John Wall posted a picture to his Instagram page six days ago announcing his trip to Vegas, but evidently things went south with someone he was with as he attempted to fly back to D.C.
NBA superstar John Wall was kicked off an American Airlines flight in Las Vegas this week … after someone in his crew allegedly threatened another passenger … TMZ Sports has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell us … the Washington Wizards star had boarded a flight headed to D.C. on May 26th — but before the plane took off, his crew got into a verbal argument with someone else on the plane and a threat was allegedly made from someone in Wall’s group.
We’re told someone from the flight crew called the Las Vegas Metro Police Department for help — and cops boarded the plane to deal with the situation.
The alleged victim told cops he did not want to press charges — but the pilot of the plane decided he did NOT want Wall and his crew to remain on the flight … so they were escorted off.
No charges were filed, so this incident will likely be a minor source of embarrassment for Wall, and nothing more. But it should serve as a reminder to professional athletes that it’s good to be cautious when choosing who to surround yourself with during the offseason.
Tom Thibodeau was under contract to coach the Chicago Bulls up until early Thursday afternoon, when the team announced his firing with an official release.
But many around the league have known for some time that Thibodeau would likely be out as Bulls head coach this summer, and therefore could have potentially been available before the news of the separation was formally announced.
Chicago brass maintained that they would have granted permission for teams to pursue Thibodeau as an option — if only they had called to ask.
From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Forman reiterates what Tribune reported all along: Bulls would’ve granted permission for other teams to talk to Thibs. Nobody called.
That would be Bulls GM Gar Forman, who (along with VP of basketball operations John Paxson) met the media to discuss the situation long after the decision had been made.
The primary reason for the lack of interest from other teams was the fact that everyone knew Thibodeau would be let go eventually. Had a club asked for permission to speak with Thibodeau while he was still under contract with the Bulls, and then decided they were interested in hiring him, Chicago would have asked for compensation in the form of one or more future draft picks.
Bulls management continues to throw shade at Thibodeau now that he’s gone. But saying that no teams called to inquire about Thibodeau’s availability shouldn’t be construed as a negative, despite how the front office clearly attempted to make it seem.
The Pelicans vacant head coaching job is easily the most desirable in the league.
Anthony Davis is arguably a top-three player in the league already, and will be under contract in New Orleans for the next several seasons.
Because of that, there are several candidates interested in the position — most of which would seem to be stronger choices than the one who interviewed for the position most recently.
From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Vinny Del Negro discussed the New Orleans Pelicans coaching vacancy with general manager Dell Demps, league sources told Yahoo Sports. …
Former Houston Rockets and New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy and Golden State assistant Alvin Gentry are the frontrunners for the job, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Del Negro emerged as a candidate based upon his successful five-year run as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers.
Van Gundy and Gentry are both better-suited to lead the Pelicans than Del Negro, but there is a scenario where a lesser candidate could unexpectedly come away with the job.
It’s all about control of the decision-making process. Van Gundy would likely want to have a strong say in personnel decisions, similar to what his brother Stan got when he accepted the dual roles of president and head coach of the Pistons. And Gentry, who led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals in 2010 (which, by the way, was the last time Phoenix made the playoffs) was let go midseason in 2013, partly because of a disagreement with the front office over the importance of winning immediately versus developing players for the future.
Del Negro would likely be good with less of a say, and that may sit better with Demps — even though the GM hasn’t done much over the last few seasons (aside from the no-brainer choice to draft Davis) to lead us to believe that he actually knows what’s best for the the franchise.