Kurt Helin

Austin Toros v Texas Legends

It’s official: Kings hire Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman as assistant coach

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It’s an impressive resume for an NBA assistant coach: Two years as the head coach of the D-League’s Texas Legends making the playoff the second year, then becoming general manager of that team. Before that she was a two-time college champion and an Olympian as a player. That is somebody with the background to understand and coach the game.

Nancy Lieberman’s credentials should not be in question — she’s in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for a reason.

The Kings made it official, announcing that she has been hired Friday as a member of George Karl’s coaching staff in Sacramento.

Sam Amick of the USA Today got a short quote out of her on the topic.

In a late-night text message to USA TODAY Sports, Lieberman called Thursday, “a crazy, wonderful day.” For at least the past year, Lieberman had been interested in joining an NBA team as a coach and has worked at high-profile camps last summer instructing NBA players.

Lieberman becomes the second full-time female assistant coach in the NBA, behind the Spurs Becky Hammon.  What’s impressive is that Lieberman was one of the real pioneers of women working in the NBA, and she helped open the door for Hammon. Now Lieberman herself is walking through that same door.

The Kings — with Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins and Karl coaching them — have a lot of strong-willed people in the same room. It’s potentially combustible. If Lieberman can navigate that locker room and win the players over, she will be able to do it anywhere.

 

Report: Hawks’ Mike Scott told police after arrest all drugs in car were his

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Mike Scott is out on an $8,100 bond following his arrest on felony drug possession charges this week. Scott and his brother were pulled over for a traffic stop (after allegedly trying to elude police), and were found to have marijuana and MDMA (Molly). Both men were arrested. Possession of Molly earns you a felony charge.

Things are not getting better for Scott even though he’s out. Scott told the officers all the drugs in the car were his, according to Chris Vivlamore’s report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Following his arrest on felony drug charges, Mike Scott told police that all the marijuana and MDMA seized from the vehicle in which he was a passenger belonged to him, according to the incident report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday. The brother of the Hawks players, Antonn Scott, was also arrested and concurred with his brother.

Mike and Antonn Scott were arrested Thursday morning in Banks County following a traffic stop. The two bonded out late Thursday night, according to a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson….

According to the incident report a total of 35.2 grams of marijuana and 10.9 grams of MDMA were seized. Police also found $1,684 in the vehicle.

No court date has yet been set; that likely comes in the next week.

The Hawks issued a statement saying they were aware of the situation but would not comment beyond that at this time.

Scott averaged 7.8 points and 2.9 rebounds off the bench for the Hawks last season, averaging 16.5 minutes per game. He has two years, $6.7 million left on his deal, although the second year of that is a team option.

Pacers’ Jordan Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked at 107 mph

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
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New Pacers’ center Jordan Hill was driving in excess of 100 mph on a Georgia highway and was arrested for reckless driving on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

Here is footage from the police dashboard video camera, via WSB in Atlanta.

The Indy Star added this detail.

According to the police report, Hill was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon. A police officer from Alpharetta, Georgia, wrote that Hill explained he was “in a hurry.”

Reckless driving in Georgia is a misdemeanor, and while he could get a $1,000 fine and a year in jail, this is not going to come to that.

Pacers’ president Larry Bird released a statement.

Expect either the league or the team (or both) to give some kind of punishment to Hill, likely a short suspension at the start of the season.

Hill averaged 12.0 points and 7.9 rebounds a game for the Lakers last season, and signed a one-year, $4 million deal with Indiana to replace Roy Hibbert at the center spot. (Hibbert is now with the Lakers.)

Warriors trade Gerald Wallace to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Thompson

Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings
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Players have been traded, but it was all about the money.

The Golden State Warriors agreed to send Gerald Wallace to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Thompson (Wallace had come to the Bay Area in the David Lee trade with Boston). The Sixers also get some cash and the right to swap the lower of Miami or Oklahoma City’s 2016 picks (the Sixers have the rights to both) for the Warriors’ pick. (That pick swap borders on meaningless, Golden State likely has a top three — top five at worst — record next year.)

Why did the defending champion Warriors make this move? To save money at the end of the bench without hurting their rotation. Former Nets executive and now Twitter star Bobby Marks breaks it down, n0ting you need to consider this move in tandem with the David Lee trade.

Thompson, who has spent his entire career in Sacramento not living up to his potential, is not going to see a lot of playing time behind Marreese Speights and Festus Ezeli on the bench. Thompson provides some inconsistent but at times solid defense, and he doesn’t take a lot of shots on offense.

Why do the Sixers make this move? To add some money to the payroll this season — they want to try to get to 90 percent of the salary cap number, which is the salary floor — plus save some money next summer. Wallace will get $10.5 million in this last season of his contract. Thompson makes “only” $6.4 million this season but has a $2.8 million guarantee next season (on a $6.8 million contract). Don’t be shocked if the Sixers just waive Wallace.

Neither guy is going to make a difference on the court for these teams. This was just moving some money around.

Trail Blazers guarantee Allen Crabbe’s contract for next season

LV Celtics v Trailblazers
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Allen Crabbe impressed at the Las Vegas Summer League — 15.5 points a game (second best on the Trail Blazers) on 53 percent shooting overall and 43 percent from three. Coach Terry Stotts was going to have to take a long look at Crabbe and how he might fit in the new Portland rotation.

Then he went down with a nasty sprained ankle that would sideline Crabbe at least a month.

But the Blazers saw enough from the games he did play to lock Crabbe down for next season, reports Jabari Young at CSNNW.com.

The Trail Blazers have informed Allen Crabbe his contract will be guaranteed for the 2015-16 season, CSNNW.com has learned….

“It’s always good to know that your [contract] is going to be guaranteed so it just makes you focus on continuing to work hard for the rest of the summer and get prepared for training camp,” Crabbe told CSNNW.com on Friday. “I’ve got a clear mind just knowing that I’m going to be on the roster next year.”

This is a $947,000 contract, so it is certainly a good value move by Portland.

Crabbe got in 51 games last season and looked good on the defensive end (filling in for Nicolas Batum at times). That earned him some trust from Stotts, but Crabbe didn’t show much offensive punch. Which is why the development he showed at Summer League mattered — he is getting better at his weaknesses.

If he keeps showing improvement at both ends, Crabbe can work his way into the guard rotation with Damian Lillard, Gerald Henderson and C.J. McCollum. Even if he’s on the fringes of the rotation, at Crabbe’s cost it’s worth keeping him around to see if he can grow into a solid rotation guy.