Say this for Steve Kerr: he's knows how to make an impact. Just 14 months after assuming the mantle of Phoenix Suns' general manager and president of basketball operations, with the signing of Goran Dragic, he has remade the Suns in his own image.
Franchise-altering mega-trade? Check.
Hand-picked head coach? Check.
Sacrificing athleticism and offense for role players and defense? Check.
Betting the future on an unknown hand-picked foreigner? Check.
It all seems to have happened so quickly, as if Kerr just pressed one of those "Easy" buttons from Staples. Trade a franchise player here, draft and sign a couple role players there, hire a head coach here and presto-change-o, it's a whole new Suns team taking the floor next season. If all this leads to a championship this season, who could blame Kerr for approaching the dais for his turn with the Larry O'Brien carrying his giant phantom huevos Sam Cassell-style? He will have turned a Western Conference semi-finalist into a first round washout and back to contender in a little over 2 years. 7SOL will be become SSOL (Shawn's shit out of luck) and everyone will wonder whatever happened to that nice guy with the apostrophe in his name who always had his hand in his pocket on the sidelines.
And if it doesn't? Well, though the Suns are signing Dragic to a 3 year deal with team option for a 4th, I'd imagine that deal to come in around $2-3 million a year. Pretty cheap even if Dragic stinks like a Euro armpit. Furthermore, after riding out a couple of mediocre seasons, everyone except for Diaw and Barbosa come off the books after the 2009-2010 season. In other words, barring complete disaster over the next 24 months, Sarver and Kerr get to push the "Reset" button. I bet the Knicks wish they could have said that 14 months into Isiah's Reign of Terror. If Kerr has chosen to fly too close to the sun as a first time GM, he's certainly set himself up for a soft landing. The luxury of knowing that if he doesn't land with the Suns, his fall will be broken by giant pile of TNT's cash can't hurt either.
Fortunately for the franchise, with the notable exception of the D'Antoni departure (which I could never quite tell whether it was acrimonious or amicable), he's done all this with the same amount of fanfare as a man backing out of his driveway. It's all been just another day at the office for the former Wildcat. All of which is fitting for a guy who's spent his career under level heads from Lute Olson (old, ring-winning Lute, not new, nutty, tabloid-divorce Lute) to Phil Jackson to Greg Popovich. Right or wrong, he knows the results will speak for themselves.
As Phoenix Stan noted in the comments to the fanshot below, we've already played the "Genius or Moron?" game once with Kerr and it didn't end so well. But last year, it was possible to lay some of the blame at the feet of a stubborn if successful head coach. With a full season, a full roster and full coaching staff of his choosing this season it might be less "genius or moron" and more "my way or the highway" for Steve Kerr.