Derek Fisher

Report: Lakers eliminate Derek Fisher from coaching search


Phil Jackson might gets his man this time.

After waiting for Steve Kerr to coach the Knicks only to see the Warriors poach him, Jackson faces less competition for his backup candidate.

Derek Fisher – once believed to be a Kobe Bryant-approved choice for the Lakers – is out of the running in Los Angeles.

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

The Lakers have decided they need a coach with previous NBA coaching experience, which means one thing for Derek Fisher: He isn’t a candidate.

I’ll admit, as a lover of chaos, I wanted to see Jackson wait all this time and then strike out with Fisher like he did with Kerr. Then what would the Knicks do? There seemed to be no plan B after Kerr, and now there might be no plan C after Fisher.

Fisher hasn’t announced his retirement from playing, so there’s still a chance he spurns Jackson for another contract with the Thunder or other team.

Or he could simply choose to do something other than playing or coaching the Knicks next year. Though he was confident in his ability to coach Kobe, Fisher might not rush to oversee J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton.

As for the Lakers, their decision eliminates pure college coaches – though the two they’ve been linked to have already essentially recused themselves from the search. North Carolina’s Roy Williams denied interest, and Kentucky’s John Calipari just signed a monster contract extension.

The Lakers have interviewed five veteran coaches, and though their search could still expand, predicting their next coach should probably start with this list:

NBA head-coaching experience is important, and candidates with it should receive credit for it. But I don’t understand why Rambis going 56-145 in Minnesota gets his foot in the door when so many other potentially worthy candidates are shut out by the line the Lakers are setting.

Of those five, Hollins is a quality coach, and Gentry would be fine. The other three are pretty underwhelming.

The Lakers seem to be narrowing their options – but that will at least help the team with the narrowest search of all.

Jason Kidd ejected; shoving match ensues between teams after Kings beat Bucks

Jason Kidd
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Jason Kidd is going to miss a game or three (and some dollars to go with it), and he could not be the only guy in trouble with the league after a tension-filled end to the Kings’ win over the Bucks Wednesday.

There wasn’t a ton of drama at the end of the contest itself. The Bucks played a “defense optional” game that led to 36 points for Rudy Gay and 13 dimes for Rajon Rondo, and the Kings won their first game this season without DeMarcus Cousins (back issue). That frustrated the Bucks to no end.

Jason Kidd expressed that frustration by slapping the ball out of referee Zach Zarba’s hands, a move that rightfully earned him an instant ejection.

You can be sure a suspension is coming for Kidd — the league can’t let that slide. This was not a Budenholzer incidental bump. After the game here is what Kidd had to say.

After Kidd had gone to the showers, there was a little jawing on the court between Cousins (in street clothes) and the Bucks’ O.J. Mayo. That spilled over after the final buzzer into the tunnel, where there was at the very least some jawing, maybe a little shoving, and a lot of security stepping in before anything serious happened.

Whatever happened in the tunnel is going to be a lot harder for NBA disciplinarian Kiki Vandeweghe (technically the vice-president of basketball operations for the NBA) to sort out. Who started what, and did it rise to the level it calls for a fine or more, is going to be tricky, especially since this was out of site of the arena cameras.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score six fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

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

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

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.