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Consider fundamentals over flash in hoops search

Citizen Staff Writer



Editor’s note: Citizen staffer reviews the week’s events, with a dash of sass

The chemistry of coaching confounds me. Phil Jackson studies a fingernail, Bob Knight goes into a furniture-flinging fit. Both have been effective, though sometimes a successful method loses its magic.

The conundra continue. An able assistant rarely rises to the team’s top spot. Good players often make lousy coaches. What works in college may not translate to the NBA, and vice versa.

Thursday, the Tucson Citizen had tipped toward declaring Tim Floyd as the next Wildcat chief. Then Floyd said he’d stay at USC.

So what’s the University of Arizona to do? The Lute Olson benefits are waning. If we let go of the elite and focus on rebuilding, we might try a guy who likes defense over dunks, fundamentals over flash, academics along with athleticism.

I like Rick Majerus. He lives in hotels. How about the Arizona Inn?

OPEN AND SHUT: One purpose of the Open Meetings Law is to keep some things secret.

City Council members cited the law in a Thursday story checking on Mike Hein’s future as city manager.

The law means no one can divulge what goes on in a publicly declared “executive session,” a maneuver often cited for closing meetings so that politicians can vent about employees or show their cards in a lawsuit.

The law doesn’t prevent anyone from saying whether they, personally, would renew Hein’s contract.

Technically, Hein needs only four votes of the seven-member council. But a CEO needs consensus more than coalitions.

Good leadership dictates that after Tuesday’s vote, council members should either lock him out of his office or back him unanimously – in writing.

KILLER B’s: The Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is hosting U.S. Sen. John McCain at its National Issues Forum April 17.

The Citizen said the 2008 Republican nominee for president would discuss budgets and bailouts. That misses the third killer B: the border.

Maybe he’s ceded that to President Obama – and to Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, ex-governor of Arizona.

JUSTICE SERVED: Jurors in the Christopher Payne case returned with the only defensible sentence: death.

I don’t daydream about torturing him, though a lot could happen in a prison yard.

Jurors who oppose the death penalty on principle are weeded out of capital cases. And a principled stance, I respect.

New Mexico recently abolished executions and many countries do not practice them.

But we have it in Arizona, and if Payne doesn’t get the death penalty, no one should.

His life still will be better than the ones he provided his kids, Tyler and Ariana, who were beaten, locked in a closet 24-7 and starved to death.

Payne may never be executed, and no one can bring those babies back. There’s some solace in seeing him get the max.

MAN OR MACHINE? Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs – not my faves. I can’t deal with their outrage. I’m too busy with my own.

And I don’t want Obama’s heroics to fail, as Rush does.

But President Obama seems to think he can fix anything. That could make him more dangerous than a bunch of bilious broadcasters.

Strong-arm the auto industry, secure the U.S. border, hammer out an arms treaty and give a pep talk to the planet on spending our way out of recession. All in the past couple of weeks.

What’s up for April? Health care, global warming? One thing he’s smart enough not do: Trot out a “Mission Accomplished” banner.

Confidence is cool. But humility doesn’t hurt.

HANG TIME: No noose is good news, a former (laid off) co-worker said in an e-mail to the Citizen staff. “Day-by-day” employment here beats standing in line for handouts. The closer we get to 2010, he believes, the better.

I get that. But plans for finding another job, retraining in a new field or even scheduling a day off get more awkward by the day, ever since the paper passed a March 21 deadline for sale or closure. Most of us are sick of the subject, but to qualify for severance we must stay.

We try to read clues like ancient Romans divining the future by reading the entrails of sacrificial sheep.

The suspense is killing me.

Judy Carlock can be reached at 573-4608 or jcarlock@tucsoncitizen.com. For more on these stories, see this column online.

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