ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)NewOrleans New Orleans Hornets head coach, Monty Williams, is knownas one of the young up-and-coming minds in the NBA coachingprofession and he attributes that to his time as an assistant coachof the Portland Trail Blazers.
Williamsis currently going through a rebuilding phase in New Orleans and youmight say the Trail Blazers are doing the same thing. The Hornetshave their coaching staff in place while the Trail Blazers' coachingsituation is in flux.
Still,Williams feels the Trail Blazers' coaching position is a primedestination due to the people at the top.
Ijust think when you have an owner like Mr. (Paul) Allen and you havethose kind of resources, it's a recipe for success, Williams tellsCSNNW.com. I'm the kind of guy I think coaches should be runningto try and get that job. I think it's one of the better jobs in theleague because of Mr. Allen, because of the city, and I love theNorthwest. So I think the combination of all that is a greatopportunity.
TheTrail Blazers have received criticism for their handling of theirgeneral managers and their elongated general manager search, which tookover a year after Rich Cho was let go.
Andto a certain extent, Neil Olshey's strategy to hire a head coachduring the free agency period has sparked a debate, as well.
Williamssays at times he hears the reports that surfaces out of Portland andthe national media, but thinks a lot of it is unwarranted.
Iknow Mr. Allen is a good owner and a lot of times, people lose sightof that because they want him to do what they want him to do,Williams said. Larry Miller is a guy that I look up to and I spenda lot of time talking to him. With those two guys running the show,it gives guys like Neil and whoever they have as the head coach, achance to be successful.
TheNBA Draft is one day away followed by the free agency period.Somewhere in between the two, the Trail Blazers' coaching search isexpected to occur and when Williams was asked about potentialcandidates, he spoke on two prospects.
Ilike Mike Malone. I worked with Mike. But you look at Kaleb, he did agood job under a tough circumstance last year, Williams said. Ithink either way they go, they're going to be in good hands. Thatcity is special and I think Kaleb understands that. Michael would bea good choice, but that doesn't mean Kaleb wouldn't do a good job.Kaleb is going to work hard at it just like we all do.
NewOrleans holds the top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft and Kentuckyforward Anthony Davis is considered by most as the consensus No. 1pick. Williams isn't quite ready to say who the Hornets will snagcome June 28, but does says the Hornets' organization is doing theirdue diligence in preparation for the draft.
We'regoing to meet everyday and talk through it and make sure we make thebest decision, Williams said. The way I look at it, thisdecision isn't just about coaching. We value the kind guys we bringinto this city. We want these people to be proud. We spend a lot oftime talking about guys we want to bring in our program and we wantguys who can play.
Twoplayers who can surely play are Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor. TheHornets traded the two over the weekend to the Washington Wizards inexchange for Rashard Lewis and the No. 46 pick in this week's draft.Lewis is expected to be bought out.
Thismove only solidifies the fact that the Hornets are rebuilding andWilliams doesn't refute that.
Itgives us flexibility, Williams said. We are rebuilding so wewanted to put Emeka and Trevor in a situation where they didn't haveto go through that and it's going to give our young guys more time toplay.
Regardingthe Trail Blazers, the next couple of weeks will be informative aswe'll get an idea of the team's plan when it comes torebuildingretooling.
Howeverand whichever ever route the Trail Blazers decide to take, Williamsbelieves the organization knows what they're doing and says they'llhave the right coach in place to orchestrate matters.
Obviouslycoaching in the NBA is a privilege, but I think if Kaleb gets thejob, he's going to do a good job because he works at it, but Mike iscertainly qualified.