Report: Tom Thibodeau, Monty Williams to join Team USA coaching staff

7 Comments

When Mike Krzyzewski decided to return to USA Basketball and coach Team USA through the 2016 Olympics in Rio, there were going to be changes to his coaching staff. Mike D’Antoni asked out because he has got his hands full in Los Angeles, and Nate McMillan wanted out as well as he tries to return to the NBA.

To replace them, Coach K has gone defensive.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and the Pelican’s head coach Monty Williams will join the staff of Team USA, reports the Associated Press. Both are known as defensive specialists, which is a smart move. Coach K has wisely tried to exploit the USA’s superior athleticism with an aggressive defensive system then telling his guys to get out and run. These coaches are good fits with that.

Plus they both bring a strong work ethic — does anyone doubt Tom Thibodeau has already spent 10 hours in the film room breaking down Angola’s offensive tendencies?

This is a three-year commitment for the coaches. That means they will be in Vegas in mid-July to work out some of the younger stars in the league — Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins and 18 or so others — that USA Basketball is considering for future tournaments. From there it is on to the World Championships next summer, a possible qualifying tournament in 2015 (if the USA doesn’t win the World Championship they would have to qualify for the games still), then the Olympics in 2016.

Kevin Durant reverses course: Playing Thunder ‘just a regular game for me now’

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Leave a comment

Kevin Durant said last season playing the Thunder is “never going to be a regular game for me.”

Now, the Warriors star, who’s questionable for tomorrow’s game in Oklahoma City, is singing a different tune.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic:

Durant:

Just a regular game for me now. I learned how to tune out the crowd. I learned how to tune out the bulls— and just play. Just keep at basketball, and I’ll be alright.

Durant is entitled to change his mind, and maybe that’s all that happened.

But this strikes me as yet another chasm between how Durant actually feels and how he wishes he felt – all while facing immense public scrutiny.

Durant spent eight years in Oklahoma City. Many of his former teammates, including Russell Westbrook, are still there. Durant might want to move on, but how could there not be a different feeling when playing the Thunder, especially in Oklahoma City?

Tony Allen: Russell Westbrook flopped to draw DeMarcus Cousins

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Leave a comment

DeMarcus Cousins got ejected from the Pelicans’ win over the Thunder last night for elbowing Russell Westbrook in the head.

Afterward, Tony Allen came to his New Orleans teammate’s defense.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

Did Cousins elbow Westbrook in the head? Yes. Did Westbrook create and/or embellish the contact? I don’t know.

Westbrook stuck his head in close, and he might have been baiting Cousins into a foul. But that doesn’t give Cousins carte blanche to commit a foul.

And even if Westbrook were baiting Cousins, the elbow still might have hurt. Westbrook’s reaction could have been genuine.

Did Cousins’ reputation as a flagrant fouler influence Westbrook’s strategy and how officials perceived the play? It’s much easier to convince me of that.

Ray Allen tells Orlando court he was ‘catfished’

Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Nike/Levi's/Rookie USA show
1 Comment

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen says Bryant Coleman “pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in” him. In documents filed Tuesday, Allen acknowledges he communicated with who he thought were those women and that he eventually entered into an agreement with Coleman to not disclose details of those conversations.

Allen says that agreement was violated.

It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found. Coleman told the court in a filing Monday that Allen is stalking him; in Allen’s request for an injunction, he says “the reverse is true.”

Klay Thompson interviewed about scaffolding on local news (video)

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
1 Comment

Man-on-the-street interviews are a staple of local news.

They just don’t usually include Warriors star Klay Thompson.

But here’s Thompson – in town for Golden State’s win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday – talking on Fox 5 New York about walking under scaffolding in the wake of a couple recent scaffolding collapses:

Thompson is the only NBA star who could do this interview so earnestly.