Monty and Paul don’t like each other

Matt L

formerly known as mattyboy
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Posts
4,260
Reaction score
490
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
In defense of Paul Westphal (R.I.P.), I'm not sure he lacked such edge. He sure showed it as a player, since he was the one who thought of calling the illegal time-out in 1976. It means that, if nothing else, he was clever and creative in manipulating the rules to his own advantage. I think that because off the court he was known to be a genial man, everyone probably assumes that Westphal was soft on the court. I don't assume that.

It's sort of the same thing with Jeff Hornacek. Because he played years later than Westphal, it's easier to observe Hornacek's on-court persona; but since Hornacek was always been considered a "boy scout" off the court, one could mistakenly suppose he would be a boy scout on the court. Anyone who thinks that would need to see the video I saw of Hornacek getting into a fight early in his career. Hornacek was driven and was more temperamental than he looks.

Yet another example is Kevin Johnson himself. Kevin Johnson more famously was thought to be a good guy off the court (at least until we knew he took a shower with an underage girl); but on the court he was fiery enough to get into unnecessary fights (as well as dunk on Hakeem Olajuwon then scream about it -
xc_hide_links_from_guests_guests_error_hide_media
).

If that dunk happened on Luka, he would have demanded a stretcher to take him to the locker room and later emerged with a neck brace.
 

Fumats20

Rookie
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Posts
75
Reaction score
51
Location
Home
I refuse to believe that the problems are systemic because of how awesome the team chemistry has been the past 2+ years, but it's sounding like there is descension in the ranks. I'm trying to hard to give everyone the benefit of the doubt here because the team, at least to this point, has had great leadership and cohesion.

This is strange. You don't want to demolish a 64-win team. At the same time, you want to cut the cancer out if it's going to linger into ensuing seasons. I don't admire James Jones's position at all.
There is a line line between love & hate.
 

cheesebeef

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Posts
77,020
Reaction score
38,246
I don't think the Rockets were underdogs against the Suns in 1994 (they had home court advantage anyway). I guess the Suns might have been favored in 1995 since the Rockets were a 6th seed, but they were the defending champions. Feel free to correct me if I'm misremembering, it was a long time ago.
We were slightly favored against the Rockets in 1994. We were just coming off a Finals appearance against the Bulls, Barkley and KJ missed significant time which is why we only won 56 games and finished two behind the Rockets, the Sonics historically flamed out in the first round against Denver and the majority of media thought the Finals were gonna be Knicks v. Suns.

Houston was even deemed “Choke City” prior to the series and that narrative only gained steamed as we came back from 18 point deficits twice in back to back wins on their home floor to take a 2-0 lead. That turned around on us quick and “Clutch City” became a thing.

So we weren’t overwhelming favorites to beat them, but we were favorites.

And in 1995, we were definitely favorites and heavily so. We were easily the best team in the league, on pace for 65 years wins when Manning went down, scuffled a bit figuring out his void in the middle of the season, but finished the season with 59 wins, ripping off 9 straight to end the year and then swept through the Blazers before we took a commanding 3-1 lead against the Rockets. They blew up their title team at mid-season trading for Drexler, were middling all season and end up a 46-36 team. Real mediocre.

In the playoffs, once Utah was upset by Houston, everyone thought it was gonna be us or the Spurs v. Orlando. And if Barkley hadn’t missed 2 FTs up 3 with 20 seconds left in Game 5 (where we’d proceed to give up a 3 to tie and lose in OT), we would have.
 

angelofthesouth

Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Posts
317
Reaction score
96
Location
Glendale
I remember hearing D'Antoni call Pat Burke "Tragic Johnson" after Burke had a good game which seemed kind of jerkish. Burke seemed insulted when reporters told him about the comment.
That one, I didn't even know! It was utterly uncalled for.

The one I did have in mind that offended me occurred in the season that had rookies Alando Tucker and D.J. Strawberry (2006-07 or 2007-08). Enough people expressed hope that D'Antoni would start developing these rookies that D'Antoni apparently heard it. He stood before reporters and snarked "What, am I gonna play D.J.?!" or words to that effect. If the coach disrespects his bench players and rookies, he shouldn't have them.
 
OP
OP
F

Finito

ASFN Icon
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Posts
17,263
Reaction score
10,659
I remember hearing D'Antoni call Pat Burke "Tragic Johnson" after Burke had a good game which seemed kind of jerkish. Burke seemed insulted when reporters told him about the comment.

Nothing on earth will make players lose respect for a coach faster than a coach who finger points.
 

Bufalay

ASFN Lifer
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Posts
4,371
Reaction score
449
We were slightly favored against the Rockets in 1994. We were just coming off a Finals appearance against the Bulls, Barkley and KJ missed significant time which is why we only won 56 games and finished two behind the Rockets, the Sonics historically flamed out in the first round against Denver and the majority of media thought the Finals were gonna be Knicks v. Suns.

Houston was even deemed “Choke City” prior to the series and that narrative only gained steamed as we came back from 18 point deficits twice in back to back wins on their home floor to take a 2-0 lead. That turned around on us quick and “Clutch City” became a thing.

So we weren’t overwhelming favorites to beat them, but we were favorites.

And in 1995, we were definitely favorites and heavily so. We were easily the best team in the league, on pace for 65 years wins when Manning went down, scuffled a bit figuring out his void in the middle of the season, but finished the season with 59 wins, ripping off 9 straight to end the year and then swept through the Blazers before we took a commanding 3-1 lead against the Rockets. They blew up their title team at mid-season trading for Drexler, were middling all season and end up a 46-36 team. Real mediocre.

In the playoffs, once Utah was upset by Houston, everyone thought it was gonna be us or the Spurs v. Orlando. And if Barkley hadn’t missed 2 FTs up 3 with 20 seconds left in Game 5 (where we’d proceed to give up a 3 to tie and lose in OT), we would have.

Sorry to hear that you have a clearer memory of this than me. I do remember a big comeback one of the first two games being the highlight of the series in '94.
 

Bufalay

ASFN Lifer
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Posts
4,371
Reaction score
449
That one, I didn't even know! It was utterly uncalled for.

The one I did have in mind that offended me occurred in the season that had rookies Alando Tucker and D.J. Strawberry (2006-07 or 2007-08). Enough people expressed hope that D'Antoni would start developing these rookies that D'Antoni apparently heard it. He stood before reporters and snarked "What, am I gonna play D.J.?!" or words to that effect. If the coach disrespects his bench players and rookies, he shouldn't have them.
I remember that one too.
 

cheesebeef

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Posts
77,020
Reaction score
38,246
Sorry to hear that you have a clearer memory of this than me. I do remember a big comeback one of the first two games being the highlight of the series in '94.
LOL… me too.
 

Muggz

Hall of Famer
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Posts
1,458
Reaction score
1,651
Location
Tent City
WHAT IF?
The whole Monte vs Ayton and Monte vs CP3 thing is just a clever ruse to get tons of offer sheets on Ayton so Saver HAS to pay him.
Yeah thats what im going with, tricksey Sunses.
 

Yuma

Working from home. Missing my free coffee!
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Posts
13,549
Reaction score
2,547
Location
Laveen, AZ
I find it hard to believe that personal rifts led to the horrible play and squandering the best chance you have had to win a title in 17ish years of basketball. Like they all packed it in over some personal rift.
There's been old school teams in sports where guys later talked about playing with guys they did not like, but the teams were successful. I think it's just human nature. People don't like everyone they work with or meet. I do find it hard to believe that would make our guys just say I don't want to play anymore.
 
Top