|FISH SCOOP: WESTPHAL RETURNS TO MAVS AS VP|
|by Mike Fisher||Wed, Oct 1, 2008, 02:04 pm|
Paul Westphal is tanned, rested and ready. He’s also bearded, hoping to avoid wearing suits and re-employed with the Dallas Mavericks as their Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, he tells DallasBasketball.com.
“I’m going to be underfoot for a while longer,’’ Westphal said. “Really, it’s a good time for me to transition to the front office. It’s something I’ve had interest in, so I look forward to it.’’
Westphal, 57, joined the Mavs last year as a member of Avery Johnson's coaching staff. The former NBA All-Star and seven-year vet of NBA head coaching was not retained for this year’s Rick Carlisle staff. But the organization valued his skills enough that – not unlike Del Harris before him – a job was created.
“We’ve been in discussions about this since the beginning of summer, and I’ll be helping (general manager) Donnie Nelson,’’ said Westphal, who attended Wednesday’s practice in casual attire that included last year’s Mavs team polo shirt. “I guess I haven’t been given the (new wardrobe) bag yet. … I don’t think I’ll be wearing a suit not if I can help it, anyway. I’ll dress like Donnie. You don’t want to out-dress the boss.’’
Westphal, who had been out of coaching since 2005 after spending four seasons at Pepperdine University, was embraced last year by both Donnie and owner Mark Cuban. Having played 12 seasons in the NBA (with five All-Star appearances) and having earned a reputation as a creative offensive coach (he led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in 1993), he was viewed as someone who could be an asset to Johnson. Instead, despite his career record of 273-168, his voice largely went unheard.
Now he’ll get the chance to make a contribution as an executive – though he might want to do something about the scraggly beard, which hardly looks “vice-presidential.’’
“Oh, I just didn’t shave today,’’ Westphal said. “Actually, I haven’t shaved for a lot of days.’’
345pm oct 1 2008