A Young GM - Walter Snethen

A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:20 pm

My first try at a Dynasty as a GM, so please bear with me.

I am sure you remember Barry Snethen (Snee-then), NBA Great. Had one of the most wonderful NBA careers ever with the New Orleans Jazz.
Then they moved to Utah, anyway, you know that story.
Then after his playing career he took a turn as a coach with New Orleans. When they moved to Utah, Barry made a moved too, to coach the
upstart Oklahoma City Thunder when they came in the league in 1970. He won 3 Championships in 1975, 1976 and 1978.
At the end of the 1980 season he was given the chance to become the part owner and Barry jumped at it.

Barry Snethen.....is my Uncle. Bruce Snethen is MY Father. Barry and Bruce are twin brothers. Barry had all the athleticism while my dad, Bruce
was.....let's say in the marching band. He liked the arts. My father also like to fish and hunt as he got that from Grandpa Oliver Snethen.

Anyway, Hello....my name is Walter Snethen. Most people including my Dad call me Walt. I was any ordinary kid growing up, but I, like my
Uncle Barry, loved sports. My father and mother always made sure I got to practice on time, came to my games, etc. I had a great time in
middle school and junior high but I got all my height in those grades. I stand 5-9. By high school everyone of my classmates passed me in
height. My sporting ability was OK but not great, so let's say, I was usually the last guy off the bench.

I didn't let that stop me in my love for sports. Academically, straight A student. BUT, I was smarter than most. I graduated high school at age 15.
Graduated college at 19. I was now ready for the world.

From time to time I did go and spend time with my Uncle Barry. He took the time to show me the ropes as he did not have any kids. Just too
busy to start a family. I loved spending time with him so we could talk sports.

There was this one time that I told him of a trade he should make and why. He kind of sluffed me off, then the next day he called me and asked
me how I came up with that. Told him his current player was not giving his all and needed to be moved. Told him which player I thought was
available and he would make a perfect fit. Two days later, the trade was made.

So when I was done with school I went to Oklahoma City (OKC) to talk to him about a job. He asked me for what kind of job and I told him.......
General Manager. I thought he was going to choke!!!! When he regained his composure, I told him, NO. With the Oklahoma City Storm in the

It took several days of convincing and several days of begging. I told him running the D-League was not much to it. You just had to do your home work
when it came time to draft your players in the D-League. Do your homework and it should be easy. Then just run your staff and the day-to-day events
would fall in line. He finally asked me to come to his office the next day for a job interview. 8am sharp I was dressed in my suit hoping to help my
uncle some way with the organization. After the interview, he told me to come back the next day. I took notes of the questions he asked in the interview
as I was thinking I might need them down the line when it came time to hire coaches.

The next day I went to his office expecting to be turned away by my own uncle. He told me, "They are going to laugh me right out of the NBA and the rest
of the owners are going to buy me out, but here you go Walter Snethen, here are the keys to the Oklahoma City Storm"!!!
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Re: A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:05 pm

My first year as the GM for the Oklahoma City Storm....WAS....a learning experience. When you do not have much
control as the parent organization can call players up, which can leave you short handed. That first year we finished

I thought a pretty good start. I was hoping to get some feed back from my Uncle Barry, I didn't receive much but one
day he did say good job.

Year two with the Storm was a bit better as we finished 40-22. Not bad for a 20-year old GM in the D-League.

My parents we're ecstatic. They lived near Enid, Oklahoma in a town called Lahoma. Yes, Lahoma, Oklahoma. Was
an hour and a half drive to OKC to watch me which my parents did as much as they could. I always had tickets for them.

I got a call from my Uncle Barry just after my second season. I went to his office and we talked about the D-League.
He told me how good I was doing. Finally some feedback. We debriefed about the season and he told me he would give me a call
closer to the start of the season. I told him that I was now looking to get out of the D-League and I wanted to move up. He asked
me, "To where"?

