Kurt Helin

2015 Billboard Music Awards - Backstage And Audience

Nick Young proposes to Iggy Azalea, they are getting married

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Is she going to take the name Mrs. Swaggy P?

Congratulations to Lakers’ guard Nick Young and pop star Iggy Azalea — they have been dating since 2013 and on Monday night he popped the question. And she said yes. From the people at TMZ who follow such things:

It all went down at Nick Young’s 30th birthday party Monday night — with the L.A. Lakers star getting down on one knee and busting out a fat diamond ring … according to hip hop insider Karen Civil.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

Iggy, welcome to the life of an NBA wife — your fiance may not be playing in Los Angeles next season. The Lakers are going to shop him and would love to move him and that contract.

What kind of coach is Chicago getting with Fred Hoiberg?

Fred Hoiberg
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The Chicago Bulls have their guy — Fred Hoiberg officially will be introduced as the new coach of the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. Bulls GM Gar Forman was an assistant coach at Iowa State when Hoiberg starred for that team (before his 10-year NBA career), that long-standing relationship was the foundation upon which this deal would ultimately get done.

But what kind of coach is Chicago getting?

In a lot of ways, the anti-Thibodeau.

“He already has the demeanor of an NBA coach: He’s not a yeller or a screamer, he’s not a recruiter or a salesmen, he’s not born to be a CEO of a program,” Rob Dauster of our sister site CollegeBasketballTalk.com. He’s even-keeled, the kind of guy that will let players do whatever they want as long as they understand that mistakes — on and off the court — mean the bench.”

Hoiberg is considered a players’ coach, but not in the “they can do whatever they want” way. More in the Jeff Hornacek or Brad Stevens way — guys who don’t let their ego get the better of them in making decisions.

Hoiberg also an offensive minded coach who will bring the Bulls out of the old-school, conventional system they have been running.

“Offensively, he’s brilliant, running sets that thrive on creating space and isolating mismatches, which is what the NBA game is all about these days,” Dauster say. “I think he’s going to have a lot of success at that level.”

A more creative offensive system was one of the things the Bulls had said they wanted from their new coach.

Another thing the Bulls said they were looking for was a communicator — which was not-so-subtle code for “someone who listens to us.” Unlike Thibodeau. Someone who will engage with the front office on the matter of reduced minutes for Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, and Jimmy Butler. Someone who will give Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell, and Doug McDerrmott more run to build up the bench. Hoiberg will do all that. He spent three years in the Timberwolves front office; he understands that side of the desk. He also understands getting guys to play to their strengths.

“The biggest reason that I think Fred Hoiberg will have success in the NBA is that he understands how to manage talent,” Dauster added. “There’s a reason that so many talented cast-offs from other programs found success in his program.”

The Bulls front office finally got they guy they wanted.

Although, there is one caveat:

Thibodeau won.

The NBA is a bottom line business, and Thibodeau delivered on the bottom line. He is a defensive innovator and a Team USA Coach. Thibs teams won. Yes, he wore down players, and that could have hastened injuries. Yes, some of those same players were pretty burnt out on him by the end. But they won for him.

For all the communication, no matter how much better he utilizes players and reduces minutes, no matter how creative the offense, if the team doesn’t win things could turn ugly in Chicago.

And that will be on the front office, too. This was their move.

 

 

Getting pumped for Finals: LeBron’s Top 10 plays from 2014-15 season

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There are a lot of reasons, a lot of fascinating matchups that should make this a very entertaining NBA Finals. It’s far more than just Stephen Curry vs. LeBron James.

But watching those two play on the same court is going to be fun.

To whet your appetite, check out LeBron’s best plays from the past season, as compiled by the fine people at NBA.com.

LeBron James sticks up for coach David Blatt. Again.

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four
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What else was he going to say?

With the NBA Finals starting in a few days, LeBron James doesn’t want his relationship with his coach to be a distracting headline, so no matter how he really feels he’s going to stick up for his coach. And give him very conspicuously give him a hug on the sidelines late in the Game 4 sweep of Atlanta.

Monday at media availability, LeBron was again complimenting and sticking up for his coach, as reported by James Herbert of CBSSports.com’s Eye on Basketball.

“Well, any time someone is scrutinized really for nothing, I’m able to relate,” James said. “For him in his instance, obviously, we knew there were a lot of people that were going to say things that didn’t mean much, but that’s just what they have to do. That’s what helps sales.

“People love reading the negative things more than the positive things, and I think he’s handled the situation unbelievably,” he continued. “Being a rookie coach in the NBA and being able to take this team to the Finals, I think he’s done a hell of a job.”

LeBron is polished and incredibly conscious of what he says to the media — and through all the praise he has twice thrown his coach under the bus in these playoffs. When LeBron called his own number and changed the play call against the Bulls, it was LeBron who brought that up and told the media. He could have said nothing and nobody would have known outside the locker room, but he chose to make that statement. The same way he chose to question the defensive matchups Blatt had assigned earlier in the playoffs.

Two points need to be made here.

First, if LeBron wants David Blatt gone he will be gone — and people close to the Cavaliers are not sure what LeBron wants to that end.

Second, Blatt has done a good job and deserves to stay on. When you think about the role players stepping up on this team with Kevin Love out and Kyrie Irving down, some of that credit goes to Blatt for getting them in the right situation. It was Blatt who had the guts to go with James Jones over more expensive players these playoffs (hello Mike Miller!) and it has worked out. It was Blatt and the Cavs defensive schemes that dared cold Hawks shooters (Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and so on) to beat them from three, daring Atlanta to replicate their regular season success under more pressure.

Blatt deserves to stay on. Whether he will or not, LeBron will do nothing but praise him during the Finals.

 

PBT Extra: Finals preview, how good are new and improved Cavaliers?

Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are peaking at the right time, having played better in these last 10 games than they have at any point.

But just how good are they really? And can they sustain it?

I’m not sold yet, and so I tell Jenna Corrado my prediction is the Golden State Warriors to win the Finals in six games.

I’m not comfortable picking against LeBron James, but I’m less comfortable picking against a Warriors team that has been the best, most consistent team in the NBA all season. Plus one that has Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.