While there was a buzz around the name Phil Jackson — and not just because he finally got engaged — it was pretty clear early on that P.J. Carlesimo could ride out the season as the Nets coach after ownership sent Avery Johnson packing.
That became even more likely when Carlesimo got the Nets winning — he is 6-1 as coach.
Now comes confirmation that nothing is going to change for the rest of the season from Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.ocm.
Smart move by the Nets. Another coaching change mid-season isn’t going to help the team. And even if you can get Phil Jackson — which I doubt — bringing him in with a new, complex offense and style of play nearly halfway through the season is just going to be a mess.
So Carlesimo gets the stay in the big chair for a while.
But let’s look at this hot streak — the Nets have beaten the Bobcats, Cavaliers, Wizards, Kings and 76ers during the streak. They have gotten healthy on the worst in the NBA, with the Suns and Raptors making up two of the next three games. To be fair, there is a win over the Thunder in there, too. (The loss was to the Spurs.) The Nets seem to be having more fun on the court, credit Carlesimo with that. But they haven’t exactly gotten healthy against the best of the NBA.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.