Sonics fans kicked out of Howard Schultz book signing

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Howard Schultz still doesn’t get it. Not even close.

We need some background here, just to get everyone up to speed. Schultz is the CEO of Starbucks, so I’m already ticked at him about the whole Peet’s thing. But that’s my issue, he has bigger sins. Like buying the Sonics then in 2006 — with Oklahoma City begging for an NBA team after the Hornets short stay — selling the Sonics to Oklahoma City based Clay Bennett and friends.

Who as quick as they could moved the team to Oklahoma City. Everyone saw that coming, except Schultz who said he was surprised. It was pretty much Captain Renault in Casablanca: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”

Sonics fans have no love for Shultz. Go watch the brilliant Sonicsgate. It explains it all.

Now Shultz has a new book out — Onward — talking about his leadership and how he turned Starbucks around. You can see where Sonics fans have some issues: Where was this vaunted leadership when the Sonics needed you?

At a Costco Friday, Schultz had a book signing. A poorly attended book signing, by all accounts.

The a heckler — Scott Pattison — got his turn at the front of the line and told Schultz he betrayed the city of Seattle. Security quickly escorted him out of the building.

They then threw out anyone wearing Sonics gear. Including Adam Brown, the director of Sonicsgate.

So the whole thing looks bad for Schultz, a PR mess and a pretty poor example of leadership. Schultz had to know some protests were coming, right? He would if he’s not he’s living in a coffee-colored bubble where everybody loves him unconditionally. It was a poor over-reaction by the Costco staff and hired off-duty police, and just another sad chapter in what is too long a book.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.