything they could to protect and nurture that young man. Ironically Westphal probably did his best coaching in Seattle but no one thinks that because of what happened.

I'm glad to hear the endorsements, even though I still have reservations. Thanks to KevinSalvadori and PWfan for chiming in.

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