Spinning Kurt Rambis

As linked below by Exhibit G, The Bee's Sam Amick reported on why Paul Westphal ended up beating out Kurt Rambis for the job.

[A]fter [Geoff] Petrie had to convince Westphal to stay in the race late last week, he had pressured Rambis' agent, Warren LeGarie, for an answer regarding what it would take to entice Rambis to take the job. That answer came this afternoon in the form of an e-mail from LeGarie, which was essentially a non-answer insisting that they needed more time and simply couldn't commit to anything. [...] There had been rumblings all along that Rambis had serious doubts about the job on a number of fronts and may not have taken it unless the expected salary ($1.5 million per in two guaranteed seasons) increased significantly.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com has a different story.

League coaching sources told ESPN.com that the Kings made a formal offer to Rambis hours before the Lakers' 108-104 loss to the Orlando Magic in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

When Rambis passed -- having said repeatedly that he was determined to delay any decision about his future after the Finals and with the Kings intent on paying their new hire less than $2 million annually -- Sacramento moved on and agreed with Westphal on a two-year deal with a team option for a third season.

Ah yes, there is some spinning going on. The Kings either just wanted to know if they'd even be able to get Rambis, or they gave him an ultimatum hours before a Finals game in which Rambis was a lead assistant. We're talking about Geoff Petrie here, possibly the most methodical, least confrontational man in the business. We're also talking about the difference between a reporter in Sacramento, one who has reported this story from Day 1, versus a national reporter currently in Orlando. Amick's sources are obviously Kings/Westphal sources. I would surmise that Stein's sources potentially come from the Lakers.

None of this actually matters: Westphal is the coach, and it's unlikely folks around here will believe (or remember) Stein's story. But the spin being offered to Stein is obviously a degree less flattering for the franchise and Petrie, and it'd be unfortunate if that spin is what became conventional wisdom out there.

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