Cavs set to interview Lakers' assistant Brian Shaw

Leave a comment

Cleveland continues to interview every head coaching prospect under the sun, and they’ve added L.A. assistant Brian Shaw to their itinerary. From Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times:

 Shaw, a Lakers assistant coach the last five seasons, has been officially approached for an interview by Cleveland, The Times has learned, making this week even busier for the NBA champions. Cleveland needs to hire a head coach. “They did call a couple of days ago and we did grant permission,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. “Now it’s up to Brian and Cleveland. All of our coaches’ contracts run out at the end of the month anyway, so it is accurate.”

Shaw, 43, spoke with Cavaliers representatives earlier this week and probably will fly to Cleveland next week for a face-to-face interview with the team’s owner and front-office staff. It has been reported that LeBron James has a strong interest in the triangle offense, something in which Shaw is well-versed because of his four years as a Lakers player who won three championships from 2000 to 2002. James is expected to become a free agent July 1, and there is no guarantee he’ll return to the Cavaliers next season, even if Shaw lands the job.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Cavs wanting to interview Shaw; it’s hard to say with any certainty whether an assistant will pan out as a successful head coach, but Brian seems like he’d be a reasonably effective one.

What is a bit odd, though, is the Cavs’ fascination with the triangle offense. I realize that there is some allure to the system that made champions out of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, but LeBron James isn’t really an ideal fit for the system. If the triangle is a contingency plan, that’s one thing, but as a selling point? Without Phil running the show? It’s a tough offense for any coach and any roster to run, much less one in serious flux with a potential first-timer holding the clipboard.

Victor Oladipo’s practice dunk better than anything he – or maybe anyone – did in dunk contest (video)

Leave a comment

Victor Oladipo has grown into far more than just a dunker.

In fact, in Saturday’s dunk contest, he didn’t look like a dunker at all.

The Pacers star missed all three attempts of his first dunk, and a Black Panther mask was by far the biggest draw of his second. Oladipo was eliminated after the first round.

Maybe Dennis Smith Jr. wasn’t the only eliminated dunker who left something in his bag. This Oladipo dunk – 180 degrees, throwing ball off the backboard with his left hand while in mid-air, dunking with his right hand – while preparing in Los Angeles was awesome.

Larry Nance Jr. had the contest’s best dunk. This would have rivaled it.

Pelicans owner Tom Benson hospitalized with flu symptoms

Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson has been hospitalized with flu symptoms.

A statement released Wednesday by the NFL and NBA clubs says their 90-year-old owner is resting comfortably at Ochsner Medical Center, a hospital which also serves as a major sponsor and which owns naming rights to the teams’ training headquarters.

Benson has owned the New Orleans Saints since 1985 and bought the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

In recent years, Benson has overhauled his estate plan so that his third wife, Gayle, would be first in line to inherit control of the two major professional franchises.

 

Report: Seattle hosting Kings-Warriors preseason game

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
1 Comment

Kevin Durant spent his rookie season in Seattle, before the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. He has said Seattle fans deserved to see him grow up in the NBA after supporting his promising start.

They’ll get their chance.

Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

The Kings and Golden State Warriors have scheduled a preseason game next season in Seattle, according to multiple league sources.

The Oct. 6 meeting between Northern California teams will be the first NBA game in the Key Arena since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season and became the Thunder.

This game will be loaded with storylines. Not only Durant, but the Kings considered moving to Seattle a few years ago. And of course, the return of NBA basketball to Seattle.

At some point, Seattle will get its own team again. For now, this preseason game creates intrigue there.

Report: Kawhi Leonard cleared medically, seeking second opinion

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
8 Comments

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he’d be surprised if Kawhi Leonard played again this season, a stark reversal from just a month ago. Back then, even while announcing Leonard was out indefinitely with a quad injury, the San Antonio coach said Leonard wouldn’t miss the rest of the season.

What’s going on?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

After spending 10 days before the All-Star break in New York consulting with a specialist to gather a second opinion on his right quad injury, All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard bears the burden of determining when he’s prepared to play again, sources told ESPN.

Leonard has been medically cleared to return from the right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster, sources said.

The uncertainty surrounding this season — and Leonard’s future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 — has inspired a palpable stress around the organization, league sources said.

At first glance, this sounds like Derrick Rose five years ago. Even after he was cleared to play following a torn ACL, the then-Bulls star remained mysterious about when he’d suit up. His confidence in his physical abilities seemed to be a major issue, and he was never the same player since (suffering more leg injuries).

But the Spurs famously favor resting players to preserve long-term health. They seem unlikely to rush back Leonard. They might even sit players who want to play more often. And Leonard isn’t Rose.

Still, it’s clear something is amiss in San Antonio. Maybe not amiss enough to end Leonard’s tenure there, but the longer this lingers, the more time for tension to percolate.