kurt rambis

Report: Lakers interview Kurt Rambis as coaching search continues


The next coaching hire the Lakers make is a critical one for the future of the franchise, after the last two choices in Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni didn’t work out, each for a variety of very specific reasons.

It makes sense, then, that L.A. would take its time with the search, and interview as many candidates as possible in order to make the right decision this time around.

Kurt Rambis was the latest to interview with the Lakers brain trust, with more meetings scheduled for later this week.

From Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

The Lakers continue interviewing players and coaches from their past, meeting with Kurt Rambis for their coaching vacancy.

Rambis, 56, was an assistant last season under Mike D’Antoni, who resigned from the team four weeks ago.

The Lakers have now interviewed Rambis, Byron Scott and Mike Dunleavy, and plan to meet with Alvin Gentry on Wednesday and Lionel Hollins on Thursday.

The team remains on a slow march toward a replacement for D’Antoni and might eventually sit down with about 10 candidates.

Of the candidates listed, I don’t see Rambis or Scott as a fit at all. Each has proven to be stubborn during their previous head coaching opportunities, with Scott’s act having eventually worn thin with three separate teams and their respective best players.

Gentry strikes me as the best choice from this list, given his offensive credentials, as well as a relationship with Kobe Bryant that goes back many years. Hollins may be the best overall coach of the group, but he wouldn’t appear to have the right temperament to deal with the pressures associated with coaching in a major market like Los Angeles.

The fact that the team is looking at veteran head coaches to fill the vacancy is good news for Lakers fans, a sign that Mitch Kupchak likely is firm in his belief that the rebuilding process will happen quickly, with star talent coming either through trades or free agency that would require experienced leadership to produce the desired results.

If Kupchak fails in that effort, however, it will put whomever is hired in the very difficult position of trying to defend the job he’s doing, under the weight of impossibly high expectations.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell
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After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.

LeBron James: I’m healthier than a year ago


LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.

It’s working.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

LeBron James now says he feels better than he did even a year ago.

“I feel better in the mornings; I feel better throughout the games; I feel better throughout the day,” James said before a Cavs shootaround Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Toronto Raptors. “It was a rough start to the season for me last year and for our team. Obviously the way we’ve been playing, a lot is predicated on my health and being able to lead these guys out on the floor and not from the sidelines.”

LeBron certainly looks healthier than he did at this point last year. He’s moving much better and giving more effort.

But comparing November to November means very little for the Cavaliers, who hope to play deep into June.

The key question: Did LeBron properly time his injection? There’s a limit on the number he can have in a year, and it takes time to recover after one. Cleveland doesn’t want LeBron to peak to early.

It’s good for the Cavs that LeBron feels better now, but his health in the playoffs remains the priority.

Report: Suns signing Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
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Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.

So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.

Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.

Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.

Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.