Musselman key to Richardson, Arenas boycott?

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Musselman key to Richardson, Arenas boycott?

Postby MC Hao on Mon Jan 27, 2003 2:49 am

[url=http://www2.realgm.com/src_wiretap.php]Trouble in Warriorland
Richardson, Arenas are no-shows at practice
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The Warriors, in the midst of their best run in nine seasons, were flabbergasted Friday when starting guards Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson did not show up for practice one day after the team completed a sweep of the respective conference champions.

The reason for their absences at the late-morning workout was fuzzy. Agent Dan Fegan, who represents both second-year players, said Friday night that the two missed the practice because of "injury and illness," but the Warriors said they had no idea why Arenas and Richardson were absent.

The no-shows came one day after Arenas played a season-low 15 minutes and sat the final 21 minutes and Richardson rested the entire second quarter and logged three fourth-quarter minutes in a 105-97 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

The missed practices culminated a 2 1/2-week period during which Arenas admitted to being in a funk and hinted at displeasure over reduced playing time, and Richardson, irked by repeated benchings resulting mainly from defensive difficulties, met with Musselman to make sure the two were "on the same page."

But according to Peter Vecsey of the New York Post the issue lies squarely with coach Eric Musselman, who according to some of Vecsey's contacts is sacraficing the team's youth and future in exchange for wins now. The most hard-hit of the Warriors has been rookie Mike Dunleavy, the third overall pick in last June's NBA draft, but Richardson and Arenas are also feeling the veteran pinch with Earl Boykins and Bobby Sura getting key minutes down the stretch in games.

"The issue is trust," swears someone in the know writes Vecsey. "Eric was brought in here to develop young talent. Instead, he has alienated the team's top draft picks [Mike Dunleavy and Jeri Welsh] by telling people they can't play."

"What Eric has done to Dunleavy is dead wrong. What he's doing to Richardson and Arenas is just as unkind and uncalled for - he's undermining them by complaining about their deficiencies to outsiders. Sure, they have deficiencies - they're only in the second year in the NBA. What Eric doesn't understand is that a coach is supposed to be a custodian of his players' reputations."

"Eric has aborted his mission," continues Vecsey's contact. "Yes, he can coach. Yes, he has strengths. But this recent winning has gone to his head. Three and half months into his rookie season, the guy invites TNT into his locker room at halftime of the Nets game. Playing to the camera, he gave 'em the whole shebang - video, pep talks, individual stuff. Are you kidding me! That's not about the team! That's about the coach!"

"The Warriors have been mired in the mud for eight years. They've enjoyed short-term blips before. And this short-term blip is not necessarily an indication of great team chemistry. They're very talented, that' it."

"Eric has to make a decision. He has to understand the difference between winning 25 games and winning 35 at the expense of his young nucleus. John Lucas, Scott Skiles and Lon Kruger found out, if you can't bond with your young nucleus, you won't be coaching that long. Coaches who identify with young guys and bond built trust. There's none of that here."

So the Warriors are winning and that's not a good thing? So what Musselman uses the vets instead of the youngsters, as long as they are winning. And when was the last time the Warriors aren't a losing team anyway? Plus the vets are playing well, you can't blame the coach for playing them. And what he said about Dunleavy, gimme a break, that guy sucks, that's why he's not getting playing time. Vecsey is such a moron!
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Postby Gaucho on Mon Jan 27, 2003 6:07 am

totally agree, unless u r out of playoff race keep giving minutes to those guys who r playing better.
I think he s backing J-Rich and Gilbert just nuff, J- Rich had bad games and he keeps starting him, its true that he puts Earl in key moments though.
And looks like that guy forgot about Troy Murphy, he's playing his 2nd year too and veteran Danny Fortson, team's best rebounder, is having DNP on his box score very often.
About Dunleavy, I think he 's using him aight, put him in to shoot couple jumpers/three's then take him out, hes getting better but not NBA shape yet.
About Jiri, to have his minutes he'd have to take em off Gilbert and Jason, and clearly Earl and Bob r better players, or at least playing good bball rite now.
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Postby Andrew on Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:59 pm

I think he raises a valid point though. The coach can't afford to alienate any players on the team, young or old, because if the higher-ups like the roster that they have, it's much easier (and perhaps even preferable) to fire the coach when the team is losing.
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Postby MC Hao on Mon Jan 27, 2003 1:37 pm

What J-Rich and Arenas did was very unprofessional, they should be punished, not the coach. Every coach wants to win, if they don't then why do they even bother to coach. Also, if the coach uses some one like Earl Boykin in key moments instead of the yougsters, that says something about these young players too. I don't see Troy Murphy getting benched in key moments, because what? Because he works hard, stays consistent, and cooperates with the coach. If J-Rich and Arenas want their minutes, they need to do the same thing, not skipping practice with some lame excuses.
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Postby Andrew on Mon Jan 27, 2003 5:15 pm

Agreed, Richardson and Arenas did not voice their displeasure or address the situation in a professional manner, but it is still the coach's task to handle the egos on his roster, and to have a good relationship with his players. Obviously, J-Rich and Arenas have been led to believe they were to have larger or different roles than they currently have on the team. You could argue that a good coach would make sure every player knew his role, knew the team's plans and thus there would be less grumbling about minutes or the coach's treatment.

Also, this caught my attention:

"The issue is trust," swears someone in the know writes Vecsey. "Eric was brought in here to develop young talent. Instead, he has alienated the team's top draft picks [Mike Dunleavy and Jeri Welsh] by telling people they can't play."


Does that mean Musselman has being telling Dunleavy and Welsch they've had a good game, their progress is pleasing and whatnot after games and practices then telling the media they are no good? If that's the case, then it's Musselman doing the wrong thing by the players, IMHO.

Musselman's ways are fine as long as the team is winning, but if the plan doesn't succeed, then the what ifs will start flying ("What if Musselman actually utilised the young guy's talent and promise?" "What if Musselman didn't (mis)place trust in veterans simply because of their years in the NBA?"), and the blame will be placed on the coach. Sure, it will have been the players who didn't get the job done, but it's easier to fire the coach.

In a league where salary cap restrictions make trades lopsided and exciting play goes hand in hand with drawing fans to support young, up and coming teams, J-Rich's job is probably safer than Musselman's.
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Postby MC Hao on Tue Jan 28, 2003 6:04 am

Anyway, J-Rich and Arenas got their minutes back in the win over Utah Jazz. The Warriors had won 11 out of their last 16 games. Currently has a better record than the Lakers and Sonic, they actually have a chance making the playoff this year! Go Warriors, go Musselman!! Boo, Dunleavy!! Haha. :lol:
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