Don Nelson is done, and the rest of his tenure merely a formality

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NBA_nelson_250.jpgJoe Lacob isn’t technically the co-owner of the Golden State Warriors yet, but he’s already making a hell of an impression. From Marcus Thompson of Inside the Warriors:

Lacob said what everybody else already knows: the Nellie era is
done. And Lacob said in the interview that he wants a young coach in
the new era (he listed Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks as an example).
But the question he has to answer is when will the era end? Now? Or
after this coming season?

What makes the decision difficult is
that he can’t make the move until he becomes owner of the team, which
he said he’s hoping to be officially by late  September. (Though, he
said outgoing owner Chris Cohan has obliged him since the sale
agreement. If he wanted Nelson gone, couldn’t he just tell Cohan to
fire Nellie and hire the guy he wanted?) If that is when he gets
ownership, that’s about the start of camp and a month before the season
starts. Is that too late to make a coaching change?

Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, is there any real benefit to having Nellie serve out his term as a lame duck coach? With the Warriors unlikely to compete for a playoff spot in the West with their current core, wouldn’t it behoove them to get an actual developmental coach in as soon as possible? For teams positioned as such, training camp is important, but not essential. Establishing momentum for the season is a pipe dream. Golden State will continue to struggle, and the only way to facilitate their hopefully eventual success is to introduce the new era as soon as possible.

Regardless, it’s nice to know that Lacob isn’t fooling around. He isn’t awe-struck by Nellie’s win total, and fully intends to hire a new coach as soon as possible. This is the fresh start that Warriors fans deserve, and though they’ll have to wait until mid-season (at the earliest) to really begin anew, change is a’comin’. 

Jimmy Butler: I didn’t move Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah from Bulls

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30:  Joakim Noah #13, Derrick Rose #1 and Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls react during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 30, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bulls 99-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Jimmy Butler said of the Derrick Rose trade, “It had to be one of us.”

Butler also says not blame him for the Bulls losing Rose — or Joakim Noah, who’s also headed to the Knicks.

Jimmy Butler, via Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:

“That has nothing to do with me, I don’t move guys,” Butler said. “People are gonna think what they’re gonna think. I don’t let it bother me. I know where I stand, I know who I am. It’s one more thing for people to talk about. I don’t pay too much attention to it.”

I can believe Butler didn’t directly urge Chicago to trade Rose, but Butler’s presence matters.

Rose and Butler clearly didn’t ideally mesh on the court, and there might have been off-court issues, too. If it weren’t for Butler, the Bulls might have kept Rose.

Noah is a little different, because it seems he, more than the team, was ready for a breakup. Still, that might have also had to do with Butler.

Butler is trying to grow into a leader, a natural progression for someone who became his team’s best player. But that was awkward with the Bulls’ previous leaders — Rose and Noah — still in the locker room. There’s no simple solution, though moving on without Rose and Noah will clear that cloud.

So — without other information — it’s too much to “blame” Butler for Rose’s and Noah’s departures. But Rose and Noah moving from Chicago to New York can still be ascribed to Butler.

It might not have been something asked for directly. It’s just the reality of the situation.

Dwyane Wade: “It’s Jimmy Butler’s team”

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Dwyane Wade is back in sweet home, Chicago.

Wade met with the media for the first time and talked about the pairing of himself and Rajon Rondo with the Bulls’ existing star in Jimmy Butler — Wade used the term “three alphas” more than once. But he also was clear about whose team this was going to be on the court.

“We’re not going to go through this all year. It’s Jimmy Butler’s team. Myself and Rondo are here to bring what we bring as athletes.”

Wade added that he would not be a Bull if Jimmy Butler had not personally called him and asked him to come.

Wade took that cue from Shaquille O’Neal when he joined Wade’s Heat team — which eventually led to the Heat’s first title in 2006. The Bulls would love for that kind of result here, although it’s much tougher to see this Chicago roster having anywhere near that kind of impact.

 

LeBron James talked Justin Bieber out of performing at Donald Trump’s nominating convention

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 29: Justin Bieber drinks champagne at the podium during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 29, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
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With the Republican National Convention being held in Cleveland, you knew there was going to be a LeBron James influence.

It apparently kept Justin Bieber away from Donald Trump and Co.

TMZ

Justin Bieber got a $5 million offer to perform at a Republican event during the GOP Convention, but turned it down after his manager considered quitting and LeBron James urged him to reject it … sources tell TMZ.

That’s a lot of money for a single gig. This either speaks to the power of LeBron’s words — or the embellishment of Bieber’s value.

Watch Bulls’ Dwyane Wade press conference live (video)

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Dwyane Wade playing for a team other than the Heat will be strange.

You can get your first glimpse of that weirdness today, when the Bulls introduce Wade at 3 p.m. Eastern.

If the above video doesn’t load, click here to watch the press conference.