Good news, Lakers fans.
Sometimes, teams with coaching vacancies keep their candidates closely guarded until they’ve selected a favorite. Only then will the public hear about the preferred choice, often through a leaked report about the top candidate interviewing or negotiating or going through some other step in the process.
But that’s not the case with the Lakers and Mike Dunleavy. Los Angeles is interviewing other candidates and not hiding it.
Sam Amick of USA Today:
According to a person familiar with the interview said Kupchak has also talked to Byron Scott
Thursday on SiriusXM NBA Radio Scott confirmed the interview, but said little else.
“I mean, it is true, I did interview with the Lakers. I talked to Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss and had a great time talking with those guys. Obviously I go way back with Mitch, teammates for a while and won a couple of championships together, so it was good. That’s basically all I can tell you. It was good, I had a lot of fun talking to them. Hopefully we’ll be talking again soon and we’ll see what happens.”
Dunleavy might be stale, but Scott isn’t expiring inspiring himself. Not having to settle for Dunleavy isn’t such a great outcome if Scott is the alternative.
Scott guided the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals, had a down-and-up-and-down tenure in New Orleans and then struggled in Cleveland. Is he trending downward – perhaps seeing his coaching skills go out of date as the NBA evolves – or is he a good coach who had bad players recently?
As usual, the truth probably sits between. Scott is not as good a coach as he appeared to be with the Nets and not as bad as he appeared to be with the Cavaliers.
But the Lakers can probably do better than a coach who falls in the middle of that spectrum, even if they give the benefit of the doubt to a former player. There’s plenty of time for them to get there.
As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.
For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.
Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.