I told him of my aspirations of being a GM in the NBA. He told me it was good to have goals and to keep shooting for them.

The NBA season was headed to that point in the year where they hire GM's and coaches. I was watching Sports Center and I heard
what I thought was a new GM hired by the Storm. I had to back up the TV and see if what I heard was actually what they had said.
Sure enough, a new GM was called for the OKC Storm.

I called my Uncle Barry but he did not answer. The next day I took a trip to OKC and to his office. It took a while but he did see me.
It was NOT a good visit. I asked him, family member to family member, what was the deal. Your too young he said.

I was now.......OUT OF A JOB!!!
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Re: A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:18 pm

1984 was a long......LONG year, not in the sport. I had to get back to the NBA, but how?

My father made calls to Uncle Barry and they finally met. I of course, did not know about this.

Uncle Barry was real good friends with the owners of the N.Y. Knicks. I of course did not know
this. Uncle Barry talked to them and for all I know they did some swapping so I would get the job.
My father came home and told me that Uncle Barry had a lead that the New York Knicks were going
to be looking for a new GM and coaching staff for the 1984 season.

New York? Are you kidding me. New York is NOT Oklahoma. They will feed you to the wolves there.

When I heard that the Knicks had fired the GM and coaching staff I called the Knicks front office and
sure enough I got an interview.

It took everything I had in that interview and much of the dialog was just what my Uncle Barry told me,
your too young. I spoke a lot about what I had done in the past....which was not much. But, I have had
two winning seasons.

The Knicks were coming off a 34-48 season and in the last 8 years had not gone to the playoffs. I told him,
what do you have to lose?

Most of the other GM's that applied did not have much to go on. Most were very lackluster.

For some reason......prayers to God can be the only answer....I got the job!!!!!
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Re: A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:54 pm

I was hired so late in the year that when it came time for the NBA Draft, the scouts, head coach and myself were all in the War Room.
Our owner wanted the head coach and scouts to work this draft and I would have the next year.

We signed our starting PG in Tony Coon out of Indiana. He came very high on our draft list and would take the rains from the start.
Tony was one of those guys that wanted the ball in his hands and wanted to make the big play. I think a lot of our loses that first
year with him starting was bad decision making. Don't get me wrong though, Tony is going to be a great PG, he won't shoot for average though.

Several Free Agents were signed before I came on board in New York. Our starting Center Charles Lockwood was signed. Lockwood
is a good center but he is not a "Go To Center". One game he has 26 points and 12 rebounds and the next it's 6 and 6.

We also signed SG Greg Robinson. This guy is dead-on when he shoots, but he won't shoot much. Very high priced backup guard for
what we got in return.

We also signed Strong Forward Jermaine Taflinger. He started out as our starter at SF but eventually went to a replacement and then
to the end of the bench.

On November 30, 1984 I made my first trade. We were close to the cap and I needed some room to work. Our starting Center Roy Wilson,
was doing well but Charles Lockwood was playing so much better. Our head coach Kyle Griffin would put Lockwood in as the 4 with Wilson
at the 5. It worked pretty well as Wilson was grabbing the rebounds (12 a game) and Lockwood was scoring. In this lineup Taflinger was not
playing and wanted more playing time. If I would have been the coach I would not have listened to Taflinger and told him to buck up camper
and come off the bench and give me 100%. B U T....that's not how it is done. The coach pressured me into a trade. That will NEVER happen

We moved C-Roy Wilson and our 2nd round draft pick to Denver for SG-Kyle Hightower. We needed a SG to go with our rookie Tony Coon.
Now we had a strong tandem in Coon and Hightower.

With Wilson now gone, center was all Lockwood's. As the season progressed I would like to have that trade back for Wilson. He was 33 years
old and on the last year of his contract. With no one basically helping out Lockwood, I needed to find a Power Forward for help.

