Villanova's Wright considered for NBA gig

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After the way Villanova needed to come from behind to force overtime against 15-seed Robert Morris, and then barely escaped with a win, you can see why NBA teams are hot for Wildcat’s coach Jay Wright.

But that’s the rumor — and if you want rumors you go to Peter Vecsey and the New York Post.

“Sources say the 76ers approached him a summer or two ago, but advances were rejected. Guaranteed, they will come calling again, as well as intensify their interest, in mid-April immediately after Eddie Jordan is fired, a conclusion no longer in doubt, I’m assured by a Philadelphian with a strong pulse on everything 76er-related…

In the meantime, Wright additionally can expect to be romanced by the Nets. If Rod Thorn remains team president, as it appears he will when incoming majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov finally gets approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors, “look for Jay to be on the top of the list when he presents his suggestions.”

Coaching in the NBA is a completely different animal than coaching in college, and most coaches don’t make the adjustment. In college, it is all about the recruiting — your ability to draw top talent matters more than anything. You can develop and mold that talent, but John Calipari is a success because he gets the talent to come to him.

But in the NBA coaches have far less control over who makes up the roster. Plus the Xs and Os — the preparation — is far more detailed. In college the coach is the king of the program, in the pros star players carry more power than any coach not named Phil Jackson (and if Jerry Buss had to choose between Bryant and Jackson, the coach would lose again). The egos are larger and harder to manage. Most college coaches fail to make the adjustment.

If you were the Sixers or Knicks, do you want to trust your massive rebuilding projects — and in the case of the Nets opening in a new stadium — to an unproven coach at the NBA level? It might work, so long as the Nets don’t play Robert Morris.

John Wall drops J.R. Smith with crossover, makes layup (VIDEO)

John Wall
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John Wall is one of the hardest players to guard in the NBA. J.R. Smith found that out the hard way on Tuesday night when Wall sent him flying with a behind-the-back dribble before making an easy layup.

The Wizards beat the Cavs, who are now 13-5 on the season.

Sixers to retire Moses Malone’s number next season

Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone

Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.

There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

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Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.