Steve Kerr had a pretty good week. Along with the team logging a season-high four game win streak which as Michael points out at VotS is kind of sad when you consider past seasons, Kerr's guys delivered. For that we award 3 Genius Points.
Going into an off season in which highly unconfirmed rumors...more like whispers really...say that Kerr's job is on the line and with KTAR radio openly speculating that Nash will almost surely be traded, there's still time for Kerr (if he's still here) to make a huge impact on the organization's future. In the mean time, he's done plenty already which we can judge. Sometimes throwing stones and sometimes like today, throwing Genius Points.
Genius Point 1 - Excellent Public Relations
On the public relations front, Kerr had a solid performance answering tough questions from fans. He did take some softballs too, but they were buried at the end of the article. It is never good policy to run from your critics when you are in a role as public as Steve is and this was very well handled. In contrast, I would point out the unfortunate way in which Kerr and Sarver both vehemently denied the very well sourced rumors of Porter's impending dismissal on a Thursday only to pull the trigger on Sunday.
General Manager is a tough job under the best of circumstances and coming into Phoenix with a team who's window was closing anyway was always going to be a challenge.
Of course, the entire purpose of the Steve Kerr Moron Meter is to track the result of his various decisions and render our uninformed and purely speculative opinion on a random and unaccountable basis.
Blogging is so much easier then GM'ing....and yet for some reason doesn't pay as well either.
Genius Point 2 - Suns Bench Play
The impact of the Suns bench over the past few weeks has been as good as we've seen with team in a long long long time. Dudley, Amundson, Dragic and now even perhaps Tucker and Swift are all contributing in a positive way. These are all Kerr's boys and they are making him look good. Genius-like in fact.
Genius Point 3 - Jason Richardson
The second biggest trade Kerr has made as Suns' GM was moving Bell and Diaw for Richardson and Dudley. The jury is still out on this one, as it is on pretty much everything Kerr's done (except paying Presti to take Kurt Thomas) but now that Gentry has told JRich to be more aggressive on the court (and hopefully not on the highways) his past three games have been spectacular.
He's averaged over 30 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1 block since Gentry told him to play his game and not to worry about stepping on people's toes.
Why no Moron Points?
It's been awhile since we've updated the Meter and that period included the 6 game losing streak that put the Suns in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs. When I think back on those games though for the most part the team played hard. Amare's eye injury certainly wasn't Kerr's fault and the one other thing that contributed the most to the losing was Nash's and Shaq's on the court chemistry.
I just can't put that on Shaq though since we saw the team play well when Nash was out and we saw the team well and balanced over the past four games when Nash's FGA's were back to Nash-like levels of 13 per game down from 20 per game during the losing streak.
In fact, I am more inclined to give another Genius Point for Shaq passing Moses Malone into 5th all time scoring and more importantly for leading the team and keeping the locker room tight and the spirits high. I won't though because 3 Genius Points already feels like sucking up and so 4 at one time would be too much.
That's the completely arbitrary way the Steve Kerr Moron Meter rolls.
Update to Shaq' Retirement Countdown Clock
The count down to Shaq's retirement clock in the side bar of this site was originally created in response to Shaq himself talking about having "700 days left". At the time what he meant was basically playing out his current contract and hanging up the size 23's at the age of 38.
That made sense to all of us at the time but was before we saw what how rejuvenated and lively his body still is. Now Shaq is talking about playing another two years after this contract which would take him to about July 2012.
If he's willing to sign a small enough deal there's no reason why he shouldn't still be playing somewhere in this league for the next three full seasons.
Unfortunately, a date that far out seems to be beyond the computation power of our count down clock widget so the clock has been removed.