For the past few weeks, once the ownership change went through and John Kuester was let go, it was thought Mike Woodson was he frontrunner to be the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons. But Celtics assistant (and former Nets head coach) Lawrence Frank reportedly impressed owner Tom Gores in the interview. The Pistons have been split, and stalled.
So Woodson had another interview Monday — with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Detroit News had the report.
Timberwolves GM David Kahn said he wanted an up-tempo coach to take over his team, which makes this interview puzzling. When helping rebuild Atlanta, Woodson’s teams never finished higher than 13th in the NBA in pace, and his best teams were close to the slowest teams in the league. Woodson is a defense first guy — something the Wolves could use — who wants to grind out games. Not really a fit with Minnesota’s personnel (especially Ricky Rubio) or what Kahn said he wanted.
It is possible Woodson (or his agent) was able to get the interview jus to put some pressure on Detroit.
Minnesota has also interviewed former NBA head coach Terry Porter (whose two teams in Milwaukee did not play at a terribly fast tempo, but when he took over for Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix his Suns did run a lot).
Then there is Don Nelson, who has talked with Kahn on the phone and is interested. Nelson’s teams run, but they don’t play much defense and Nelson has his own views on who should and should not get minutes (just ask Anthony Randolph). Nelson coaching the Wolves would be interesting, and they would win more, but the off-the-court train wreck that would inevitably happen might be the more interesting part of that pairing.
But Nelson still seems a better fit or what Kahn wants than Woodson.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.