Reading Into a Delay: Is Kurt Rambis the Next Kings Coach?

One day after Sam Amick let his impatience with the Kings coaching search show, Ailene Voisin lets her impatience with the Kings coaching search show. I'd normally be in the same boat, itching to move on past the disaster of 2008-09. But for some reason, I'm not feeling particularly ... err, impatient.

Besides the draft and the Finals, here's a reason why: to these novice and uninformed eyes, the delay bolsters Kurt Rambis, a prospect I'm a fan of. Think about Geoff Petrie's style for a moment. Secretive, yes. Unconventional, yes. Completely, hopelessly by the book? Yes.

Tom Thibodeau is not currently under contract with the Celtics, but Petrie asked permission to interview him. He plays by the book. Petrie refused to contact either Byron Scott's agent or George Shinn, despite the Hornets practically begging some other team to rid them of their problem. He plays by the book. A few years ago, there was a story by Amick in which Petrie left civilization for the goofy July moratorium, the period in which you cannot legally sign another team's free agents or consummate trades (though teams regularly work out every detail but the signature). Petrie took off to Tahoe so he wouldn't be goaded by agents or GMs to get deals done during the period in which you're technically not supposed to get deals done. He plays completely, hopelessly, utterly by the book.

He has already interviewed Rambis, which is actually a bit for the likes of Petrie. He'd normally wait until a team had been knocked out or won a title before interviewing an assistant, but he made an exception for Rambis (and dare I say for the [redacted]). But there's a step too far in Petrie's head, I imagine, a step in which you announce the top assistant for a team one game into the Finals will be your next head coach. That's a bit bold, a bit ... outside the guidelines of tact. Sure, Phil Jackson effectively killed Rick Adelman's Sacramento tenure. The [redacted] effectively prevented Petrie's master work in the late '90s and early '00s from earning that precious championship. But Petrie's a man of professional decency (or at least his own definition of professional decency, though I think we can agree he'd fit in almost any defintion of professional decency) and potentially couldn't bring himself to upstage the Finals to an admittedly minor degree, even if he's made his decision.

In other words: if it were Westphal or Thibodeau, there'd be no reason to wait.

Except ...

It took Petrie two weeks to can Kenny Natt, didn't it? And it took quite nearly a month to interview Eddie Jordan, didn't it?

Man, this guy works slow. Forget everything I said. Like everyone else, I have no clue.

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