Wanted: A head coach for a primarily football school to follow in the footsteps of the best, most charismatic coach the university has had in half a century, a guy who won and connected with fans. A guy who bought tickets. Oh, and you’ll have to duplicate that despite sanctions coming from the NCAA.
So, who wants to coach Tennessee?
How about Lawrence Frank?
The Celtics lead assistant is considered one of the front runners for the job, reports A. Sherrod Blakely at CSN New England (Alex Kennedy at Hoopsworld broke it on twitter).
Frank does have ties to Knoxville, he was an assistant coach there (under Kein O’Neill), and there is still a fondness for the university that has him at least considering the job, Blakely said.
But there are a lot of things in the way. First and foremost, Frank is not leaving the Celtics until they are out of the playoffs, and that will be late May at the earliest and maybe June. Does Tennessee want a vacancy for two months?
Then there is the NBA, where rank is very likely to get another shot. That shot could be in Boston if Doc Rivers leaves at the end of this season. That is not a sure thing, but if he doesn’t get that job he will get interviews this summer as other teams go on a coaching search.
Do you want to leave another shot in the NBA for a college gig where sanctions are going to make winning very challenging for a few years?
Unless he really wants the college coach lifestyle, it’s hard to see to see Frank taking the gig. But it’s out there.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).