Report: Lakers interview Kurt Rambis as coaching search continues

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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.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.