First it was Mike D’Antoni lashing out at Lakers fans, then Sacramento’s Mike Malone smacking his team around, now Jason Kidd doing the same with the Nets.
Apparently NBA coaches took the Festivus “Airing of Grievances” part very seriously.
Kidd was frustrated after his team played a close first half then just got blown out in the third quarter by the vastly superior Pacers. After the game Kidd said his team had grown complacent in losing, as reported by ESPNNewYork.com.
“Well I think it is getting very close to just accepting losing,” Kidd said after his team lost its third straight to drop to 9-18 overall. “We are kind of getting comfortable with losing. And we got to make a stand with that because when things get tough, do we just give in and most of the time right now we do.”
For a competitor like Kidd, that is pretty much the ultimate basketball insult. Deron Williams took it as such.
Told of Kidd’s comment, point guard Deron Williams said, “I’m not. I’m not comfortable losing. It’s not fun. Not only when we’re losing during the game, but when I go home sitting there and thinking about it, it’s not fun.”
The Nets are 9-18 on the season despite having a payroll that with luxury tax is going to run owner Mikhail Prokhorov close to $190 million. That’s an NBA record by a mile. The Nets offense has been isolation heavy and not good, but it is their defense that really does them in — they have the second worst in the league. Plus they are without Brook Lopez — arguably the best offensive center in the game and a key to their defense — for the season due to a broken foot. Kevin Garnett has looked old and Paul Peirce can’t seem to find a comfort zone.
All of which is a lot for a first-year coach to figure out how to turn around midstream.
Getting his guys to put out a consistent effort is a start. But that falls less to the coach and more to the leaders in the locker room, the players need to start holding each other accountable.
Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:
Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game — but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.
In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.
Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.
That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.
If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.
First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.
Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.
Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.
Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.
Joakim Noah is playing 20.6 minutes a night coming off the bench for Fred Hoiberg and the Chicago Bulls this season.
And he doesn’t like it. He wants more run. He was getting 10 minutes more a night last season under Tom Thibodeau, and Noah wants some of those minutes back. Nick Friedel of ESPN sent out a tweet that was a reminder of just that.
Three thoughts here.
1) Reducing minutes for guys who battle injuries every season by the time the playoffs roll around was one huge reason Fred Hoiberg was brought in to coach the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau was shown the door. This isn’t just Hoiberg, the minutes reduction comes from management. While it is possible Noah’s spot in the rotation shifts (he could start at some point) and he might get a little more run, the Thibodeau era is gone.
2) There are legit reasons for Noah to want to play. First, he is a competitor who doesn’t like sitting. Second, the Bulls’ defense is elite when he plays (allowing 95.5 points per 100 possessions) and the Bulls outscore opponents by 1.3 per 100 when he plays. Finally, Noah is in the final year of his contract and scoring just 3.1 points per game is not going to help him earn more cash in the next deal.
3) Barring injury to another big, don’t expect a change.