NBA Lockout Off-Topic Theater: Play Us A Song, Flip Saunders

Welcome to an NBA Lockout Series that will draw cinematic and/or literary parallels to present Wizards personnel.  The lockout is long, and subjects to write on have become increasingly spare.  Prepare for basketball-flavored gruel, and that is as close to an apology as you're getting. 

Without further ado, the third edition of Off-Topic Theater will take a slight detour and address the renewed Flip Saunders debate with help of Mr. Billy Joel.

midnight's passed on the lockout date

the regular crowd's logging in

there's an old theme posted in front of me

Flip Saunders can't teach how to win

 

it reads, "Son, can you answer this memory

I think we all know how it goes

he needs veterans, grown men, and I'll say it again

we'll be better if he hits the road

 

Gil Gil Gil, no KG

Gil Gil Gil, no KG, KG

 

take a look back, and agree with me

take a look back tonight

well we're all in the mood for a rebuild see

hope everyone's feeling all right

 

KG up in Boston's a star we know

brought in to form the Big Three

and the man never chokes and he brought a ring home

but there's one change that he'd like to see

'I have my own doubts about loyalty

youth ain't a thing you get back

if I had a shot to do it again

I'd leave Minny and never look  back'

 

Gil Gil Gil, no KG

Gil Gil Gil, no KG, KG

 

now Chauncey's the guy we all point to

who scored no rings under Flip

well if it's asking you need, he still points to Rasheed

thinks that cost them one championship

 

and what would have happened to  Dirk?

if Mark Cuban the Mabs didn't own?

and what would you think of Coach Carlisle

if they didn't bring the O'Brien home?

 

take a look back, and agree with me

take a look back tonight

well we're all in the mood for a rebuild see

hope everyone's feeling all right

 

But we're here to talk about Flip Saunders

so what do his players have to say?

Flip'll win says KG and for all the trouble with Sheed

he hates Chris Sheridan more

you say the team is all younger players

well I think that management knows

they're aware of the coach that they've hired

'no jerks' policy could smooth out the road

 

Gil Gil Gil, no KG

Gil Gil Gil, no KG, KG

 

take a look back, and agree with me

take a look back tonight

well we're all in the mood for a rebuild see

hope everyone's feeling all right

There's been a rash of bad news today with respect to the lockout, so I put today's piece on hold for awhile, and it looks like there will be something to write about come Friday.  In the meantime, however, I still believe in Flip Saunders.  When I look at his run with the TImberwolves, I see Dirk Nowitzki without Mark Cuban.  Rick Carlisle did an amazing job with the Mavericks, but could he have done it without Cuban never sparing a single expense to give the team every edge money could buy?  Who knows...maybe he made it harder.  But a cut rate owner simply would have loosed Dampier at the All-Star break and I don't believe anyone thinks the magic happens without Tyson Chandler.  That's not excusing Flip, and I don't think he would want to excused for not putting together a winner in Minnesota.  But simply asserting that he had Kevin Garnett is not nearly enough.  Especially when your supporting evidence includes names like Wally Sczcerbiak.

Detroit is a more damning scenario, because Flip was simply unable to cope with Rasheed Wallace's personality.  Yes, Chauncey Billups is on the record as saying he thinks that dynamic cost the Pistons a championship (though he cites a lack of maximum effort), but many of us will likely see fit to lay that responsibility at Flip's doorstep.

The real question that seems to be on most of our minds, when competitive fires are well and truly stoked, is whether or not the team will trust Flip to make the right decisions.  Ted has a 'no jerks' policy, which I think mitigates the possiblity of a Rasheed situation popping back up.  What is going to have to happen is that as our team is growing, Flip is going to have prove to the team with his rotations, play-calling, and general game management that they don't have to wonder if he's making those right decisions.  With that trust, we can run as complex or simple a system as we need to and ride it into the sunset.  Our ceiling without it?  Well, I don't think we'll make it an hour past an Eastern Conference Finals loss without a resounding chorus of 'I told you so.'  Play us a song, Flip Saunders.  We're all in the mood for a memory, this is your best chance to shine.

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