Derek Fisher confident he could coach Kobe Bryant

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I believe Kobe Bryant wants Derek Fisher to coach the Lakers next season.

Although the Lakers say they won’t consult Kobe on the hire and Kobe has not publicly endorsed a candidate, the Los Angeles superstar still has ways of sharing his viewpoint. I don’t think it’s coincidence this Adrian Wojnarowski article focused on Fisher. Wojnarowski is a longtime Kobe confidant, and the agenda is transparent.

For what it’s worth, the Kobe-Fisher interest sounds mutual.

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman:

There are several roadblocks to Fisher and Kobe living happily ever after in a coach-player relationship.

1. Fisher might not retire. He wasn’t too shabby in the Western Conference finals, and though he’ll turn 40 before next season, he could probably eke out another contract if he wants one.

2. The Knicks and Fisher share mutual interest. If Phil Jackson covets Fisher as New York’s next coach – and all indications are he does – Fisher would at least listen.

3. Kobe is hard to coach.

Even if Kobe starts with the best of intentions, he often doesn’t give his coach the benefit of the doubt for long. That wouldn’t bode well for a rookie coach like Fisher – especially because he’s transitioning directly from playing. No matter what Kobe and Fisher think, their relationship would change as Fisher’s job does.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the rest of the Nets veterans made it easy for Jason Kidd. When Kidd repeatedly stumbled early in the season, the Brooklyn players refused to publicly pile on, and that gave Kidd time to get his feet under him. Eventually, he turned to a small-ball lineup, implemented strong schemes with it and won a playoff series.

You think Kobe would show that same patience if Fisher makes mistakes early?

I don’t, but I also didn’t think Garnett and Pierce would, either. Veterans can change their stripes if they desire.

Kobe and Fisher would have a chance to make it work, but I definitely don’t share Fisher’s optimism

Donovan Mitchell: I was at LeBron James’ Decision

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Donovan Mitchell has turned heads with the Jazz then made the most of his All-Star stage, winning the dunk contest.

But that wasn’t the first time he neared the spotlight.

Mitchell explained how he attended The Decision, LeBron James‘ 2010 free-agency TV special, where he announced he’d sign with the Heat.

Mitchell, via Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports:

“I was there, when he had The Decision,” Mitchell explained. “So that would probably be the biggest one.”

Like, there there?

“It was in Greenwich, Conn., and I went to school in Greenwich [at Greenwich Country Day School],” he said. “So, as a big LeBron fan in the sixth grade, I forced my mom to let me go. I wanted him to go to Miami. I wanted him to get his first ring.”

Young Donovan was glad to see one of his favorite players chart a course for a more successful future. Not everybody at the Greenwich Boys & Girls Club shared his enthusiasm.

“The people there who were Knicks fans … they weren’t too happy about it,” Mitchell said. “I almost got hit in the head with a Snapple bottle because they were just throwing stuff around outside. It was cool. I was just celebrating, so it was pretty cool.”

What a cool bit of happenstance.

Damian Lillard’s goal in meeting with Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen: ‘Spark that urgency’

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Alleviating Paul Allen’s fear, Damian Lillard didn’t request a trade in his requested meeting with the Trail Blazers owner.

So, what did Lillard want to accomplish?

Lillard, in an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN:

It was just me showing urgency, spark that urgency, figure out, “OK, what do we have to do?” We’re a five, six seed. What do we got to do to make the jump? If you don’t have a line of communication with people who can make the changes or the people who can make impact for things happening for the better, then you’re just going out there playing.

Paralyzed by a huge payroll, the Trail Blazers have been going the opposite direction. They dumped Allen Crabbe and Noah Vonleh in their last two significant trades. Portland could let Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier walk in free agency this summer. Luxury-tax concerns aren’t vanishing. Evan Turner‘s, Maurice Harkless’ and Meyers Leonard‘s are major obstacles to upgrading the roster.

The Trail Blazers could be stuck.

That’d be rough news for Lillard, who’s already 27. I understand why he’s trying to push the envelope. His prime is ticking down.

I’m just not sure Portland can help him accomplish his championship-contention goals anytime soon, as hard as he presses.

Adam Silver jokingly thanks Magic Johnson for paying for All-Star Legends Brunch

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The NBA held its annual All-Star Legends Brunch last weekend. Jerry West, James Worthy, Bill Walton and Magic Johnson were honored.

And NBA commissioner Adam Silver delivered a great line while addressing the event.

Silver, via Steve Aschburner of NBA.com:

“Magic, thank you for paying for the brunch today.”

So, that’s why Johnson got fined for $50,000 for tampering for innocuous comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald reveals he’s living with incurable heart disease

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The National Basketball Players Association and NBA set up health screenings for former players.

Nate “Tiny” Archibald, who starred for the Kansas City Kings and Boston Celtics, took advantage. Unfortunately, he learned a difficult outcome.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

IT WAS DECEMBER 2016 when Archibald learned of his diagnosis, during a free screening at the New York offices of the NBPA. And now, more than a year later, he’s still reeling from the news.

“What I have is really rare,” he says. “There’s no pills, nothing they have found that works. I’m being tested all the time, just hoping, you know?

“My [heart] could go any minute. But I’m not ready for that. I want to be around for a long time.”

The medical community has had little success solving the riddle of amyloidosis. For those who suffer from it, aside from participating in clinical trials, or the possibility of a heart transplant, which at Archibald’s age may not be viable, there isn’t much that can be done.

We celebrated Archibald’s 69th birthday last fall with this highlight video. If you’re not familiar with the 6-foot-1 guard’s exciting game, get acquainted:

Hopefully, Archibald gets his wish and sticks around a long time.