By DWIGHT JAYNES (@dwightjaynes)
I've already written why I don't think Jerry Sloan would fit very well as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. I just don't hold out high hope he'd get the sort of hard-line support he'd need from the chain of command.
But that doesn't mean I wouldn't love it if it could be worked out.
If there is a great assurance that Sloan would get the sort of backing from ownership a hard-nosed coach needs to be successful, it might be just the thing this organization needs to begin a solid new era.
And if this organization is serious about believing Kaleb Canales will be a great NBA coach, if it really does hold him in such high regard, what better mentor for him could it bring in for a few seasons than Jerry Sloan?
I've already heard Canales speak reverently about Sloan many times. He respects the man and his coaching. So why not bring Sloan in here and make Canales his No. 2 assistant? (Yes, No. 2 -- because if you bring in Sloan, you better also add his long-time top assistant, Phil Johnson, who is also a great coach.)
That would round out Canales' coaching education and give Portland a chance with young players to build a new system at both ends of the floor and to teach them the expectations that go with playing for Sloan.
This man will get the most out of whatever talent he's given. He'll drive them hard, make sure they hustle, play solid team defense and share the ball on offense. He's a legit Hall of Fame coach, folks.
Perhaps -- and this is but a dream at this point -- this coaching staff could then even educate these players on how to actually set a good hard pick. And after that, maybe even get them to do it once in a while!
Will this happen? Probably not. It makes too much sense.
Sloan, reached by phone Thursday, was asked about the Trail Blazers and said, "I haven't talked to anybody and nobody has talked to me." Sloan chuckled about his name popping up in conjunction with open jobs in Charlotte, Orlando and Portland.
"It sounds like I've been out there trying to get every job," he said. "But I've just talked to one team."
He confirmed that team was Charlotte, saying "They talked to me a little bit."
Sloan was unaware the Trail Blazers had named Neil Olshey general manager and said he is not acquainted with Kaleb Canales. "I probably should be," he said. "But I always spent so much time with my own team -- you can't coach two teams."
Sloan, who does not use an agent, said, "I could not say I wouldn't be interested if they called. You really don't know until they come and talk to you."