Report: Brian Shaw to be head coach of Cleveland Cavaliers

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Thumbnail image for shaw_coach.jpgIn an interesting move that could be brilliant or backfire horribly, the Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring Lakers assistant Brian Shaw as their head coach.

The reports are conflicting. Shaw is the man and a deal is being finalized according to a report from Sam Amick at FanHouse. However, the well-connected Brian Windhorst says that no formal offer has been made and that the two sides are “not close.” Windhorst does say that Shaw is the clear frontrunner.

Usually how these things go is that the two sides unofficially negotiate a deal then later a formal offer is extended. You can decide for yourself where on that scale the talks are.

Shaw has been on the Lakers bench for the past five years and has been the lead assistant to Phil Jackson this year after  Kurt Rambis left for Minnesota. Shaw would have been a lead candidate for the Lakers job if Phil Jackson decides to leave. Shaw was among those who during the playoffs said he does not expect Jackson to leave.

If Jackson does leave, former Laker Byron Scott — who Shaw beat out for the Cleveland job — would now be the leading candidate. Nobody would be shocked if Scott is calling Jackson right now to talk about how much those long February road trips to Toronto and Detroit suck. “You’re too old for that, Phil.”

Bringing in Shaw and the triangle offense is a gamble by the Cavaliers in the LeBron sweepstakes. It is possible that LeBron is intrigued by the offense that won Kobe and MJ 11 titles between them. It requires a balance and passing that LeBron would fit into well.

But Shaw has never been a head coach — does LeBron want that risk? (Same is true of Tom Thibodeau in Chicago.) And to build a team that will win with the triangle means shaking up of the Cavaliers roster to get the right role players that could take a few years. Shaw may not mean instant titles.

It’s a gamble, but right now the Cavaliers and owner Dan Gilbert may feel they need to gamble.

Hawks sign two-way Tyler Cavanaugh to standard contract

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ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie forward Tyler Cavanaugh, who originally came to Atlanta on a two-way contract, has signed a multi-year deal with the Hawks.

Cavanaugh has averaged 5.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19 games, including one start, since signing the two-way contract on Nov. 5.

Cavanaugh, from Syracuse, New York, played two seasons at Wake Forest before transferring to George Washington, where he averaged 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds last season. He was selected the National Invitation Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2016 after leading the Colonials to the NIT title.

 

Carlos Boozer announces retirement

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Carlos Boozer went from being known as a gritty second-rounder to an overpaid defensive liability.

In some ways, that’s the ultimate success story.

Now, after playing last season in China, he’s walking away.

Boozer on ESPN:

I’m officially retired.

The Cavaliers drafted Boozer with the No. 35 pick in the 2002. After he spent a couple productive seasons in Cleveland, the Cavs declined his cheap team option to make him a restricted free agent – with an agreement he’d re-sign at a reasonable rate if you ask them, with no handshake deal if you ask him.

Boozer bolted for the Jazz, who gave him a six-year, $68 million contract. He made a couple All-Star teams and helped Utah reach the conference finals.

Then, he went to Chicago on a five-year, $75 million contract after the Bulls struck out on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in 2010. The Derrick Rose-led Bulls never broke through, and Boozer was often the scapegoat.

Chicago amnestied him, and he spent his last NBA season with the Lakers three years ago.

Boozer was a pretty good player paid like a very good one, and that didn’t endear him. We mostly remember him for accidentally punching a referee below the belt:

Painting on hair:

And yelling “and one!” after nearly every shot.

For a while, it seemed the 36-year-old Boozer wanted to play another NBA season. But he finally could no longer find a front office eager to pay him.

It’s only fitting that he was denied that last “and one!”

Nikola Mirotic, Bobby Portis still not talking off court

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The Bulls are 5-0 since Nikola Mirotic returned from an injury suffered when Bobby Portis punched him in the face during a preseason practice. Mirotic and Portis are both excelling individually, and Chicago has outscored opponents by a whopping 34.3 points per 100 possessions when those two share the court.

Jack Maloney of CBSSports.com:

When asked if the two former combatants have spoken yet, Mirotic said, “We did on the floor. We’ve always spoken because we need to have good communication.” As for whether they’ve talked off the floor, however, Mirotic was succinct in his response: “No.”

I guess Mirotic hasn’t completely moved on, though he said he did. But that’s fine. How could someone get past a teammate punching him in the face?

Importantly, this is becoming just a regular NBA problem. The extent of that practice punch was practically unprecedented. But plenty of players have loathed teammates while making it work on the court. That happens more than people realize.

Mirotic and Portis can make this their status quo – at least the on-court cooperation. I’m not convinced Chicago will keep winning like this.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dear Basketball’ short film (video)

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Kobe Bryant announced his retirement in a letter called “Dear Basketball,” which was made into a short film.

Now, on the day the Lakers retire his Nos. 8 and 24, you can watch it. It’s quite beautiful: