Dan Feldman

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Former coach of Johnny Manziel: Quarterback ignored LeBron James’ advice

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The Cleveland Browns have cut Johnny Manziel. The Dallas Cowboys don’t want him.

Manziel’s fall was demonstrated when LeBron Jamesmarketing group cut ties with the quarterback.

But that doesn’t mean LeBron didn’t try to help first.

Emily Kaplan of The MMBQ:

Each person interviewed—Browns and Texas A&M coaches and teammates, close friends, family friends and lawyers—expressed frustration with Manziel, sharing stories that depicted a lack of commitment and a culture of enablement. They all wondered where it went wrong. They also wonder what else could have possibly been done to save Manziel from himself. As one of his former coaches says: “When he had LeBron James as a mentor, texting him all the time, hanging out at his house watching football, and Johnny didn’t listen to his advice? That’s when I knew he had a problem.”

LeBron might not be a perfect mentor, his passive-aggressiveness sometimes doing more harm than good. But LeBron has handled mega-fame incredibly well, staying focused and driven in the midst of the massive amounts of attention that surrounds him.

If there were anyone positioned to help Manziel with that challenge, it’s LeBron (though Manziel probably needs help in other areas, too).

By the way, once Manziel rejected that help, LeBron turned the tables and cracked a joke at Manziel’s expense.

Phil Jackson: Kurt Rambis ‘perfectly capable’ of coaching Knicks permanently

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12:   New York Knicks president Phil Jackson watches from the stands as his team plays the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.   The Knicks won 101-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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When he made Kurt Rambis the Knicks’ interim coach, Phil Jackson reportedly wanted Rambis to assume the permanent job.

Kurt Rambis, who went 32-132 with the Timberwolves? That Kurt Rambis?

Jackson, via Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

“I think he’s perfectly capable of doing that,” Jackson said when asked if he wants Rambis to be coaching the Knicks. “We’ve talked many times over the past four or five years about the obvious record that is created behind his coaching in Minnesota and that puts a black mark on his coaching ability at first glance.

“But he has a way of handling players. He’s relaxed yet he has the ability to keep them focused on the important parts of it. He’s a defensive-oriented guy. I had him as my defensive coordinator for my teams in 2007, eight and nine. And I think he has a real good handle on that part. So we’ll see how they go.”

The question shouldn’t be whether or not Rambis is “perfectly capable.” (He’s probably not.) The issue should be whether or not Rambis is most capable.

The Knicks are paying Jackson $12 million per year. They just gave Derek Fisher a five-year, $25 million contract (though that reportedly wasn’t fully guaranteed).

New York has the resources to lure a top-notch coach.

Beyond salary – which matters a great deal – the Knicks offer a chance to coach Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony. They’ve also shown a willingness to pay the luxury tax.

Jackson shouldn’t squander this opportunity on Rambis, who struggled in Minnesota and has underwhelmed in this interim stint with New York. Jackson also shouldn’t limit candidates to his cronies. Use James Dolan’s money to land the best coach available, not necessarily the best triangle coach available.

At best, Jackson is just saying kind words about a friend he hoped would seize an opportunity but didn’t. Talk up Rambis on his way out the door or back down the bench. Simultaneously, lower expectations so Knicks fans will appreciate the real coaching choice.

At worst, Jackson is paving the road for eventually hiring Rambis – maybe even as a co-coach.

Bismack Biyombo blocks two Jabari Parker dunks on one possession (video)

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Jabari Parker didn’t his lesson.

So, Bismack Biyombo had to teach him again.

Nerlens Noel goes way up, reaches way back to finish alley-oop (video)

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The most fun alley-oops are set up by bad passes.

Thank Ish Smith for giving Nerlens Noel a chance to look good by tossing the ball a little too far behind the 76ers big man.