As a rift grew between Mark Jackson and Warriors ownership, one issue was reportedly his refusal to move to the Bay Area. There were legitimate basketball reasons to fire Jackson, and I’m sure they played a part, but there was also a cultural divide (one I’m skeptical Joe Lacob did enough to overcome).
Jackson is the pastor of a Los Angeles church, and that’s a key reason he wouldn’t move. Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group:
Mark Jackson’s job isn’t just as a preacher. He doesn’t just work for a church. It’s HIS church. He and his wife is the heart of the church. That’s a traditional part of the black Christian experience.There are exceptions, of course. But generally, the preacher is the head (and often the founder) of the church. Just ride around in any inner-city neighborhood and look at the signs. You won’t see the names of the board of governors or the eldership. You’ll see a man, or a woman, because they run the show. It’s been that way for centuries. Most HBCU’s — the best of which is Clark Atlanta University! — are founded by churches and many of them were run the same way.Jackson has that same set up. Asking him to move midstream is not like asking a UPS worker to transfer. It’s not as simple as “You can preach in the Bay.” Lacob is asking him to give up his church. He is telling him to relocate his family to the Bay Area, meaning the lifeblood of that church, Jackson and his wife, are gone. That’s not a matter-of-fact thing.
You can see Jackson’s preaching in action:
And he explains just what he was doing:
I can see why Lacob and Jackson weren’t on the same page. To many, including myself, these street-corner preachers do nothing but block the sidewalk.
To Jackson, his mission is much more personal – and good for him. The slight inconvenience of passersby is no reason to stop if that’s what he believes is right.
The worldview Jackson shows in this video also shouldn’t prevent him from coaching an NBA team. I hope it didn’t.
Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.
The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.
The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.
Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.
Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.
Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.
“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”
The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.
Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.
LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.
Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?
Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.
LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.
To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.
It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.
With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.
There were a couple of good ones, however.
Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.
One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.