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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Paul Westphal: Living Basketball Legend or Liability?


TrueHoop reader Kirk (you may know him from the comments as crazykirk35) is a huge Dallas fan who is hugely worried about the Mavericks' newest assistant coach. He emails:

Marc Stein's recent ESPN.com article about the West's best moves scared me when he talked about my beloved Mavs. Not because he talked about the lack of shake-up in the roster, but because he thinks the Mavs' signing of Paul Westphal is a good thing.

I'd like to stop right now and point out that I am a Pepperdine alum (class of '06) and I watched Westphal singlehandedly tear down an NCAA-tournament caliber program through both poor recruiting and absolutely horrid coaching.

Stein writes: "It'll be interesting to see if Westphal can bring some creativity and movement back to the Mavs' attack ... and how much influence Johnson will actually let Westy have."

I hope he doesn't let him have any influence. In one of his last years at Pepperdine (2004-05) Westphal had Yakhouba Diawara (Denver Nuggets), Alex Acker (former draft pick of Pistons, now with AXA FC Barcelona), Glen McGowan (multiple European teams), Robert Turner (Harlem Globetrotters), and others and led them to a 6-8 record in the West Coast Conference. The WCC. One of the worst conferences in America. Filled with large white guys, as Bill Simmons loves to say.

Even though we averaged 75 points a game that season, it's misleading. There was no sense to the offense and even though we had good firepower, we could only score in bunches. This is all quite terrifying to me. I understand Westphal was a great player and a pretty good coach until a decade ago. I just hope the Mavs don't hand him the keys to the offense. They might crash horribly.