UPDATE: Kurt Rambis accepts four-year, $4.8 million to be Derek Fisher’s lead assistant in New York


UPDATE 5:45 pm: It’s hard to say no to that kind of money.

Kurt Rambis has accepted the job as Derek Fisher’s lead assistant, bringing the triangle offense to New York, reports Ian Begley at ESPNNewYork.com.

Rambis has head coaching experience as well as having been an assistant under Phil Jackson, and last season with Mike D’Antoni in New York (although he may try to repress those memories). Just having someone who has done the job before and knows some of the rhythm of it will help Fisher.

10:45 am: The cost of hiring a coach is going up. Fast. There are plenty in the coaching community rankled by the fact Derek Fisher and Steve Kerr each got five-year, $25 million coaching contracts without ever having done the job before. It is driving up the price of coaches everywhere.

Including assistant coaches. Last year Lawrence Frank got big money to piss off Jason Kidd (apparently), now this summer the Cavaliers gave Tyronn Lue $1.6 million a year to help David Blatt adjust to the NBA. The Warriors nearly doubled Alvin Gentry’s salary (north of $800,000) to move him from the right hand of Doc Rivers to the right hand of Steve Kerr.

Now the Knicks are going big to get Kurt Rambis to move across the country and help out Derek Fisher, reports the New York Post.

The Knicks have made Lakers coaching candidate Kurt Rambis a four-year offer of roughly $1.2 million per year to be rookie coach Derek Fisher’s top assistant, according to an NBA source….

Rambis, a triangle guru and Lakers assistant last season, remains in the mix for the Lakers’ head-coaching vacancy and still is mulling a cross-country move to New York.

Rambis is in the mix for the Lakers head coaching spot in the same way Denzel Washington is — unless a star free agent specifically requested him that job is going to someone else. And nobody is requesting him. Plus, as the Lakers still want to land Kevin Love hiring Rambis is a poor idea (those two clashed in Minnesota when Rambis limited Love’s minutes).

Rambis just has to decide if he really wants to pack up and move to New York or not. He likely would have television and other options in Los Angeles, but not for near that money.

Other potential Knicks assistant coaches could be Jim Cleamons, Bill Cartwright and Rick Fox.

Dwight Howard posts just second 30-30 game in last 36 years

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Dwight Howard never played for the Nets. He almost got traded to Brooklyn by the Magic, but the deal never happened.

Which puts a dent in Dennis Schroder‘s theory Howard gets up for games against only his former teams.

Howard dominated Brooklyn for 32 points and 30 rebounds in the Hornets’ 111-105 win tonight. That’s just the second 30-30 game in the last 36 years, Kevin Love notching the other in 2010.

All 30-30 games since Wilt Chamberlain, who had a ton:

  • Dwight Howard (Charlotte Hornets, 3/21/2018): 32 points, 30 rebounds
  • Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves, 11/12/2010): 31 points, 31 rebounds
  • Moses Malone (Houston Rockets, 2/11/1982): 38 points, 32 rebounds
  • Swen Nater (Milwaukee Bucks, 12/19/1976): 30 points, 33 rebounds
  • Elvin Hayes (Capital Bullets, 11/17/1973): 43 points, 32 rebounds

Howard helped Charlotte erase a 23-point second-half deficit and a 10-point deficit with four minutes left. The Hornets are playing out a lost season, and Brooklyn has looked overmatched most of the year, particularly at center. But no matter the situation, Howard says he still feels super-sized expectations.

Tonight, he exceeded them by leaps and bounds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo leaves Bucks’ loss to Clippers with ankle injury (video)

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The Bucks lost, 127-120, to the Clippers tonight.

More importantly, Milwaukee lost Antetokounmpo to an ankle injury.

He limped off in the second quarter and didn’t return. The Bucks called it a sprain.

Any more time Antetokounmpo misses would be a huge loss. Hopefully, he recovers quickly.

No matter how many other good players – Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe – Milwaukee has put on the floor, the team has struggled without its star. Antetokounmpo is a commanding force offensively who just does so much, and his defense impresses.

The Bucks (37-34) are eighth in the East. They’re safely in playoff position, five games ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. But this hurts Milwaukee’s chances of avoiding a first-round matchup with the excellent Raptors – though the way Toronto has regressed in the playoffs in previous years, that might not be so bad. Still, the Bucks should probably chase the seventh-place Heat, who are up 1.5 games on Milwaukee, and a likely first-round matchup with the injury-ravaged Celtics.

Obviously, a healthy Antetokounmpo would be central to that pursuit.

Cavaliers beat Raptors, become first team in 27 years to surrender 79 first-half points and win


The Cavaliers haven’t been good enough throughout the season, especially defensively. The Raptors have – offensively, defensively, starters, bench. Hope has grown in Toronto of winning the Eastern Conference after getting eliminated by Cleveland the last two years.

But LeBron James and Cavs showed why it’s hard to pick any other team – even the first-place Raptors – to win the East in a 132-129 win over Toronto tonight.

Cleveland allowed 79 first-half points and fell behind by 15. But a LeBron-led offense was just too potent. This was the first time since 1990 (Nuggets over Spurs after trailing 90-83) a team surrendered so many first-half points then still won.

LeBron finished with 35 points, 17 assists and no turnovers. No forward has ever dished so many assists without a turnover in Basketball-Reference’s database, which dates back to 1963-64.

And LeBron led the Cavaliers to this win despite Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Korver and Cedi Osman being out.

It’s only one game, and it was in Cleveland. But even with home-court advantage in a potential playoff series, the Raptors must grapple with even more lingering doubt now about their ability to beat the Cavs.

Report: Becky Hammon staying with Spurs, not coaching Colorado State men’s team

AP Photo/Darren Abate

Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon was a candidate to coach the men’s team at Colorado State, her alma mater. That would have made her the first woman to coach a Division I men’s team.

Alas, it won’t happen.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports:

It’s unclear whether Hammon was ever actually offered the job.

She’s still on the right track for a head-coaching job somewhere. Most importantly, by all accounts, she’s doing good work in San Antonio. There’s also more attention on her career because of her pioneering status, and that will appeal to some teams.

This dalliance with Colorado State raises her profile even further and shows just how close she is.