You get the impression that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov still wants a big name as coach of the Brooklyn Nets.
That was what they wanted a few years ago, so they went with Avery Johnson over top assistants at the time such as Tom Thibodeau. How’d that work out for them?
The first names that have come out in the Nets coaching search this time are the big ones — GM Billy King said he will gauge the interest of Phil Jackson, for one, as reported by the New York Daily News.
Phil Jackson wants a role where he can be Billy King’s boss, not his coach. With the Nets power structure pretty locked in, hard to see how that works out.
Another name that came up quickly was Jeff Van Gundy, but multiple reports have shot that down. There is some friction there.
Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan’s name came up and Nets point guard Deron Williams would be good with that, reports the New York Post.
Williams said he “would love” to play again for Jerry Sloan, his old coach in Utah, and when Phil Jackson’s name came up, Williams said, “Who wouldn’t want to play for Phil Jackson?”
Sloan, with his flex offense, seems a better fit to add some versatility to the predictable (and therefore defendable) Nets attack. But at 71 and a disciplinarian, will that work in New York?
After that there are other candidates including Pacers lead assistant Brian Shaw and Nate McMillan, who are apparently now mentioned with every coaching job opening and are likely to land one of them. Maybe the Nets after they strike out on big names (although McMillan is up there).
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. However, those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and the team’s playoff chances have taken a serious hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers).
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and had said planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).