Wednesday on Newsmakers Week: Michael Bidwill, Jason Rowley, Chip Hale, Jerry Colangelo and Don Maloney
Every day of Newsmakers Week, the major decision makers of our community answer our questions. It takes an incredible time commitment from our teams and events to come to our studios but it makes the interviews much more conversational. I think conversations give you, the listener, more content and, hopefully, more entertainment.
The questions don’t end with us. We’re reading your questions from twitter to the major players sitting in our studio. Every day, I’ll give you a quick run down of my highlights from the day. Feel free to give me yours @doug987FM.
Here’s what happened Wednesday:
Today, Jerry Colangelo joined us in studio. Obviously, you’re wondering, why is he mentioned under the Michael Bidwill heading? The biggest takeaway on Michael Bidwill did not happen while Bidwill talked. It happened when he was talked about.
Colangelo said during a commercial break how well Phoenix handled the Super Bowl. He spoke about how busy he was during the week, including his time spent with out-of-town CEOs at a function designed to showcase Phoenix and Arizona.
“Michael took a real leadership position as a driver for the region,” he said. “It was good for him and for the area.”
As president of the business side for the Suns, it’s a tough seat. If the Suns are average or below average, he still has to sell tickets and sponsorships. He spoke on those challenges and the growth he sees from the on-court product.
In my opinion, the arena is extremely well-run. The excitement that is put into attending a game and how much the Suns do as a business organization to build everything around the actual on-court product. The Suns aren’t just one of the best in basketball, they’re one of the best in sports. I strongly recommend going to a Suns game for the environment and experience, both as a Dad or a great date night. However, I disagree with Rowley about the team as a whole.
I see growth from Goran Dragic. I see growth in certain areas with Eric Bledsoe, but there are still major holes. The future of the Morris twins should be debated. The on-court product is not headed in the direction that I project long-term success. Player passion is not there from start to finish. The ball sticks offensively (except in Tuesday night’s third quarter). Defense is about heart, hustle and chemistry yet few players on the team possess and do all three.
I don’t think the Diamondbacks are going to be very good this year. I think Chip Hale will be great this year.
Hale has the right balance of patience and hammer. He has the opportunity of a lifetime as a first-year MLB manager to learn from a Hall of Famer in Tony LaRussa. He’s an energy guy but not a “sugar coater,” which is what young teams need. Hale said he’ll listen to La Russa on everything but manage his own way. Strong statement.
I don’t have one takeaway when we talk to Jerry. I take away all I can.
To recap one of the many highlights, he said there are two cities ready to move on the USA Basketball project originally scheduled to open in Tempe. He’s hoping he can recapture momentum for the project in Tempe, but he’s afraid his timetable will move much faster than Tempe’s.
The biggest shock was his opinion on the Dubnyk trade. He has no problem with Dubnyk’s success and doesn’t believe it makes the trade any worse. Irrelevant of the skill of Dubnyk, due to the marriage between the Coyotes and Mike Smith, Dubnyk was expendable. Can you be 100 percent right in the present and 10 percent right in hindsight?
Dubnyk should have been moved since there’s no way you can cut bait from Smith with the contract he’s signed to. However, it brings up the hindsight question, why are you married to Mike Smith? At the time of the Smith signing, I was in favor of it so it’s hypocritical of me to now rip the Coyotes for a mistake, yet we all know Smith hasn’t lived up to the expectations.
Smith is on fire now as the team’s blue line has improved. Obviously the performance is directly proportional to the performance of the goalie, but often times average defensemen become much worse when they lack confidence in their goalie and try to be heroes to protect him.