Hornets offseason off to rocky start

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 29, 2010

So far, the NBA head-coaching search hasn’t been all that flattering to the New Orleans Hornets. Nor has the offseason, for that matter.

Who owns the team? Who will coach? The answers seem to change on a daily basis.

Most recently, the Hornets reportedly offered their head coaching job to one of the hottest prospects on the market, Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau, architect of the Celtics’ ferocious defense over the last three seasons.

It looked to be a happy ending to a tumultuous offseason, as it was unlikely the Hornets would leak an offer if they didn’t know they had their top candidate in the bag. But now? Sounds like he may not be the guy after all. It makes the Hornets look like they’re chasing their tail (or stinger?), not a good thing when convincing your superstar the organization is on the way back up is of utmost importance.

If Thibodeau isn’t the guy (and with a name like that, he needs to be!), then Portland assistant Monty Williams sounds like the next choice. Williams has coached under two of the most respected coaches in the league in San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Blazers coach Nate McMillan, and is credited with helping some of the younger Blazers step up to lead the team into the playoffs this season despite a rash of injuries.

For a team that really needs another hit or two from of the Darren Collison/Marcus Thornton variety, a coach known for his ability to develop certainly wouldn’t be a bad hire in theory.

But the whole thing just seems like it could have been handled better. Much like the ownership situation. In a league where your ability to find and keep your stars is treasured, coasting like a rudderless ship isn’t something that helps anyone out.

Have you seen Twittermania 2010 yet? Darren Sharper and two of his former Viking teammates are going at it, talking trash and essentially getting everyone ready for that Thursday night opener and NFC title game rematch.

Personally, I love it. Sharper’s been a teammate of all of these guys. He’s marking ‘X’ on Brett Favre’s ankle, a guy he spent his entire tenure in Green Bay with, and telling tight end Visanthe Shiancoe that he’ll effectively shut him out. The Viking guys are giving it right back to Sharper. It adds spice to an already heated rivalry, and it’ll make that Dome atmosphere that much crazier … on a night where the Super Bowl Champions banner is slated to be unveiled.

Didn’t you just want to see what it would look like for once? For the Phoenix Suns to be in that situation at the end of a game and NOT have their hearts ripped out in cruel, unusual fashion? Guess we’ll have to keep waiting. For most teams, Ron Artest’s ill-advised 3-pointer would have led to a summer of second guessing.

For NBA royalty like L.A., he simply redeems himself moments later with a miraculous, “right place at the right time” game-winner. The Suns are not finished. But odds are, their best chance to win this series came and went on Thursday night.