People who have met with new Warriors owner Joe Lacob have described him as an out of the box thinker. Which is pretty much a cliché statement in and of itself at this point, but we’ll go with it.
Because it sounds like he is close to doing something very out of the box, according to David Aldridge at NBA.com.
At Golden State, ABC/ESPN analyst Mark Jackson is in the lead, according to a league source, having interviewed twice, the second time with owner Joe Lacob. Lacob has also conducted interviews with Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and was believed to have conducted the Malone interview Sunday. Those two trail Jackson at the moment. But former Lakers assistant and Oakland native Brian Shaw and Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, though trailing the others, are not out of the mix. Shaw has yet to get a first interview set up by Golden State. Normally that would be telling, but Shaw’s camp is allowing for the possibility that the Harvard MBA educated-Lacob, a creature of venture capital and Silicon Valley, may think differently and may have a more unorthodox method to his coaching search madness than the norm.
Will Jackson make a good coach? Who knows, because he has never coached. Anywhere. Not as a head coach, not as an assistant. We could try to figure out what kind of coach he would be from his color commentary (at one point during Game 3 he said the Mavs need to not let Dwyane Wade shoot open jumpers and make him drive, that might be a red flag) but really that’s not fair. Being an announcer and a coach are two very different things.
Which is the point. But Golden State may run an experiment.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.