Cavaliers tried to land Larry Bird, he said no thanks

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Larry_Bird.jpgSay this for Dan Gilbert — he went big when trying to get a new coach this summer.

Granted, he needed one to provide some hope retaining LeBron James, but he went all out. There was the failed run at Michigan State’s Tom Izzo.

Then there was a run at Larry Bird, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources close to the situation have confirmed that, before naming Scott as their new coach July 2, Cleveland officials thus contacted Bird to see if they could convince the Indiana Pacers’ team president to consider returning to coaching.

Bird did take the call, sources said, but quickly informed the Cavs that he had no interest in coaching again. Sources said Bird, 53, let Cleveland know that he wants to continue in his front-office work with the Pacers and that he has all but ruled out coaching again because of health and family reasons.

Interesting, and worth the call. Bird spent three years behind the Pacers bench, winning 68.7 percent of his games. He was named Coach of the Year (he’s the only person to have an MVP and COY award) and in his last year they made it all the way to the NBA finals before falling to the Shaq/Kobe Lakers.

The Cavaliers still landed a quality coach — and one well suited for the rebuilding process — in Byron Scott.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist taken to hospital after shoulder injury

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.

Derrick Rose expected to rejoin Bulls on Wednesday

Derrick Rose
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CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.

“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”

Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.

“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”

The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.

Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.