Sorry Danman, but the Sonics W/L record begs to differ. Detlef was fine. He didn't fill up empty stats, he did whatever needed to be done. He could pull you outside for the 3, he could get the pass you needed and he rebounded as well as Paul George did. And he did it all coming off the bench in a league where everyone wants to be a starter.
McKey was also functional and a strong defensive player. But the the 2000 Pacers went to the Finals NOT ON DEFENSE, BUT ON OFFENSE (and McKey played a lot less minutes for that team). They weren't just good on offense, they were elite on offense. So this idea that you had to lock guys down as the only way to win is just not true.
Larry Brown (even if he didn't believe it), Phil, Pop, Sloan, and Carlisle/Bird - these guys would have won a ton of games with a roster of Jax/Workman, Reggie, Chuck/Detlef/Dale, Rik - Tony, Best. Bob Hill was a classic .500 coach and proved it elsewhere. Worth giving a shot to coach, but not on par with the title winning coaches.
This is what bothers me the most about so few Pacers games featuring Detlef on Classic/DVD. The Reggie in Charlotte game shows Detlef all over the place, and that's not even one of his elite games. The nights he was hitting triple doubles or close to them, you knew he was out there. Those weren't "empty" stats.
It's like saying Carlisle was better off without Brad Miller because the team won so many more games. No he wasn't. He was just so much better as a coach than Isiah that despite a roster handicap he still won a lot more.
Brown was better than Bob Hill, and if they'd kept Detlef then right now you'd be remember a bunch of different big plays Det made on the ECF runs instead of McKey. Different, maybe not defensive, but some assists, scores, or rebounds that were key to the wins. Because with Brown instead of Hill they were going to win more, period. Plus Brown was also given Antonio Davis for free that first year because he was just coming back from Europe.
McKey was a great Pacers and a tough defender, clearly far better than Detlef on defense. But Det crushed him on offense and made All-Star teams with 2 different teams and as a bench player in the case of the Pacers. How many 6th men also make the ASG? Not many.