Brian Shaw, George Hill

Report: Clippers interview Shaw; now Scott, McMillan, Hollins on deck


Sounds like Brian Shaw’s interview with the Clippers Monday went well. That makes some sense — he’s ready to be a head coach, and for a franchise always looking to steal some Lakers thunder taking the coach the players and fans wanted to replace Phil Jackson is a nice jab at the guys down the hall.

But the process is far from over and as always there is the unpredictable Donald Sterling element with the Clippers search. The Clippers also will meet with Byron Scott (Tuesday), Lionel Hollins (Wednesday) and Nate McMillan (Thursday).

Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times brings us up to date on the happenings with the Clippers coaching search.

“I think it went great,” one of the executives said about the (Shaw) meeting. Shaw then was scheduled to have dinner with Clippers owner Donald on Monday night….

The executives said the plan is for all the candidates to visit the Clippers’ offices and then meet with Sterling.

As we mentioned before, the management of the Clippers puts together a list of candidates, interviews them and makes its recommendation, but Sterling makes the final call based on his meetings with the candidates. Last time around the management recommended Dwane Casey, Sterling went with Vinny Del Negro.

Sterling reportedly likes Scott, who coached Chris Paul in New Orleans (that may actually hurt Scott’s cause as CP3 is sensitive to the idea he has any control over the process). Sterling flew to a Memphis playoff game to see Holins work in person.

Read into all that whatever you want. This is not an easily predictable situation.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Don’t expect more wins in Toronto

Leave a comment

After winning the Atlantic Division then getting thumped in the playoff two years running, the powers that be in Toronto decided it was time for a change.

The added DeMarre Carroll and made shifts to make this a more defensive-minded team, all because of dreams of playoff success (which for the Raptors would be making the second round). What this changeover is not going to mean is an improvement off the 49 regular season wins the Raptors had last season — they sacrificed some scoring to get this defense, and there is a trade-off.

That said, I still expect the Raptors to win the Atlantic. Maybe they make the second round of the playoffs (way too early to make that call).

How many regular season wins they get — and if they win a postseason series — for me is going to come down to if Jonas Valanciunas takes a step forward. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan will be strong, Carroll is an upgrade, but the big man in the middle will be the hinge for everything.

Mike Budenholzer smirks at lawyer calling Thabo Sefolosha ‘NBA superstar’

Mike Budenholzer, Thabo Sefolosha
Leave a comment

The funny part, via Robert Silverman:

The substantive part:

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, who was arrested outside a New York City nightclub in April following a confrontation with police officer, has a character “of the highest order,” his head coach, Mike Budenholzer, testified Thursday.

Taking the stand as the final defense witness in Sefolosha’s trial, Budenholzer described the Atlanta Hawks guard-forward as “highly intelligent” and a “hard worker.”

When asked by defense attorney Alex Spiro to describe his character, he said it was, “of the highest order.”

“Thabo is of the highest character,” he said during brief testimony in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The Swiss national is charged with misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges stemming from a confrontation with officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub early in the morning on April 8. He has pleaded not guilty.

Officers testified this week that Sefolosha and former teammate Pero Antic repeatedly disobeyed their orders to move off the block and away from a crime scene that had been established following the earlier stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland, and two women.

One of the officers also said Sefolosha lunged at an officer with his arm extended but was intercepted before making contact, eventually taken to the ground and arrested.

Sefolosha has testified that he was complying with orders and moving up the block as a particularly aggressive officer screamed profanities at him.

His attorney has argued that his client was singled out by the officer, who is white, because Sefolosha is black.

Sefolosha testified Thursday that he was trying to give money to a panhandler before entering an awaiting car when he was grabbed by police. He said his leg was kicked in the scuffle and he was taken to the ground, handcuffed and hauled to a police precinct. He suffered a fractured right leg, which forced him to miss the playoffs.

The case is the second one involving high-profile athletes accusing New York Police Department officers of wrongdoing this year. On Wednesday, the city agency charged with investigating police misconduct substantiated claims by former tennis star James Blake that an officer used excessive force when he took him to the ground last month after mistkaing Blake for a fraud suspect.