According to the team, Rambis -- mired in the Finals -- refused to answer if the salary structure would work. On Tuesday, Petrie pushed forth with the question. Rambis' agent Warren LeGarie said his client couldn't be bothered to think about it right now ... so Petrie hired Westphal. Now accusations that LeGarie had been ripping Westphal behind the scenes have come out, while Rambis claims he actually turned down the job.
It's a lot of drama for a job almost no one outside of Sacramento cares about.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reported Wednesday that Westphal nearly pulled his candidacy over the weekend because of "relentless and nasty attacks" made against him behind the scenes. Woj didn't indicate who those attacks came from, but I'm told it was the agent LeGarie trying to convince the Maloof brothers that Westphal was a bad choice. This is, quite obviously, bad pool.
Meanwhile, Rambis' camp immediately attempted to spin the story as the Lakers assistant having turned down the job. Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee -- who has been on this story from Day 1 -- talked with Petrie Wednesday. The GM denied offering Rambis the job.
"All of the people who we talked to were either told ahead of time or immediately after in their interviews what this structure was. And in order to have a chance to be offered the job, there needed to be some acknowledgment that that structure would be acceptable, which is not unlike a lot of jobs that get put out there. The job could not have been offered to somebody who hadn't said that that structure was acceptable. The only person who was offered this job was Paul Westphal. That's the bottom line."But Rambis -- who, remember, refused to acknowledge if the salary structure he's known about for weeks would be acceptable because he's too focused on the Finals -- decided to go on sports talk radio Wednesday night to ... rip the Kings job and claim he rejected the opportunity to coach the team. Amick has the money transcription:
"I understand that they wanted to move forward in their coaching search, but really what it came down to was that they have a bunch of young players on their team. It's a project team. As it stands right now, that team is – particularly in the Western Conference – is a ways away from winning. ... [M]y vision and their vision just didn't coincide, so I decided to turn their offer down and they moved in another direction."Again, this is a lot of drama for the Kings job. It's interesting to see what lengths coaches will go to (attempt to) save their own reputation.