Does Phil Jackson really want to coach the Brooklyn Nets?
I’m far from sold he does, but he’s going to get the first shot, reports Howard Beck at the New York Times.
The Nets have firmly targeted Phil Jackson — the man with the 11 championship rings, the Zen maxims and the geometric offense — to replace the recently fired Avery Johnson.
No deal is imminent, no formal discussions have taken place, and it is not even clear that Jackson wants the job. But the search will start with Jackson and only Jackson, according to multiple people monitoring the process.
Jackson’s agent said he was not interested at this time, but that’s what an agent should say at the start of the negotiation. There are other reports Jackson is intrigued by the job.
My guess is that Jackson is going to sit down and share some vodka with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. There will be flirting, but when it comes time to say yes or no, Jackson will look at that roster — which is going to be hard to change in any meaningful way for years — and walk away.
Then the discussions can maybe begin with Jeff Van Gundy, Kelvin Sampson, and guys like Nate McMillan and interim coach P.J. Carlisimo who should get a look.
But maybe if the vodka is good enough, and the check is large enough, and if he gets enough power in the organization, Jackson can be tempted to take the job. Nothing is impossible. Just unlikely.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.