UPDATE 7:44 pm: It’s official, the NBA Draft next summer — the one fun things fans get to experience before the lockout — will be in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center. David Stern made the announcement in New Jersey before the Nets home opener.
Why? Because of renovations to the Madison Square Garden Theater. This is a one year thing.
1:28 pm: For the next two years, Newark will have an NBA team. Until it moves to a New York City borough.
So the NBA is taking the NBA draft out of a New York borough to put it in Newark, according to the Associated Press. David Stern is expected to announce this tonight before the Nets home opener.
One reason could be renovations to Madison Square Garden that are ongoing for a couple years. If that’s the case, there aren’t other suitable venues in NYC? Really?
The NBA draft has been in New York since 2001 and the
drunk spirited crowds there are as much a part of the show as rookies in bad suits. The event has a real energy, in part because of the energy in the city.
Not that it couldn’t have energy in Newark, but why move it? To a city the NBA is using as a stopover until they get to New York. Is this a “sorry you are losing the Nets for a couple years, we’ll throw you a bone” move? A nod to new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov?
Stern will not spin it that way. But it sure feels like that a bone thrown to Jersey, doesn’t it. It’s hard to see any other good logic. Well, the Clippers can book their hotel rooms early and get a discount, I guess.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.