Every time there is a high profile coaching opening in the NBA this summer, Kentucky coach John Calipari’s name will come up.
Usually from an anonymous source. A source that probably is one of Calipari’s people (or CAA). But know that Calipari’s name will attach itself to job openings like a fly to… well, you get the idea.
Up first: The New York Knicks.
It seems fitting that Peter Vecsey should start these rumors off in the New York Post.
According to a team executive, who knows a thing or two about a thing or two regarding goings-on behind the screens, Dolan may have eyes for John Calipari … to run the front office and coach….
Does it make sense? Yes, especially in view of Dolan’s disinclination to do right by Walsh.
We’re talking about a marquee college coach fresh from another Final Four, who owns pro experience (some of it good with the Nets), is an outstanding recruiter (though the NBA’s salary cap may limit that impact), and relates remarkably well with young black players.
Now, this is Vecsey in the Post, so you should swing by the Morton’s Salt Factory in Chicago and pick up a 50-pound bag to go with this.
But as we said the other day, there is a vacuum because Knicks owner James Dolan has not picked up team president Donnie Walsh’s extension for next season (he has until the end of the month). And Dolan doesn’t speak to the media. Frankly I’d rather predict what Congress is going to do with the budget than try to predict Dolan. And nobody likes Congress right now.
In a world with no real information and an unpredictable owner, you get crazy rumors. Like Calipari. Which in this reality is not out of the realm of possibility, I guess.
Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.
Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.
Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.
“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”
The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.
Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.
LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.
Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?
Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.
LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.
To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.
It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.
With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.
There were a couple of good ones, however.
Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.
One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.
The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.
Bob Kravitz of WTHR
In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”
Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.
The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.
I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.