New Orleans Hornets NBA Draft night

Stan Van Gundy hires Jeff Bower as Pistons general manager


Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons’ new president and coach, needs a No. 2 in the front office.

Look no further than Jeff Bower, the former New Orleans Hornets general manager and current Marist College coach.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The other reported challengers for the job – Stu Jackson, Scott Layden and Otis Smith – were hardly inspiring. By comparison, Bower was a slam dunk.

Even in isolation, this is a pretty solid hire.

Bower had his good moments with the Hornets – drafting Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton in the 2009 second round chief among them – but he was ultimately undone by George Shinn’s ownership and Chris Paul’s wandering eyes. New Orleans decided it couldn’t continue with the status quo, and that meant losing Bower.

Of course, Bower was far from perfect with the Hornets. Signing Peja Stojakovic to a big contract backfired, and he tried too hard to get rid of Tyson Chandler before Chandler blossomed into the second-best player on the Mavericks’ 2011 championship team.

Overall, Bower doesn’t have the strongest track record of potential hires. But that’s partially due to his résumé being so lengthy, leaving more time for flaws to emerge.

Bower – well-respected around the league – should help Van Gundy communicate with agents and other executives, two groups who might be relatively foreign to the first-time team president. Van Gundy made this about fit, and among the well-fitting candidates, Bower was Detroit’s best option.

76ers owner: Brett Brown deserves an ‘A’

Brett Brown
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Only one person in NBA history has coached as many games as Brett Brown and had a worst winning percentage.

The 76ers coach, who sports a 37-127 record, is trumped by just Brian Winters. Winters went 36-148 with the expansion Grizzlies and during interim stint guiding the Warriors.

Brown is entering the third season of his four-year contract, and Philadelphia general manager Sam Hinkie has been mum about an extension.

76ers owner Josh Harris is taking a similar approach, but he also says a lot of nice things about Brown.

Harris, via John Finger of CSN Philly:

“It’s probably not appropriate for me to talk about specifics about what the negotiations are with him,” Harris said during a media conference on Thursday at the team’s training camp at Stockton College.

“I give Brett an A for the job he’s done,” Harris said. “He’s been an incredible player development person, which is what we need at this point in time. He’s a great person to be around. He’s enthusiastic and he’s a born coach and a leader of men. I’m very impressed with Brett and I hope and expect Brett to be around the team for a very long time.”

Brown has done a fantastic job keeping this team engaged through losing and developing its young players. It’s not his fault Philadelphia stinks. Tanking is an organizational decision.

But the 76ers aren’t tanking forever, and soon, they’ll require a different type of coaching.

Is Brown up for it? No idea. He hasn’t had any chance to prove it.

After all he’s done, though, he probably deserves a chance to find out.

Thabo Sefolosha found not guilty

Thabo Sefolosha
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Thabo Sefolosha clearly believed in his innocence.

The Hawks wing rejected a plea deal of only day of community service and six months probation. That probably would have been easier than a trial.

But Sefolosha opted to fight the charges – misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Today, he was vindicated.

Robert Silverman:

Sefolosha, who missed the playoffs due to a leg injury that seemingly occurred during his arrest, has made his case clear: New York police targeted him because he’s black. Given everything else we know about policing habits, that’s certainly believable.

We’ve also seen video of multiple officers literally pulling Sefolosha in different directions and one striking him in the leg with a nightstick. We don’t know what preceded that video, but especially given the information revealed at trial, it’s difficult to justify that use of force.

This verdict probably sets up Sefolosha’ to sue the NYPD.