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The Terry Porter Conundrum

The Kings have watched their chosen one slip away. Nine candidates have been interviewed, none available and apparently desired. The Pistons have been fishing for six days now.

Why hasn't Geoff Petrie called Terry Porter?

No answers here, just theories. Again: JUST theories.

  1. Did Petrie want to hire Porter last season? When the Kings fired Rick Adelman last May, the Maloofs seemed to be in control, pushing Rick out the door and pushing for the hire of John Whisenant. The canon now states that Eric Musselman was an emergency compromise hire, rushed in to wow the Maloofs while Whisenant fluttered about. With the unceremonial dismissal Musselman received this spring, it can be fairly stated Petrie had lost no sleep over canning Eric. (Not that Petrie is cold, but Muss was not his guy.) Porter, last summer, was busy. He was leading a group trying to purchase the Blazers and their arena from Paul Allen. (How soon we forget how in trouble the new darling Blazers were only 12 months ago.) He could not seriously lead a bid for an NBA franchise and coach another team at the same time. Perhaps Petrie really wanted Porter to come to town and take over the Kings, thinking the Maloofs would buy into it and spare us from Whisenant. But Porter was thinking bigger, and snubbed Petrie, forcing a difficult situation to become more difficult. The Kings hired Muss, the Porter bid fell apart, Porter joined Flip Saunders in Detroit. Petrie's still mad... "Now you want the job? What about when I needed you to take the job?"
  2. Petrie and the Maloofs want someone with substantial defensive credibility. Porter was a good defensive player, but his Milwaukee teams were so not good on the defensive end. It would explain the push for Stan Van Gundy. It would explain why pundits are whispering about P.J. Carlesimo. It could explain why Porter isn't getting a phone call.
  3. Petrie is upset with the way Porter handled the potential to be interviewed in Sacramento. In a Sam Amick story on Monday, Petrie sounded a little perturbed about rumors out of Detroit regarding Porter's assumption he was up for the Sacramento job. The money passage: Porter, however, told people in Detroit before the Pistons were eliminated that he anticipated being interviewed, to which Petrie said, "I don't know anything about that." Petrie is mum as the Queen's mother. He lives by a code of silence when it comes to running the Kings, really. So hearing Porter talk to folks like he's already got the job, that doesn't reflect well on Porter in Petrie's eyes, I'm sure. That's probably unfair, but the last thing Petrie could want is a loudmouth ruining his gameplan.
  4. The Donovan-Van Gundy thing threw everything off. Billy Donovan was hired Friday. Van Gundy had his second Sacramento interview Saturday. Detroit was eliminated Saturday. At that point, Van Gundy looked pretty damn available. But Kurt Rambis had a second interview scheduled Sunday, so the Kings couldn't offer Van Gundy a contract immediately (though in retrospect they were clearly smitten with him). Donovan goes schitzo on Sunday. Monday morning comes, Van Gundy is the choice but Donovan's exit from Orlando reopens that job. Kings and Magic are at odds to woo Van Gundy. Several obstacles, including Pat Riley's compensatory ploy, give an advantage to Sacramento. The Kings get Van Gundy to come to Sacramento. Orlando works its stuff out, hires Van Gundy. This is Thursday. Kings are reeling, had a press conference planned. Back to the drawing board. Friday, today -- that's the first real opportunity they've had to consider Porter.
I think that's the most plausible theory at this point. Van Gundy was the first choice following his Saturday interview. There was no rush at the time, given Orlando's Donovan hire. Obviously, things changed and the Kings pushed hard. But it's a brand new ballgame. And Porter still wants to be a head coach.

Call him, Geoff.