Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One

Report: Dwight Howard wants Phil Jackson as Lakers coach


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.

Barack Obama picks Warriors to win title. Like everyone else.

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The Baller and Chief is on his way out the door.

Barack Obama has been by far the biggest hoops fan to inhabit the White House (with John Quincy Adams a very distant second). He’s put up a basketball court at the White House, filled out NCAA Tournament brackets, jokingly applied for the Wizards’ coaching job, thought about becoming an owner, gone to NBA games, and just been a fan like the rest of us.

And he’s picking the Warriors to win it all. Like everyone else.

In what was primarily a “get out the vote” effort, President Obama called in to ‘Sway in the Morning’ hosted by Sway Calloway on Eminem’s SiriusXM channel Shade 45. Asked to pick the next NBA champ, the Bulls fan went exactly where everyone else did — Golden State.

“I’m going to go with the Warriors just because of [Kevin] Durant, that addition. I think they just have too much firepower,” Obama said. “Although they just got spanked in their first game, so it will take a while to figure things out.”

Obama also picked the Patriots to win the NFL title. He’s such a frontrunner.

Report: NBA owners rejecting expansion ‘at every turn’

Seattle SuperSonics v Denver Nuggets
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With rumors of NBA expansion swirling, it’s time to look at more concrete evidence.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has repeatedly shot down expansion talk, and that’s not him going rogue. His bosses have apparently taken a firm stance.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

Basketball Insiders reached out to an NBA owner and a voting member of the Board of Governors and was told flatly that any talk of expansion has been shot down at every turn inside the Board of Governors meetings. It’s been a non-starter.

There is a theoretical one-time expansion fee so high where the current 30 owners would divide their shares of revenue further. But the NBA takes in so much annually, it’s hard to imagine a new ownership group could and would front enough money.

Sorry, Seattle (and Louisville and Las Vegas and…). The evidence is overwhelmingly on the side of the league staying at 30 teams. You’ll probably just have to poach a team from another city.

Greg Oden on basketball career: ‘It’s over’

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 6
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Greg Oden’s multiple injuries dictated the former No. 1 pick wouldn’t have the career forecasted for him.

But he returned from three years off an NBA court to play for the Heat in 2014. He followed that breakthrough with a couple tryouts and a stint in China.

Could he once again return to the league?

Dana Hunsinger Benbow of IndyStar:

Asked whether he’d play basketball again, he said, “I wish. It’s over.” Instead, he is back with the Buckeyes as a student coach, helping out the players and Matta any way he can.

Oden, who was picked one spot before Kevin Durant, once declared: “I know I’m one of the biggest busts in NBA history and I know that it’ll only get worse as Kevin Durant continues doing big things.” That statement is blunt, reality and sad all wrapped into one.

It’s a shame we never got to see Oden healthy for long. There was good reason for the Trail Blazers to pick him first, but injuries ruined what could’ve been an intriguing extend debate over him and Durant.

Hopefully, Oden finds fulfillment in the next chapter of his life.

Report: LeBron James didn’t want to play for Cavaliers before they drafted him

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The Cavaliers landing the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA draft seemed like a fairytale.

The consensus top choice and one of the most-hyped prospects of all-time was a local kid from nearby Akron, LeBron James.

But this happy accident didn’t come through rainbows and butterflies. To get the top seed in the lottery, Cleveland had to get bad – really bad. The Cavs missed the playoffs five straight years, bottoming out at 17-65 in 2002-03.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

When James was a teenager, he started attending games at the arena, and he couldn’t believe how bad the Cavs were, how empty the arena often was, with its bright blue seats seeming like a neon sign of disinterest. During his senior year of high school, he went to several games, was given courtside seats and visited the locker room. His thought was pretty clear after he watched that 17-win team with the lowest attendance in the league: They were awful, and he didn’t want to be a part of it.

Can we be surprised someone who grew up in Akron, Ohio, as a Bulls, Yankees and Cowboys fan didn’t want to join the Cavs? LeBron was a frontrunner.

What he didn’t realize at the time: He’d gain the power to singlehandedly transform a franchise, and he’d develop an emotional attachment to the Cavaliers.

Cleveland wasn’t going to remain unwatchable with him. He turned the Cavs into a credible championship contender. Then, after leaving for the Heat, he returned. He even delivered delivered its long-awaited title last season.

The tears of joy he cried afterward show just how much that area, including its NBA team, means to him.

That he was initially sour on the Cavaliers adds an interesting twist to the story. It doesn’t detract from it.