Cleveland Cavilers v Boston Celtics

Former Cavs head coach Mike Brown could be Pacers summer target

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For the rest of this season, Frank Vogel will be the guy with the audition to be the next head coach of the Pacers. He’s the interim head coach and if he can get this squad to show real improvement he’ll get to come back and sit in the big chair next season.

The more likely scenario is the Pacers will go out and try to get a new coach.

Mike Brown, the former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers let go after last season in a series of desperation moves to appease LeBron James, likely will be the Pacers first target, according to the Indianapolis Star. Brown was a former Pacers assistant coach.

Brown is a defense-first coach. He had the Cavaliers playing well at that end of the floor (despite then GM Danny Ferry continually giving him not great defensive players like Shaq and Antawn Jamison to work with). Brown would bring a new identity to the Pacers, one that does get results.

But the bigger question is who will be making the call on the next coach: Is Larry Bird coming back as general manager? His contract is up and it is unclear if Bird will be asked back, and even if he is he may choose to retire. If he is gone and a new GM has to be brought in, then all bets are off on the new coach predictions.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.