SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, May 24, 2004

Mike Montgomery's Decision, Continued

Coach Montgomery's decision still baffles me, enough that it warrants more scrutiny. Did Coach Montgomery believe that he had taken the Stanford Cardinal as far as he could? Did he think that with the impending exit of Josh Childress it would take him long enough to get another star player of that caliber and that he would be in his sixties before making perhaps his final run at an NCAA title? Or did he think that this would be his only shot at an NBA gig? Or, finally, is it about the money? Living in northern California isn't an inexpensive proposition, so does the Clippers North deal (oops, the Warriors' deal) offer him the final piece of financial security that could let him retire in northern California in absolute comfort? Given that most coaches in the Eastern Conference have been in their jobs for slightly longer than the horse-racing season at Saratoga, what makes Coach Montgomery believe he'll be treated any differently? The Clippers North's players felt that erstwhile Coach Eric Musselman was too hard on them. What about a former college coach, whose authority was absolute? What happens when he wants to kick a twenty-one year-old with a $200,000 car and $50,000 in jewelry and a guaranteed contract out of practice? At Stanford, no one hears about that sort of thing. In the NBA, that grabs headlines, and that can totally cause a team to lose its focus. Not only will the Clippers North not be college anymore, it won't be Stanford, where not only were the players good, they were also rather smart. Of course, Coach Montgomery could prove all of us wrong and have the magic formula for success in the NBA, and here's to hoping that he does.

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