UPDATE 2:45 pm: Now it appears that there is no decision, but the deadline is looming for one this afternoon. At least that’s what Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on twitter.
Tom Thibodeau is
still in play for Hornets job and clock’s ticking toward an afternoon
deadline to accept or reject offer, sources tell Y!
We warned you to take the NY Post with a grain of salt.
9: 29 am: Apparently Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau wants to play the field.
Thibodeau turned down the Hornets offer to him to become their next head coach, according to the New York Post. One should take that with a grain of salt because it is the New York Post, but the pattern does fit with other reports from people around Thibodeau that he was waffling on the offer and preferred the other options out there.
Those other options would be the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets. Except nobody has offered Thibodeau a job yet. The Bulls front office staff — including John Paxson — are in Los Angeles right now to interview Thibodeau (who will be on the sidelines as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtic in Game 1 of the NBA finals). Well, that’s what the Chicago Tribune said, but the Celtics say they have not been contacted for permission to speak with him by the Bulls. So… welcome to limbo. Nets officials are not talking about where their search stands.
One long shot third option: Doc Rivers decides to walk away from the Celtics at the end of the playoffs, and Thibodeau moves down one seat to the head man’s job. Rivers walking away is not be that likely, although he has said he would reconsider his future and if he wants to keep coaching after the playoffs end.
With Thibodeau out, it appears Portland assistant Monty Williams will be the next Hornets coach. Rumors out of New Orleans said that the Hornets front office staff was split on preferring Thibodeau or Williams, so they have no problem going with the next choice.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.
Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.
His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.
Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)
The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.
While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”
Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”
We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.
Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.