I just spoke with Reggie Theus about his firing earlier in the day, and he remained consistent to the end. He was upbeat, gracious, and grateful to have been given the opportunity to coach an NBA club after only two years as a college head coach. But Theus remains convinced he accomplished what was asked of him, namely, develop the young players, implement a system and keep the locker room intact.
"It's like arguing with the referee after he calls the foul," Theus said while driving. "There's no point in going through everything. It doesn't matter. I can see it one way, but they obviously are seeing it differently. Given the injuries to Kevin (Martin) and Cisco (Garcia), I thought we did a pretty good job. Taking over a team that was struggling in the first place, we knew it was a daunting challenge, but when I look in the mirror, I think we did the best we could. I'm just sad I won't be here to see it through. They've got good young players. They've got money (salary cap relief) coming."
Theus said he was approached by Petrie early Monday when he arrived for the pregame shootaround. He said they had a cordial conversation for about 20 minutes, and then he left. He plans to return to his home in Los Angeles within the next few days, then start considering his future. Not surprisingly, Theus did not sound worried about obtaining another head-coaching job, and said he would be receptive to coaching in the NBA or college. There already have been murmurings about Theus returning to college coaching - a notion he frequently mentions - because of his previous success at New Mexico State. Thus, he was careful with his comments, and obviously has no intention of burning bridges.
The closest he came to a parting shot was this:
"Things around here tend to be on the negative side. That's the one thing I hope that changes. You have to pull for each other in an organization on all levels."