The Milwaukee Bucks and I got together to hash out a trade. We sent little used SF-Matt Mann, SG-Cordell Maloney (who was moved to the
bench for Hightower) and SF-Michael Anderson (we were overloaded at the SF position) for PF-Terrence Simmons. Rebounder and scorer.

We would finish the season at 48-34. We got by the Chicago Bulls in Round One 4-2 but was bounced by the Boston Celtics in Round Two 4-1.

PG-Tony Coon was a First Team All-Rookie. SG-Greg Robinson was the Slam Dunk Winner at the All-Star Festivities.

My first season as a NBA GM and we made the playoffs!!! Can not wait for Season Two.
Last edited by BarryD88 on Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:21 pm

Season Number Two got off on the wrong foot. Our coach did not want to sign up for another season. I thought we worked....pretty
well together. On his way out the door he said something about me being to young.

I wish people would quit saying that, we made the playoffs!!!

So, we had to hire a new coach. Sheridan James was my choice and I thought he would do a good job.

Now came the draft. Instead of picking 9th like last year as we had a much better record we picked 23rd. This draft was my baby
and I was tired of everyone telling me I was too young. Hell, we just made the playoffs, hello. Anyway, I was going to show them.
We, I mean "I" took PG-Cliff Winston out of Arkansas. We tried out almost everyone, I spared no expense. Everyone we tried out was
gone by the time we selected 23rd. Truth, I was not prepared like I should have been. I didn't listen to my scouts at all. I thought I
knew what I was doing and I wanted to show them.

Cliff Winston should NEVER had been picked to play in the NBA. I do not know what I was thinking. Man, was I learning my lessons.

The 1985 season got off to a pretty good start as we were leading the Brooklyn Nets who are the class of the Eastern Conference. All of
a sudden, Tony Coon our PG went down for a couple of games. when he is averaging 38 points per game, it hurts. The rest of the team did not
step forward. All of a sudden I began to panic. Did I need to make a trade?

On December 22, 1985, as I could feel the season going down the tubes, I made a trade. We sent SG-Greg Robinson, SF-Jermaine Taflinger and
our 1986 Frist Round Pick to the Charlotte Hornets for PF-Donatas Petrauskas and their First Round pick. Petrauskas would be in the 4 with
Simmons sliding over to the 3. We now had 3 good rebounders and our shooting guards and now I was ready for a playoff run.

We would finish the 1985 season 46-36. Not the forward progress I was looking for the Knicks. I thought my job was on the line. the only way
to save it was to go deep in the playoffs. W E L L.......that did not happen. The Boston Celtics bounced us out 4-0. A number 5 seed beat a
number 4 seed.

Guess what? Yes, I was let go.
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Re: A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:17 pm

Interesting, four years, 2 years with the D-League team OKC Storm and 2 years with the New York Knicks and 4-winnings season.

Shortly after I was let go by the Knicks I got a call from Uncle Barry. We had a good talk on some of my mistakes I made with
the Knicks and Uncle Barry told me that I could correct those with more experience. He told me that if I need help in find
another job, to let him know. I told him that I wanted to see if I could get one on my own. And I thanked him for his help.

I got on the NBA web site a looked around at all the transactions as to what clubs needed a new GM. There were four teams
in the NBA. Milwaukee, Atlanta, Washington and Phoenix. Then there were several teams in the D-League that needed GM's.
I did not want to go back to the D-League.

I arranged interviews with all four clubs. I met with everyone and we talked about my philosophies and I did my homework and
I talked to them about their personel. Milwaukee had their coach and 2 of the 3 assistants already signed. It looked promising.
The other 3 teams needed to hire complete coaching staffs. I thought about that quite a bit before making a choice. I was offered
gigs at all four clubs. I could not believe it. I was wanted by ALL FOUR. So, where was I to go?

Last year, while I was working for the N.Y. Knicks...in the draft that I muffed, there was a PG that I really wanted. I could not
get a trade done to move up to pick him up. His name is Axel Williams. Oh I wanted to trade up to get him, but I stayed put.
The Washington Wizards took him in that draft.

