Report: Warriors assistant coach Darren Erman fired for secretly recording conversations

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Late in the season, the Warriors lost two assistant coaches due to mysterious circumstances.

Brian Scalabrine was demoted to the D-League, and Darren Erman was fired. No reason was given for either move.

But now we have some information on Erman.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

Sources said Erman, who was coach Mark Jackson’s second assistant, would record coaches’ meetings, meetings between the coaches and players, and informal discussions among coaches that took place in the team’s coaches room — all without the participants’ knowledge.

“He was taping everything,” one source said. “Taping pregame speeches wouldn’t have been that bad, but he was taping guys just sitting around talking in the coaches’ office.”

Sometimes Erman would be present during the tapings. Other times, he would leave the room and leave his phone behind to record conversations the other coaches were having.

It is unclear what Erman did with the recordings. The sources weren’t sure if he shared them with the club’s owners or front office executives.

Yup, that would be a fireable offense. Thanks to an unrelated matter, I now know it would even be illegal.

We haven’t heard Erman’s side, but even if he did exactly what Broussard’s source claims, this isn’t an unforgivable offense.

Creepy? Yes. Wrong? Yes. Requiring of remorse? Yes.

But if Erman responds properly, it shouldn’t end his NBA career. And apparently it won’t.

Erman, who previously worked for the Celtics before joining Golden State, has a new job.

Update: Wojnarowski:

In the aftermath of his departure from the Warriors, which league sources say stemmed from a single taped conversation of Warriors coaches who had been working to undermine his game preparation and relationships with players, Erman accepted the job to return to Boston where his NBA coaching career began in 2007.

Before agreeing to rejoin the Celtics, Erman had job opportunities that included rejoining Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources said.

Victor Oladipo’s practice dunk better than anything he – or maybe anyone – did in dunk contest (video)

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Victor Oladipo has grown into far more than just a dunker.

In fact, in Saturday’s dunk contest, he didn’t look like a dunker at all.

The Pacers star missed all three attempts of his first dunk, and a Black Panther mask was by far the biggest draw of his second. Oladipo was eliminated after the first round.

Maybe Dennis Smith Jr. wasn’t the only eliminated dunker who left something in his bag. This Oladipo dunk – 180 degrees, throwing ball off the backboard with his left hand while in mid-air, dunking with his right hand – while preparing in Los Angeles was awesome.

Larry Nance Jr. had the contest’s best dunk. This would have rivaled it.

Pelicans owner Tom Benson hospitalized with flu symptoms

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson has been hospitalized with flu symptoms.

A statement released Wednesday by the NFL and NBA clubs says their 90-year-old owner is resting comfortably at Ochsner Medical Center, a hospital which also serves as a major sponsor and which owns naming rights to the teams’ training headquarters.

Benson has owned the New Orleans Saints since 1985 and bought the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

In recent years, Benson has overhauled his estate plan so that his third wife, Gayle, would be first in line to inherit control of the two major professional franchises.

 

Report: Seattle hosting Kings-Warriors preseason game

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Kevin Durant spent his rookie season in Seattle, before the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. He has said Seattle fans deserved to see him grow up in the NBA after supporting his promising start.

They’ll get their chance.

Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

The Kings and Golden State Warriors have scheduled a preseason game next season in Seattle, according to multiple league sources.

The Oct. 6 meeting between Northern California teams will be the first NBA game in the Key Arena since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season and became the Thunder.

This game will be loaded with storylines. Not only Durant, but the Kings considered moving to Seattle a few years ago. And of course, the return of NBA basketball to Seattle.

At some point, Seattle will get its own team again. For now, this preseason game creates intrigue there.

Report: Kawhi Leonard cleared medically, seeking second opinion

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he’d be surprised if Kawhi Leonard played again this season, a stark reversal from just a month ago. Back then, even while announcing Leonard was out indefinitely with a quad injury, the San Antonio coach said Leonard wouldn’t miss the rest of the season.

What’s going on?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

After spending 10 days before the All-Star break in New York consulting with a specialist to gather a second opinion on his right quad injury, All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard bears the burden of determining when he’s prepared to play again, sources told ESPN.

Leonard has been medically cleared to return from the right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster, sources said.

The uncertainty surrounding this season — and Leonard’s future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 — has inspired a palpable stress around the organization, league sources said.

At first glance, this sounds like Derrick Rose five years ago. Even after he was cleared to play following a torn ACL, the then-Bulls star remained mysterious about when he’d suit up. His confidence in his physical abilities seemed to be a major issue, and he was never the same player since (suffering more leg injuries).

But the Spurs famously favor resting players to preserve long-term health. They seem unlikely to rush back Leonard. They might even sit players who want to play more often. And Leonard isn’t Rose.

Still, it’s clear something is amiss in San Antonio. Maybe not amiss enough to end Leonard’s tenure there, but the longer this lingers, the more time for tension to percolate.