Kurt Helin

Mike Woodson

Report: Mike Woodson to interview for Kings’ head coaching job

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The Sacramento Kings are casting a wide net in their coaching search, reaching out and talking to a range of coaches with a variety of experience.

One man getting an interview is Mike Woodson — a former NBA player with nine years NBA head coaching experience between Atlanta and New York — reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

As part of a broad search process for head coach, the Sacramento Kings plan to interview Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson, league sources told The Vertical.

The Kings sought and were granted permission by the Clippers to meet with Woodson in the near future, sources said. Woodson, 58, is one of several former head coaches with whom the Kings want to discuss their job opening. The Kings also have interest in Vinny Del Negro, Kevin McHale and Mark Jackson, among others.

In Atlanta Woodson’s teams got better and better each season. While his offense was not exactly groundbreaking — remember “iso Joe?” — the team won 53 games his final season there. He won 54 games one season with the Knicks and got the team it’s first playoff series win in 13 years, but that was followed by an ugly season and he was cleared out as Phil Jackson came into power.

Don’t expect any decision soon from the Kings.

Sacramento comes with a cornerstone player in DeMarcus Cousins, but one not easy for coaches to get along with (or teammates). It’s also an organization plagued by instability — which started at the top with ownership — trying to lay a foundation as it moves into a stunning new building in downtown Sacramento next season.

Whoever gets hired, and whatever style of play the Kings settle on, they just need to stick with it for

Phoenix Suns make Earl Watson permanent full-time coach

during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 2, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  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.
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Earl Watson — the Phoenix Suns’ interim coach — gets to keep his job.

Watson was the guy the players wanted and was considered the front-runner, and now multiple reports have him keeping his job. Jude LaCava of Fox 10 in Phoenix was first with the story.

It has since been confirmed by the Suns.

“Earl did a very good job with our team last season after taking over as interim head coach during a challenging time for the organization,” Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough said in a statement. “Earl’s natural leadership qualities and his ability to connect with and motivate our players have stood out throughout his time here in Phoenix. We are excited to see what he can do with a healthy roster after having a full offseason to prepare.”

Watson is getting a three-season deal in the big chair, according to multiple reports.

Watson was just 9-24 after taking over mid-season for the fired Jeff Hornacek, but GM Ryan McDonough liked working with Watson and saw real potential. This was a roster that saw turmoil this season — the trading of Marcus Morris, which made his brother Markeiff Morris unhappy, and the two point guard experiment that never clicked — and Watson seemed to settle it down. That is why the players pushed for his return.

Now we’ll see what kind of roster he has to work with around Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler (all of whom are on longer contracts).

Mavericks’ JaVale McGee trolls Thunder after loss. Because he can.

Dallas Mavericks center JaVale McGee sits on the bench during the closing minutes of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 112-83. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
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Dallas Mavericks big man JaVale McGee had a quality seat for his team’s dramatic win over the Thunder and Steven Adamsjust-too-late putback attempt (McGee was a DNP-CD). ,

After the game, McGee went to the “crying Jordan” meme to rub a little salt in Oklahoma City’s wounds.

Early in Game 3 Thursday we’re going to see if this and Charlie Villanueva’s antics are just tugging on Superman’s cape.

Derrick Rose keeps underdog mentality heading into wild offseason in Chicago

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 07:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during a game against the Miami Heat  at American Airlines Arena on April 7, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Can the Chicago Bulls become Jimmy Butler‘s team if Derrick Rose is still on it?

That question — and the evolution of the team’s roster to fit the style Fred Hoiberg wants to play — promise to make this an interesting and tumultuous offseason in Chicago.

Rose doesn’t want to talk about any of that. He never does. All he would say in an interview with K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune is that he will work to get better for next season, and he’ll deal with free agency in the summer of 2017 when his contract is up.

“I’ll think about that when that time comes,” Rose said. “As far as right now, the only thing I can think about is this offseason. I’ve had that mentality ever since my injuries. I learned to deal with reality and live in the moment. I feel I’m doing all I can for this team, myself and my family. And that’s all I can control right now….

“I sometimes feel people forget I’ve endured three surgeries, three rehabs. But even when I was younger, I always had the underdog mentality. People always would put people in front of me. I always had to fight my way to the top.

“In this league, having the success that I had so early and then having the injuries that I had, it kind of put me in the same place. I’m familiar with it. It’s not foreign ground. I’ve been here before and there’s nothing but hard work to get back to the top.”

Rose played 66 games this past season — more than in the three previous seasons combined — and overcame an orbital eye fracture to average 16.4 points per game on a true shooting percentage of 47.9 percent (below the league average) while adding 4.7 assists a night. His shooting numbers were a lot better after the All-Star break, with the facial injury healed and his legs under him he averaged 17.1 points a game and shot 37 percent from three.

He’s still a quality player, but he’s not a franchise player anymore. Three knee surgeries robbed him of the explosive athleticism that set him apart and made him an MVP, a max salary guy that was a fan favorite around the league. Now he’s a good player, not great. The question is fit. Of course, it was hard for anyone in Chicago to find a steady role or fit this season.

The Bulls are expected to see if there is a trade market for him this off-season, but at $21.3 million it will be tough to find a taker even if it is the final year of his contract (and other teams are flush with cap space). Rose likely remains a Bull.

Expect Rose to keep his head down and keep working. (Although, if he does get moved it will be interesting to see what he says on his way out the door.)

Quote of the Day: LeBron is not playing against Stans

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 09: at the United Center on April 9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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“It’s not about me vs. Stan (Van Gundy), me vs. Stanley (Johnson) or me vs. any other Stan.”

LeBron James, talking about the Cavaliers’ first-round series with the Pistons, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Just to be clear, it’s also not about LeBron vs. Stan Lee, Stan Musial, Stan Marsh from South Park, Stan Wawrinka, Stan Laurel, Stan Kubrick, Stan Getz, Stan from the Eminem song, or the Stanley Cup.