Since I liked Mr. Williams so much and I could hire my own coaches to start this franchise over, I selected the Washington Wizards.
They had just finshed a season at 24-58. The fourth worst in the league.

In the upcoming draft I had decided to use my scouts as I did not want to mess up as we had the 4th pick in the draft.

Here is a look at the Washington Wizards...............

PG-Axel Williams
PG-Michael Smith
SF-Ricardo Wall
PF-Jay Bryant
PF-George Hanavan
C-Darius Tinsley
C-John Bailey
C-Tarvis Garrett

No shooting guards and we could use some help at forward.

Taking a look at the Center's...Tinsley can score from the inside, is a so/so free throw shooter and does not do much else.
So/so defensively. 26 year old Bailey will probably be the starter. Is good underneath and will be able to post up. Is good
on the defense side and a good free throw (FT) shooter. Is a so/so rebounder and will get to share time as a backup.

George Hanavan is a good inside shooter and pretty good on defense but is so/so on everything else. Starting to see why they
only won 24 games. Jay Bryant is basically so/so at everything. SF-Ricardo Wall is really good at scoring inside and out and shooting
FT. Good on defense too, but just so/so on everything else.

On the guard end of things....Michael Smith is really good at scoring, both inside, outside and FT. Ball handling is OK and defense is
OK too. So/so on everything else. Looks like a scorer. Could he move to the 2 slot? Then we have why I came to Washington........
Axel Williams. He is really good at everything except for rebounding, shot blocking and drawing fouls. His court intelligence is just
so/so. I am hoping that does not turn into a problem.

It looks like we will be able to score from the point guards and strong forwards. Our weakness is going to be rebounding. As I see it now,
we will be out rebounded....EVERY Game. It is draft time. We need a shooting guard or rebounding. We have the 4th pick this year.
Last edited by BarryD88 on Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:48 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:42 pm

It is draft day and the Washington Wizards have the 4th pick in the draft. We could use someone to build
with at the 2 spot...a shooting guard. When taking a look at the draft, there is really only one SG that we
can build with and he went #2. So, a shooting guard won't be this year. I went to the scouts and we went
back and forth on a strong forward or a center. We could use a dominate center. We have 3 centers, so maybe next year.
Draft chips. We decide on PF-David Stockman. He is good at everything but passing the ball. Shooting,
defense, even stealing the ball. I do not think he is going to be a stud, but he will be a starter for a long time.

Round two in the draft was traded before I came to Washington. It is Free Agent time...….Still need a shooter.

We have 36-million in cap space.

Our first pickup in free agency is a 6-6 SF-James Mendez. He will be backup at the 3 and can be a tall #2 if need be.
A decent shooter, won't light it up but should help us. He was a bit more than I wanted to pay at the 3 in 9-million
but he can help. We kept looking for a strong 2. Need a shooter. Most of the SG wanted way more than I was willing
to give up. I just did not have 29-million and I promised to stay under the cap. We kept looking and we settled on
SG-Clifton Harvey at 20-million. Clifton played with the Wizards from 1981 to 1984. Went to another team (don't have
that info with me at this time) for one year and now he is BACK with the Wizards.

Just over 7-million left. Still need to make a move or so.

Before our draft began I did hire new coaches. We had just over a 4-million budget for coaches. I did not stick to it.
I wanted guys that were going to help build this team but also wanted to save money. I hired coaches that have not
coached before. Our new Head Coach is David Weaver. I like him a lot as he is excellent at game strategy. That is what
I wanted in a head coach. He is also excellent at evaluating potential. Brent Mast is 1st Assistant. He is excellent at evaluating
offense and defense. Matt Spears is 2nd Assistant and is good at evaluating potential and player development. Then our
3rd Assistant is Jay Johnson who is good at Evaluating potential, strategy and player development. My budget was just over
4-million......I spent just over 7-million. If I am fired after year one, this will be the reason. But, I am going to stay under the cap.

