Cavs might bring back Jamison next season

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When the Cavaliers traded for Antawn Jamison, it was supposed to be the move that brought them a championship, the final piece of the puzzle for LeBron James to bring a title to Cleveland. Instead, Jamison never showed the ability he had when he was younger, couldn’t adjust to the system fast enough, and had his tail kicked in by Kevin Garnett. Then he was a big contract on a losing team after LeBron journeyed to the center of his ego down in Miami. For two years he’s been the biggest name (at least until two weeks into this season when it became clear Kyrie Irving is the mother freaking truth) in Cleveland, a low-efficiency scorer that most Cavs fans have been frustrated with, from a usage and production standpoint.

But he’s played well overall. He’s contributed. The Cavaliers have hung around the 8th spot in the East for most of the season, and Jamison has been a big part of that. And Jamison has been a benefit to the Cavs’ culture. He’s a locker room leader and someone to help mentor the younger players. He’s taken an active role in mentoring Tristan Thompson, something he was under no obligation to do.

And as much as the Cavaliers rightfully shopped him at the trade deadline, they didn’t move his expiring contract. Not only that, but The Morning Journal in Ohio reports that the Cavs could bring back Jamison next year for a lesser salary hit.

With that being said, it’s not totally out of the question that they re-sign Jamison to a cap-friendly contract starting around $5 million. The Cavs would have to be clear with the 6-foot-9, 235-pounder that they are committed to Tristan Thompson as being the starter at power forward next year.

If Jamison would agree to come off the bench and continue to mentor young players like Thompson, it wouldn’t be totally outlandish for him to return.

via NBA INSIDER: Cavs would welcome back Jamison – morningjournal.com.

Jamison might get some bigger offers from contenders. He might get an offer from a team looking to give him slightly more for what he did in Cleveland this year. But him finishing his career in the relative quiet of Cleveland might be a great situation for him. It does show you that there’s value to players beyond shots and rebounds. And if the Cavs were to eventually win a title, Jamison is one of those guys who really deserve it for the upstanding way he’s handled his career.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.

LeBron James: Reporter warned me about question on Gregg Popovich’s wife before live TV interview

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In her on-court interview with LeBron James following the Cavaliers’ Game 2 win over the Pacers last night, TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce asked him about the death of Gregg Popovich’s wife.

LeBron appeared emotional as he gathered his thoughts.

That prompted some to criticize LaForce for ambushing LeBron on a sensitive subject on live TV. But that’s not what happened.

Uninterrupted:

LeBron:

I’m not on social media right now, but I was made aware through some friends through texts that a question was asked to me postgame, and a lot of people feel I was blindsided. That is absolutely false. Allie LaForce told me that she was going to ask the question and if it was OK.

And once I started talking about it, once we were on air, actually my emotions kind of took over. And that was just my emotions coming straight from my heart about the late Erin Popovich.

It’s unfortunate. It’s a tragic loss. My thoughts, my prayers, once again goes out to the Popovich family, to Gregg, to the Spurs family, to the whole Spurs fan base.

And also guys, please get off Allie LaForce’ back, because she followed the proper protocol and she warned me. So, get off her back, man. She’s very professional, and she does a great job at her work.

Like I said, thoughts and prayers to the heavens above. We all know the man above never makes mistakes, even when we question it. But it’s a sad, tragic time right now for the NBA family, and we’re all praying and hoping for the best.

It would have been surprising if LaForce hadn’t done that. Somewhere between nearly nobody and absolutely nobody in her position is trying to embarrass players.

PBT Extra: If Portland is going to turn series around it starts with Damian Lillard

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This was the year the Trail Blazers were going to break through. They were defending better as a team. There was some depth on offense. And Damian Lillard was playing at a level that will get him on many voters’ MVP ballots.

Instead, they are down 0-2 to Anthony Davis and New Orleans, having dropped both games at home to open the series. Portland is on the verge of being bounced in the first round for the third time in four years.

If Portland is going to turn this series around, it starts with Lillard, something I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. C.J. McCollum needs to get more buckets, Jusuf Nurkic needs to contribute more on both ends, but for Portland it all begins and ends with Lillard and it’s on him to start the turnaround.