PROGRAMMING ALERT: We just posted my Q&A with Paul Westphal from last night - read it here.
Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie addressed a report that the coaching job was offered to both Kurt Rambis and Paul Westphal before Westphal became the guy. I've already shared my reporting on the matter in this blog post, but here is Petrie's response with questions in between.
His first statement on the matter...
A: "The way we approached this hire was that we had a compensation structure that was basically a pre-qualifying type of...commitment that was going to be needed. So all of the people who we talked to were either told ahead of time or immediately after in their interviews what this structure was. And in order to have a chance to be offered the job, there needed to be some acknowledgement that that structure would be acceptable, which is not unlike a lot of jobs that get put out there. The job could not have been offered to somebody who hadn't said that that structure was acceptable. The only person who was offered this job was Paul Westphal. That's the bottom line.
Q: How much thought did you give to riding this thing out until after the Finals, just because Kurt had seemed so loyal to the Lakers and not wanting to deal with this process during the Finals?
A: "I just think that we gave everybody enough time to examine, analyze, mull over. It wasn't a situation where you told somebody about this and then said, 'We need an answer in 24 hours.' There was no gun, really, put to anybody's head in that form. I guess the question was, 'How much time do you need?' And I think we gave everybody adequate time to formulate their own sense of whether this works or doesn't work. At some point, you want to have a coach, we liked them all very much and decided that Paul was the best."
Q: You had mentioned Paul's enthusiasm for the job, which he showed from the beginning and continues to show. Was it revealing to you at all how Kurt decided to handle the process? Did that say something to you about his interest level?
A: "That was up to each individual person to try to come to grips with on their own. I think we gave everybody adequate time to reach some point where they could be definitive one way or the other, and we weren't prepared to wait any longer."