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.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
Leave a comment


The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.

LeBron James: I’m healthier than a year ago


LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.

It’s working.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

LeBron James now says he feels better than he did even a year ago.

“I feel better in the mornings; I feel better throughout the games; I feel better throughout the day,” James said before a Cavs shootaround Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Toronto Raptors. “It was a rough start to the season for me last year and for our team. Obviously the way we’ve been playing, a lot is predicated on my health and being able to lead these guys out on the floor and not from the sidelines.”

LeBron certainly looks healthier than he did at this point last year. He’s moving much better and giving more effort.

But comparing November to November means very little for the Cavaliers, who hope to play deep into June.

The key question: Did LeBron properly time his injection? There’s a limit on the number he can have in a year, and it takes time to recover after one. Cleveland doesn’t want LeBron to peak to early.

It’s good for the Cavs that LeBron feels better now, but his health in the playoffs remains the priority.

Report: Suns signing Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
Leave a comment

Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.

So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.

Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.

Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.

Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.