Michael Jordan is mentoring Gerald Henderson

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Michael Jordan’s legacy as a “teacher” or someone who passed the game on isn’t exactly sterling. He pretty much killed Kwame Brown’s soul, and has never been known to take a special interest in any of his players on the Wizards or Bobcats. Jordan is known to have ridiculously high standards, keeps a close circle of friends, and is aware of his place, as, you know, the best basketball player of all time.

But maybe things are changing. The Charlotte Observer reports that Jordan has started taking Gerald Henderson under his wing, personally providing him with film on how to improve his game, particularly in drawing fouls to get to the line.

Jordan has taken a great personal interest in Henderson’s development. It started before the lockout when Jordan advised Henderson to focus on his ball handling, because without the ability to drive to the rim, Henderson was forfeiting what’s best about his game.

Over time, they’ve developed a bond.

“He’s a great kid with the right work ethic. He can be a really good basketball player, and if I can do what it takes to get him there, I will,” Jordan told the Observer. “I told him to work at shooting 50 percent from the field – don’t just take a lot of shots. And free throws are just what they sound like – free points. Someone with his abilities should be getting to the line all the time.”

via Bobcats owner Michael Jordan mentors Gerald Henderson | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

A bond? Between Jordan and a player under 40? What is happening? It is the 2012 the Mayans warned us about.

No one has noticed because they keep losing and in some games are getting hammered, but the Bobcats really do have some potential. If you watch their games you’re seeing some cohesiveness, some ability. They still need a major roster overhaul, but Henderson has been very impressive offensively shooting 47 percent from the field. If he could develop a three-point shot he’d be something really deadly. But attacking the rim is going to help as well. It’ll force teams to respect the drive and open up his mid-range jumper.

Reclaiming the Bobcats is a long-term process. It’s good to see Jordan investing in a player finally, to pass on the wealth of knowledge he has at his disposal as the greatest of all time.

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.