It’s not a surprise, really more of a formality, but it’s still one nice piece of stability in the otherwise tumultuous world of the NBA.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has signed a one-year extension to continue coaching the Jazz, according to Scott Howard-Cooper at NBA.com.
“I’ve already signed a contract for next year,” he said after shootaround at Arco Arena in preparation for tonight’s game against the Kings. “That’s been since, maybe, around the first of the year. I don’t remember what the date was on it. I never pay any attention to it. They offered it to me and I signed it.”
“I didn’t need an announcement,” Sloan said. “Hell, it’s not a big deal to me. And I don’t know what it does. Either one of us can go the opposite direction. I’ve been around long enough and they’ve been around long enough to know if they want to get rid of me, that’s all they have to do.”
Sloan took over as coach of the Jazz in the middle of the 1988 season and has been on the bench ever since. He now has 1,220 career wins, third most on the all-time list.
His teams are tough and disciplined. This year’s Jazz are 30-22 despite losing Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and other key players last summer (Al Jefferson and others came in for them.
Sloan will stay on the Jazz sideline as long as he wants. The Miller family that owns the Jazz are loyal and Sloan has earned that trust 100 times over.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)
The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.
While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”
Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”
We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.
Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.
Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.
His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.
Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.