Pat Riley has Doc at the top of the list.


See, now, if this is true, it is neither cool nor fair, nor unexpected.

We already told you about the Yahoo! Sports post that indicates Doc might want to hang with the Celtics for a while. But in the middle of that post is another tasty nugget for you. From the inevitable Adrian Wojnarowski:

Rivers could pick his contender, name his price.

And that could’ve come with the Miami Heat, with a team president, Pat Riley, whom sources say has Rivers at the top of his list should he ever choose to replace young coach Erik Spoelstra.

If Riley has even uttered the name of another coach, he shouldn’t have done it within any context for it to get out. Erick Spoelstra is already fighting constant questions about the possibility of Riley taking over as he did in 2006. To put him in a position to deal with more uncertainty in a season with such high expectations only feeds into a system of setting him up to fail.

For his part, I can tell you Spoelstra doesn’t give the vibe of a guy worried about his gig. He gives the impression of a guy who loathes the questions he gets, as he cuts off nearly every reporter, but then, that’s Spo. He actually seemed more relaxed this year than he has in previous years with lower expectations but less talent. As for Rivers, the question’s pretty simple. What do you get from Rivers?

The easy answer is rings, right? Experience. But Rivers’ trademark he put on the Celtics has been motivation, something that’s nebulous and hard to translate. He’s never been considered an elite X’s and O’s coach (though he’s come a long way and has put in a few brilliant playoff series), and has been able to rely on the talent of the Big 3 to mask his biggest weakness: managing rotations. It’s hard to see how he’d be the perfect fit for the Heat. That is, unless they come up short in the playoffs and need a swift kick in the backside. Wait and see, just as Riley appears to be doing.

Sixers to retire Moses Malone’s number next season

Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone

Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.

There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

LeBron James
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Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.

Rumor: Nets testing trade waters for Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic, Otto Porter Jr.
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If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.

First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.

Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.

Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.