Lionel Hollins completed a second round of interviews with the Clippers on Friday, and all indications are that he left the team impressed with his qualifications.
From Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:
The Clippers were impressed with Hollins’ basketball IQ, demeanor and his ability to develop players, the executives said.
“Everybody thought it went well,” one NBA executive said.
The Clippers, as you may recall, chose not to bring back Vinny Del Negro after he guided the team to a franchise-best 56 regular season wins, before seeing a Memphis Grizzlies team led by Hollins eliminate L.A. in the first round of the playoffs by overcoming a two-games- to-none deficit.
L.A. is believed to be struggling with the decision to either hire a veteran like Hollins with a proven history of success, or to go with a young rising star of the coaching ranks like Pacers assistant Brian Shaw who would be getting his first opportunity to lead from the head coaching position.
Shaw, as well as former Cavaliers and Hornets head coach Byron Scott, are scheduled to interview in Los Angeles next week.
If the Clippers do end up choosing Hollins, they may have some competition for his services. Hollins left Los Angeles and headed directly to Denver to meet with the Nuggets about their open position — one that was created after the team parted ways with George Karl following a long run of success that was very similar to how Hollins went out in Memphis.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.
DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.
But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.
DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:
“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.
“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”
This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.
Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.
Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.
I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.