Heat demote two assistants to hire Juwan Howard

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Stability for the sake of stability is often overrated, but sometimes it has its purposes.

When you have the NBA’s best player and are consistently reaching the NBA Finals, that’s not the time for radical shakeups. The status quo is working.

But once that situation changes, other dominoes start falling.

The Miami Heat, to say the least, are in transition. With LeBron James in Cleveland, the Heat will look very different next season. At this point, might as well take care of everything now.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Ron Rothstein and Bob McAdoo will no longer play significant roles on head coach Erik Spoelstra’s staff – and could be completely off the bench, according to league sources.

Those changes will clear the way for Juwan Howard to be promoted from his role in player development, league sources said.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

"As far as being on the bench, they no longer will be," said the source, who said the two have been offered the opportunity to remain with the team in other capacities. "The staff is evolving."

"The fact is," the source said, "they were part of Pat’s group."

To his credit, Riley has empowered Spoelstra to run the team. Maybe Riley was too overbearing with Stan Van Gundy (or not, because it resulted in the 2006 championship), but that hasn’t seemed to be the team president and former coach’s approach with Spoelstra.

And I think Spoelstra is a very good coach. He deserves a chance to coach his own way, just as Riley would have wanted before he moved into the front office.

It’s an interesting departure from New York, where Phil Jackson seems to be taking a different approach. Maybe that will work for Jackson and the Knicks, but it’s definitely different. And remember, Spoelstra has earned a lot more trust than Derek Fisher, a first-time coach.

As far as Howard, he’s clearly a trusted voice in Miami. After three years with the Heat, he eased into retirement and player development last season. They know what they’re getting.

 

 

http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/02/phil-jackson-will-coach-through-steve-kerr-knicks-president-reportedly-tells-carmelo-anthony/

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

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DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.

Kevin Durant: Kyrie Irving-LeBron James situation ‘just a regular NBA problem’

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Kevin Durant knows something about star teammates not always getting along.

So, the Warriors forward is not freaking out about the disconnect between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Irving’s subsequent trade request.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.

But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.

The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.

Report: Heat signing Jordan Mickey

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Jordan Mickey – the No. 33 pick by the Celtics in 2015 – became the first second-round pick in memory to sign the year he was drafted and receive a higher initial salary than first-round picks.

He’s keeping the checks coming.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit.

I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).

The Heat could just see Mickey as someone they can develop. At that point, how he fits into the current roster doesn’t really matter.

Mickey – 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan – is a mobile defender with nice timing for blocking shots inside. He even possesses a work-in-progress 3-pointer in his arsenal. There’s plenty for Miami to help mold.