Jim O'Brien has a Blog

I didn't know. Nobody told me! It's good, too.

You have to sign up for the ESPN Insider to read the blog by the former head coach (and Jack Ramsay's son-in-law). I won't republish the whole thing here, but here are two highlights of his blogging so far:

If the Suns pull this off, coaches will have to formulate a new line. Players will look at their coaches and say, "baloney" when their coach tells them the importance of stopping the other team.

I can just hear it.

"Come on coach, Phoenix won the championship and didn't play a lick of defense."

Horrors of all horrors, three out of the four teams in the conference finals allowed their opponents to shoot over 50 percent. Is this new, dangerous philosophy contagious?

In the Western Conference semifinals series with the Suns, coach Mike Dunleavy and the Clippers scrapped their whole philosophy to try to compete. If you play two big men, you will get embarrassed and lose. For most of their series the Clippers' tallest player was Shaun Livingston, who is practically the same height as Elton Brand.

DeSagana Diop was the Mavs' defensive star down the stretch of Game 7 of the conference semifinals in San Antonio, but Wednesday night against the Suns he did not see a minute of playing time. Erick Dampier played 17 minutes, which might have to be adjusted down.

Can you just imagine a Miami Heat-Phoenix Suns NBA Finals?

Pat Riley: "Shaq, listen, we decided to sit you out tonight because it's really important that we try to win."

I also really like this little story about veteran NBA coach Dick Harter:

Dick Harter, my highly valued assistant during my time in Boston and Philadelphia, was hilarious when it came to officials. We would be relaxed and in good humor until the door opened and the media relations person gave the names of the officials. If Harter did not like who was assigned to our game he would transform into Darth Vader, and a dark cloud would descend upon his mood. If there was a video camera monitoring our conversation after the crews were given to us, we would have either been fined or it would have made "America's Funniest Home Videos."

My only question remaining is: how bad does it suck to be an NBA media guy?

Your job description has to do with how the reporters (and, by extension, the public customers) interact with and view the team. It's about shaping the message. That's a real, difficult profession that, done properly, is no small feat. But they spend a lot of time obsessed with gopher duties like telling the coaches who the refs are, making sure players get the tickets they need, and babysitting everyone's friends and families. The Nets PR guy is even the public address announcer too. And they're never home. I have great admiration for the men and women pull this off with a good attitude.