After the standard media session ended today at the Kings practice facility, I waited around to ask Paul Westphal a few extra questions, mainly about an article in today’s Sacramento Bee by Ailene Voisin. You can find the story here and you can also find a pretty substantive discussion of the article here at Sactown Royalty.
To make a long story short, neither Paul Westphal or Carl Landry appreciated the tone of the piece or the context of the quotes used within the article that were attributed to Landry and both were ready to go on the record. You can see in the video below that Landry was almost sheepish about talking about the situation. He appeared to me to be nervous and embarrassed. Coach Westphal on the other hand was somewhere between extremely upset and irate. The conversation below came after an intense discussion between the two of us. When Coach Westphal was ready to speak on tape, I let him go for it.
JH : Coach, would you like to go on the record about the article?:
Coach Westphal: I will go on record as saying that as soon as Carl read the article, he came into my office and said, “that’s not the context that I was talking in and I am really sorry.” As soon as the team met, he said to the team, “it’s not the context I was talking in and it’s not what I think- the way it came out and I am sorry.” What else can you do?
We teach team basketball. We strive for team basketball. We run so many plays that create cutting and slashing opportunities. We are not a one on one team. Sometimes we tend to play too much one on one and we are working on that, but we are a work in progress. We are proud of how hard we are playing and competing and our team is trying to play together. It’s a shame that we have to deal with what Carl has said, is an out of context use of his quotes, to refute something that is so accusatory and wrong.
JH: How do you deal with a situation like this where a player is talking about another player in an negative context like this?
Coach Paul Westphal: I don’t even know what to say about what I read because I know Carl and we’ve had conversations and what I read was not reflective of the conversations that I have had with Carl. So, it’s very difficult for me to comment on something after Carl says the context was different than he intended and he’s sorry for it. It’s hard for me to dissect what he said with any meaning.
JH: Do you think something like this can help galvanize a team, pull them together and make them a little bit tighter as a group where they feel like teammates aren’t going on behind each other and talking, and that they have each others backs?
Coach Westphal: I think we’ve been fairly well galvanized anyway. We have a very good group. We’re pulling hard and we are always disappointed if we lose and we are trying to figure out a way to get over the hump and I think we’ve been doing it together. There’s not that much good about having to fight the kind of statements that were in that article. I can’t find a whole lot of good about it.
Once Carl Landry was done with his post practice shooting, he came over with the specific intent to discuss the article and to again apologize to everyone involved. Here is video footage of that exchange:
I’m not in the market of blowing up fellow members of the media. I was in the locker room following the Kings loss to the Bobcats and I was involved in a the group discussion with Carl Landry. He was in a very positive mood and even made a couple of jokes. I do not have footage of the full exchange between Landry and Voisin so I will not get into the “he said, she said” that is taking place. What I will add is that Carl Landry is well spoken, he hates losing and he has an opinion if you ask him a question. I also know him to be very respectful of not only his teammates but the media as well and I would love to hear the exchange in it’s entirety. Could I speculate? Yes, but that is not how I roll.
*** Update*** Here is a link to an interview that Ailene Voisin has just completed on The Grant Napear Show defending her piece.
*** Update #2*** Here is a link to Carl Landry’s interview on The Grant Napear Show this evening which came after the Voisin interview above.
While Landry backed away from his earlier comments on Napear’s show, I believe that context is still the point of contention in the overall disagreement. Jody Bacon of KHTK 1140 is trying to acquire the original audio transcript as we speak so this story might still have some legs later tonight. If I can land the audio, I will both post it and transcribe it.