Lots of other people were at yesterday's press conference, and I'll link them here. For BF's report on Flip Saunders' press conference yesterday, go here.
The AP's report.
If you want to hear the press conference in full, watch those videos.
I'm not sure who Zach Berman is, but perhaps he's the new Wizards writer on the beat for the Post. If so, welcome aboard Zach.
Also filed by Zach Berman.
Mike Jones' report. The most striking thing in this article was this line.
Saunders perceived that the Wizards, in addition to waiting for Gilbert Arenas to heal from his third knee surgery, had a distinct rift to them: established veterans separated from a cast of young, unproven players.
This was something a number of us suspected last year and it's become clear there is some truth to that suspicion. I've always felt that Gilbert was the bridge, for better or for worse. Whether he's trying or not, he's setting the team's tone. The veterans respect him and the young players look up to him, even if they all agree he's a little zany and may not exhibit traditional leadership qualities. Without him around last year, the team's tone was irrevocably shattered and the locker room descended into chaos. Flip is very smart to make it clear to Arenas that he's the one who sets that locker room tone and that it's on him to repair this rift of sorts.
Leftover quotes and other stuff that didn't make Mike's article
Kyle' report. I didn't agree with all his reads, but it was still a good spin on the press conference. We'll both be on site over the next couple weeks, so I encourage everyone to read his report in addition to reading BF's.
Sally was the one writer there who realized that the presser was about Flip, not Gilbert. It's interesting to here how she described Flip.
The Washington Wizards' new coach is a suave character with a good haircut and an even tan that suggests he's not some fretful obsessive who spent his summer in a videotape closet.
Later, she wrote:
He has a deadpan humor that suggests he's secure in himself and his methods. Questioned as to whom he plans to play at the problematic 2-guard spot, he joked, "We're thinking of going on reality TV and letting viewers decide. They can vote them on or off." Told the Department of Homeland Security has issued a new security warning for arenas, he replied, "Then why are we meeting here?"
The group chuckles, but Flip's face is pretty stoic. It was almost as if he didn't get why what he said was so funny. It wasn't meant to be, after all. He was just stating the fact that he's used to dealing with a lot of questions about a crazy dude.
That's kind of how Flip Saunders is, and we saw it at its best today. The only times he says something just to get a quote in the papers is when he stumbles into it. He wasn't there to crack jokes and make provocative statements; he was there to talk basketball. And talk basketball he did.
Readers, I'm curious if you think Sally and I got the same read on Flip the person. I think we did, in a way. Both of us were trying to get across that he's a pretty relaxed guy that doesn't get too excited one way or the other, but it's interesting to see the different ways we described it. From my vantage point, it seemed that, while he was very calm and secure about his answers regarding Arenas' off-court behavior, he was also trying to de-emphasize it and instead focus on the on-court stuff. That's kind of where the "he was there to talk basketball" line came in.
Get back to 2007, get better than you were in 2007, otherwise it's a failure, yada yada. We get it, Tom.