Don Nelson is getting all the hype, but he is still in Maui. (If you have to be somewhere, that’s not a bad place to choose.)
But former Bucks and Suns head coach Terry Porter is in Minnesota talking to the Timberowolves official about their head coaching job, according to the Star Tribune. Porter has been the color commentator on Trail Blazers television broadcasts this past season (one of the league’s complete homer broadcast teams, which made them hard to listen to).
Former Timberwolves player and former Milwaukee and Portland head coach Terry Porter today is the first candidate to formally interview for the team’s head-coaching job, according to league sources.
(Wolves GM) David Kahn has made background research calls and talked by phone to at least one other candidate — Don Nelson — but Porter is the first to come to town to interview with Kahn and likely owner Glen Taylor.
Porter was the coach in Phoenix right after Mike D’Antoni left and in one season they played at the fourth-fastest pace in the league, but despite having 46 wins did not qualify for the playoffs. And they played terrible defense (26th in league in defensive efficiency). That season the Suns had Amar’e Stoudemire, Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Richardson and Steve Nash. Porter also coached two seasons for the Bucks (where their pace was much closer to the league average).
They did run and have a good offense, two things Kahn said he wanted. Also, Porter played 17 years as an NBA point guard, he could be a good mentor for Ricky Rubio.
Nelson is still being considered. But the first interview goes to Porter.
Whoever gets the job replaces Kurt Rambis, who was 100 games under .500 in two seasons as coach.
As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.
For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.
Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.