LeBron says nice things about Mike Brown hiring in Cleveland

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What did you expect him to say?

When LeBron James was asked about his reaction to his former coach going back to his former team — Mike Brown has been hired as the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers — you knew LeBron was media savvy enough to say something supportive of the hire. So he did to the Associated Press.

“I’m happy for him,” said Miami’s LeBron James… “Very happy for him. I think he’s a really good coach, very defensive-minded coach. It’ll be good for those young guys that they have.”

The first question on a lot of people’s minds (based on twitter responses) was “How does this impact Cleveland’s ability to land LeBron James in 2014?”

I don’t think it does — because I don’t think he leaves Miami in 2014.

Not for Los Angeles, not for Cleveland, not for anywhere. He’ll opt out and re-sign in Miami (he may leave after the next deal, but not now). Why? Because the Heat look on the path to winning their second consecutive title this year and they will certainly be contenders next year as well. He trusts Pat Riley, he trusts Erik Spoelstra and he likes the winning culture there. He knows at this point his legacy is about winning rings and he’s doing that right where he is. Also, he took a lot of “you’re just chasing the rings” flack when he left Cleveland before and he’d get more if he jumped now. Bottom line to me is he has matured a lot the last few years and has a loyalty to where he won, he has a great relationship with Wade, he likes Miami, and they are going to keep winning. You don’t leave that.

If you don’t like my logic, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com tweeted this.

Or, look at what Adrian Wojnarowski wrote at Yahoo Sports:

From the moment Mike Brown marches back into the Cleveland Cavaliers, ownership needs to empower him to tell everyone the truth: LeBron James is gone and he’s never returning to the franchise.

Any way you want to slice it, the success of the Cavaliers is about Kyrie Irving’s future and Mike Brown’s defense. It’s not about LeBron.

But LeBron says he likes the hire.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

Associated Press
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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.

Report: Other small-market teams championing Pacers’ tampering allegation against Lakers

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The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.

Bob Kravitz of WTHR

In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”

Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.

The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.

I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.

Report: Clippers hiring ex-Cavaliers executive Trent Redden

AP Photo/Mark Duncan
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The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.

Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.

Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).

But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.

Warriors’ Steve Kerr: I expect to coach all season and for many years ahead

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
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Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.

Could those issues derail his career?

Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”

On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.

But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.