Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One

Report: Dwight Howard wants Phil Jackson as Lakers coach

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A third stint for Phil Jackson as the Lakers coach feels very Billy Martin/George Steinbrenner.

But it’s not out of the question.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak suggested during his press conference on the firing of Mike Brown that some players could have input into who is the next coach. Which is apparently more than happened with the hiring of Mike Brown the first time around. You can bet Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have a say.

And Dwight Howard knows who he wants — Phil Jackson. That at least according to a report at Sheridanhoops.com.

Dwight Howard has told the Los Angeles Lakers he wants them to bring back Phil Jackson as coach,’ a source close to the team tells SheridanHoops.com.

(Jerry) Buss’ son, Jim, is expected to be the person who makes the ultimate decision on who the next coach will be, and the source who spoke to SheridanHoops made it clear that Buss is aware of Howard’s wishes. It remains unclear if Jackson would be interested, but he retains a close relationship with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol — two of the players he coached in Los Angeles before leaving the team after the 2010-11 season.

Remember that Dwight Howard is a free agent this summer, the Lakers still have to re-sign him. What that is considered likely, it’s also leverage to make sure his voice is heard in this process.

“When there’s a coach like Phil Jackson, one of the all time greats, and he’s not coaching you’d be negligent not to be aware,” Lakers GM Mitch Kupchack said his press conference Friday discussing the Brown hiring.

You know Jackson has a pretty good relationship with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, you know those two guys could slide right back into the triangle offense. Plus he knows how to build a team and manage minutes. Oh, and there are the 11 rings.

But I still don’t see it happening. Sorry Dwight. First, when Jim Buss brought in Mike Brown he purged a lot of other things Jackson from the Lakers organization. Buss wanted his stamp on the organization, to show he was the right leader to follow his father Jerry leading the Lakers. To bring back Jackson is to admit that failed.

Then there is the question of if Jackson wants to come back. He was tired of the grind of coaching when he left and he and the Lakers were not on the best of terms. There are reasons he may say no.

But his name is in play. And at least one prominent Laker wants him.

Enjoy 50-best circus shots of last NBA season

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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.

To avoid trash talk, Steven Adams told Kevin Garnett he didn’t speak English

Kevin Garnett
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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.

Brilliant.

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.

Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy “encouraged” by players speaking out, protesting social issues

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons yells to his players during the first half of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption ***Stan Van Gundy
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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.

Sunday is 16th anniversary of greatest dunk ever: Vince Carter over Frederic Weis

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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.

By anyone.

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.