Even though he's just been named the best general manager in pro sports by Forbes, it's really time for GM Kevin McHale to be fired.
Just look at the recent play of the T-Wolves. The T-Wolves had a second 26-point blowout loss in a row on Friday. Then they lost to the Celtics (even if in triple overtime) on Sunday.
That's about as bad a 3-game stretch as you can have. Minnesota is now 6-13 since head coach Randy Wittman was hired in place of Dwayne Casey. The T-Wolves have led after the first quarter just three times in 18 games under Wittman.
Has Wittman lost the team or what?
The sad part is Wittman was brought in when Dwayne Casey was fired when the T-Wolves were still close to .500 and in the 8th spot for the Western Conference playoffs. It's all been downhill since.
Now I've been a McHale apologist for quite some time, largely for the reasons Forbes has him so high. Not that I'd have him anywhere close - but he's due a lot of credit for turning one of the worst franchises in sports around.
Sure, knock him for his role in the Joe Smith fiasco, for some draft picks that didn't work out (Ndudi Ebi) and a lot more, but he did get his team into the playoffs for eight consecutive years.
But he really can't seem to overcome his biggest mistake as GM - firing head coach Flip Saunders.
The T-Wolves have flat out stunk since Saunders left. And McHale hasn't been good at finding a replacement.
Saunders often had Kevin Garnett and not much else and made the playoffs (check out the roster of the 2002 T-Wolves. It was Garnett, Wally and not much else ... and they won 51 games).
And it's not like Garnett's play has fallen off any.
He fired Casey at a bizarre point in the season. They'd lost three games in a row, but it hardly seemed time to give up on him.
Wittman looks terrible as the team seems to have given up on him on the court and he looks almost lost in news conferences after the game.
It's finally time to clean house and move on. Bring in a real coach. Don't trade Garnett despite the media hype.
Sure you can trade KG to get a lot of picks and young guys ... and end up as the Atlanta Hawks looking for a superstar to add to a young team.
But Garnett can opt out of his contract after the 2007-08 season, so he may force the organization's hand. You'd have to trade him if he said he was going to leave.
KG could certainly put a bullet into McHale's tenure. Even if he doesn't, it's clear the organization needs a fresh start.
Posted by Peter Schoenke at 3/4/2007 10:36:00 PM