Should He Stay or Should He Go Now?

 —  February 1, 2005

I have not walked a step in Rudy T.’s shoes, let alone the miles it would take to understand what he is feeling and what he thinks he should do. I would not be so presumptuous as to offer him advice on a very personal decision. If his health is the most pressing issue — Laker officials are saying it is, but that would be their spin whatever the reason — he needs to do what is best for him and no fan or media member should criticize him.

I will, however, offer this idea that he should weigh his decision against — if he’s in he needs to be in for it all. Whether or not Jerry Buss wants to admit it, this is a rebuilding project in Los Angeles — it’s not like the ones in other NBA cities where rebuilding means three or four years in the lottery, but it is rebuilding. If Rudy T. wants to be a part of that, of building this team into a champion, he’s got to be in for the long haul and be up to it physically and mentally. If not, whatever his reason, then he should walk away. What I don’t want to see is him come back just for the rest of this season then leave, causing more upheaval.

(While we wait for Rudy T.’s official word, I’ll put up a post Wednesday late morning on other coaches to consider — Eric Musselman, Michael Cooper and the guy who appears to be the frontrunner, one Phil Jackson.)