As you well know, I'm a Paul Westphal doubter. When writing fan fiction about the Kings, I always pair up Jason Thompson with a coach of more defensive acumen. I'm a Thompson/Thibodeau shipper! What can I say?
But even though I'd never personally choose Westphal, the dude is making it difficult to outright hate the pick. This time, it's by reportedly being interested in hiring two coaching prospects we fawned over years ago. From (who else?) Amick:
I've been told by two folks who know that if Westphal gets the job, he would strongly consider Mario Elie (current Dallas assistant who would have to be let out of his contract) and Terry Porter (former Kings assistant, Milwaukee and Phoenix head coach and longtime Petrie friend from Portland days) as assistants.
If I weren't so irrelevant, this would be the most obvious pander in the history of Western Civilization. We Kings fans are distracted by shiny baubles, ready to forget injustice so long as the next course shimmers. I'm not a fan of hiring Westphal, not given his recent failures, complicated as though they may be. But distract me with one-time drool-worthy coaches like Elie and Porter? Paul Westwhat?
Porter obviously lost his luster in Phoenix (slight understatement), though I think no one blames the coach himself. Elie went from a candidate on the verge of hire three years ago to a fairly anonymous assistant. One of the biggest crimes Reggie Theus committed was to not hire a legit top assistant long on experience and ready to run a team. He tried to pull Larry Drew from Atlanta, but the Hawks wouldn't let Drew out of his contract. Kenny Natt obviously didn't work out, and I'd be surprised if Chuck Person ever interviewed for a top job without a major career reformation. I'm a big fan of Jason Hamm and have never heard anything bad about Rex Kalamian or Randy Brown. But Theus didn't really fill his staff with future head coaching material.
If Westphal comes in as a teacher and steward, and he hires some exciting assistant coaches, well ... my icy pen will thaw.