Steve Kerr’s departure from the Suns was a bit curious…until Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski chimed in with the punchline: Robert Sarver asked Kerr to take a 10% paycut. Typical Sarver, typical Suns.
There’s just one catch: publicly, both Saver and Kerr deny that the money played a significant part in Kerr and the Suns’ divorce. From Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic:
Kerr and Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver negotiated through
Monday. Kerr was offered a one-year contract to stay at his current
salary or a three-year deal that would repeat his previous one except
for adding a third-year bonus. That meant Kerr’s first-year salary
would be a cut of about 10 percent from last season, when his salary
ranked in the upper one-third of West GMs.
“It (money) was a small part of it,” Sarver said. “I’m not sure it was a part of it at all.”
It was part of a picture that made leaving a better option. Kerr was
not expecting a raise, considering the club’s annual losses and $2.5
million still owed to Terry Porter, a coach he hired and fired. But
negotiations came at the same time that TNT’s lead-analyst job was
vacated by Doug Collins, who became Philadelphia’s coach.
Kerr, 44, has commuted from his San Diego home to work in Phoenix,
travel with the team and scout nationally. He said his wife, Margot,
and children (ages 12, 15 and 17) were a “big, big reason” for his
“This is not a contract issue,” Kerr said at a news conference that
Sarver did not attend Tuesday due to a prior commitment. “This is a
career and personal decision that I’ve made.”
That certainly puts a different spin on Kerr’s departure; rather than leaving the team due to Sarver denying him equal salary, Steve chose to leave because he either wanted to spend more time with his family or saw it as a bad career move. The former is nice but the latter is juicy. After all, if Kerr is jumping his own ship, what does that say about his approximation of the Suns’ future?
Watch Jonathan Simmons’ chasedown block on Stephen Curry
While the Spurs were running the Warriors out of Oracle Arena — a 129-100 Spurs win — Simmons had a fantastic chasedown block on Stephen Curry. It was one of the plays of the game (most of the rest came from Kawhi Leonard).
Simmons had 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting off the bench for the Spurs in the win, which included a poster dunk on JaVale McGee late. Just to put some icing on the win.
Iman Shumpert in concussion protocol after collision with Porzingis
Late in the third quarter of Cleveland’s blowout opening night win over New York, the Cavalier’s Iman Shumpert lowered his head and tried to drive the lane, where he collided with Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis. It looked like Shumpert’s head hit Porzingis’ hip and elbow.
Shumpert instantly went to the ground, then needed help to come off the court. He was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms, the team announced. Apparently, Porzingis is a rock.
A source questioned whether Shumpert would be available for either of the Cavs’ next two games, Friday in Toronto and Saturday against Orlando at The Q. To play, Shumpert would need to be symptom free, pass a series of tests, and show no symptoms after each test.
There is no set timeline with a concussion. In the short term, this will mean more DeAndre Liggins on the court until Shumpert returns.
The Cavs are already without rookie backup point guard Kay Felder, who suffered a concussion during practice last Friday when he ran into Chris Andersen.
What championship hangover? Cavaliers rout Knicks on ring night in Cleveland.
LeBron had a triple-double — 19 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds — and led the Cavaliers to an easy win over the Knicks, 117-86. Kyrie Irving had 29 points — 19 in the third — and Kevin Love added 23 in the win.
But mostly it was the Cavaliers’ offense getting whatever shot it wanted and the Knicks watching dunks from up close.
Over the course of this season, these Knicks will evolve into something better than they showed opening night. No Derrick Rose (trial) and no Joakim Noah (injury) meant the Knicks starting five didn’t have a lot of cohesion and chemistry from the start.
After a sluggish first five minutes by both teams — they were a combined 6-of-22 shooting to open the game — the Cavaliers slowly started to create a little space behind 10 first quarter points from Love. That lead really started to grow as the Knicks bench came in and went 0-of-6 shooting to end the quarter, with Brandon Jennings making questionable decisions. Tack on seven Knick turnovers and the first and they were down 10 after 12 minutes.
The Cavs were in control through much of the second quarter until the Knicks went on a 10-0 run to make it a game again. It was Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony driving the team — they shot a combined 12-of-20 in the first half, the rest of the Knicks were 5-of-23. It was 48-45 Cavaliers at the break.
In the third quarter the Cavaliers starters cranked it up behind Kyrie Irving and tighter defense — the third quarter saw Kyrie Irving with 19 points and the entire Knicks team with 19. It was 82-64 Cavs after three and the celebration was on.
Kristaps Porzingis showed some moments but his 16 points came on 5-of-13 shooting. Anthony had 19 points on 18 shots. Rose had 17 points but four turnovers and one assist. Brandon Jennings came off the bench to shoot 1-of-7. It was not their best night.
For the Cavs, it was one to remember — the first banner in 52 years went up.
Did we mention LeBron James was dunking all over Knicks? Watch for yourself.