We have a few more days left in picking up free agents and I need some backups for this team with over 7-million left in cap room.

(And that is where I am at this moment. This is my first with Draft Day Sports or with this game. I am liking this game so far.
I do not get a chance to play much on weekends or on Tuesday's, but the rest of the time I will try and do some updates. I am
also open to just about anything if you have some advice or what ever, leave it for me. Thank you.)
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Re: A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:23 pm

When I was with the Oklahoma City Storm and the New York Knicks I had some input on some of the
offense and defense we should use. When the Knicks started to tank last year, the coach asked me
if he could run the team and leave me out of the coaching aspect of things. I wanted to get mad as
I thought I was helping, but i could see that I was the GM and hired this guy as the coach. I thought,
if we miss the playoffs I have a scape goat. Luckily he knew what he was doing as I kept out of the
day-to-day efforts of running the team except for the GM duties.

This year with the Washington Wizards, I am going to try and do the same thing. Have a little faith
in my coaching staff. I did hire them. I am just not a friend of the Pace & Space offensive set.
But, I am going to give it a go.

Here we go.......Opening Night 1986!!!
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Re: A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:44 pm

We open on the road in Atlanta. I take a look at scouting the Hawks. They are weak at the PG
and PF positions. They are strong at Center and SG. They are also weak at rebounding too. We
might have a chance to out-rebound someone. Here goes.....come on Wizards....I'm excited....
and scared we lose the opener.

After the 1Q we lead by one...34-33. At the half we also had a one point lead. At the end of the
third they had a 2-point advantage. The 4Q was a nightmare. We lose 122-103.

We were lead by our rookie forward David Stockman 10-20 for 23points.
C-John Bailey was 7-14 for 19points. SG-Clifton Harvey was 6-12 and 5-9 from 3 for 17points.
PG-Axel Williams was 6-12 and 1-4 from 3 for 15points. James Mendez came of the bench and was
5-9 for 13points and 10boards. George Hanavan was 3-13 for 7points but had 11boards. We actually
out rebounded Atlanta 48-41. The turning point was turnovers. We had 20 and Atlanta had......6.

I feel like we did a good job tonight, we just could not close the deal and had way too many turnovers.
I am hoping this does not become a problem. One thing I did notice about Coach Weaver's lineup, He had
PF-Hanavan starting at SF while both SF came of the bench despite Ricardo Wall have better numbers than
Hanavan. We will see how it goes.

We have the season opener under our belt.
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Re: A Young GM - Walter Snethen

Postby BarryD88 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:01 pm

Three night's later, it's OUR home opener against the Chicago Bulls. In fact, our next 6 games
are at home before going on the road for 6. If we could go 4-2 at home, I could live with that.
Winning all 6 would be wonderful, but we of course just won 24 games last year.

The Chicago Bulls come in 2-0 with wins over the N.Y. Knicks 117-107 and Minnesota 108-93.

They are lead so far in this short season by their PF-Tony Cuyler with 32points. PG-Eric Harper
is averaging 20 and PG-Bobby Hill is coming off the bench to average 23. Going to be a long night.

After the 1Q they lead by 3...30-27. They added to it in the 2Q 33-24 for a 12point advantage at
63-51. In the 3Q we found some defense and tied it up with a 24-12 3Q. We provided some excitment
in the 4Q....down by 3 the pass went to SF-James Mendez who hit a 3 to tie the game at the buzzer.

Once again, one of our free agents we signed has the hot hand in the game going 7-14 and 5-9 3's for
19points and our coach set's him out of overtime and we lose 125-117.

We also out rebounded the Bulls 53-49. C-John Bailey and SF-George Hanavan lead the team with 21.
Axel Williams has 13 assists. The Bulls were lead once again by Eric Harper with 28 and Tony Cuyler with 26.

We are now 0-2.
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