Tag: John Paxson

Mavericks guard Kidd watches from the bench against the Spurs  during their NBA basketball game in Dallas, Texas

Jason Kidd would like to be a general manager when he retires


Jason Kidd is not ready to retire after this season.

He will be 40 next season but has played solidly this season — 5.9 points and 5.2 assists per game with a PER of 12.4. He might be reduced to being a backup — especially if he returns to Dallas and they fulfill their goal of landing Deron Williams — but he is not ready to hang them up.

But when he does, he has a plan — he wants to be a general manager. He wants to go from organizing a team on the court to organizing the team from off it.

Here’s his quote, from Alex Kennedy at Hoopsworld (via SLAM).

“I would like to go upstairs,” Kidd said. “I’d like to be the person who puts all of the pieces together. We’ll see if that works out.”

It’s a tough transition to make — just because a guy has the athleticism and is considered a smart player doesn’t mean he really is good at player evaluations. Most of the time when you hear a player suggest a trade, it’s a bad idea. It also tends to go the better the player the worse they are at it. Plus, for modern players being a front office guy is a lot of long hours for a whole lot less money than they were just making.

But there have been and still are exceptions — Jerry West, Danny Ainge, Pat Riley, John Paxson, and Mitch Kupchak, just to name a few.

Jason Kidd maybe can be one of those exceptions. He certainly is a cerebral player. And he’ll get a chance (maybe in Dallas), someone will give him a shot.

Winderman: Odd NBA executive vote mostly anti-Riley sour grapes

Pat Riley

So what does the NBA think of the notion of securing a big bag of money and throwing it in front of three of the game’s best players?

Apparently not much.

So despite landing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh during last summer’s free-agency-free-for-all, Heat President Pat Riley received only a partial cut of the NBA Executive of the Year award when the balloting results were announced Tuesday.

Actually, Riley was gifted that piddling stake.

In the vote of one executive from each of the league’s 30 teams, Riley received 11 votes, as did Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.

Trouble was, Bulls Executive Vice President John Paxson finished third with three votes.

In essence, there were 14 votes for what the Bulls accomplished, 11 for the Heat’s haul.

First, let’s recap: The Bulls visited Cleveland in July to woo James. They then held multiple meetings with Wade and Bosh in Chicago.

Riley signed all three.

Chicago then settled for consolation prizes Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer.

Granted, the Bulls did finish ahead of the Heat in the Eastern Conference.

But it wasn’t because of Boozer, Korver or Brewer.

It was because they won the 2008 NBA Draft lottery over the Heat, getting Derrick Rose at No. 1, with the Heat settling for Michael “since-traded” Beasley at No. 2.

There is no debating the Bulls had arguably the league’s best player this season in Rose, who was named MVP.

And Tom Thibodeau accomplished as much as any coach, closing with the league’s best record on the way to the nod as Coach of the Year.

But exactly which of the 19 team executives that didn’t vote for Riley wouldn’t have taken his haul over any other?

Non-Riley Voter: “Yeah boss, I know we can sign LeBron, Wade and Bosh, but this Boozer guy sometimes plays defense, this Korver dude does one thing very well, and this Brewer fella can defend when he’s not hurt.”

Owner of team run by Non-Riley Voter: “You are an idiot.”

Or, of course, someone who got burned by Riley.

Hmm, the Bulls, Clippers, Cavaliers, Nets and Knicks all interviewed LeBron in Cleveland. (We figure it’s safe to say that if you work for Dan Gilbert, you don’t dare vote for Riley.)

That’s five nays.

The Raptors lost Bosh.

There’s six.

The Magic and Mavericks have had their feuds for years with the Heat.

Seven and eight.

And many would-be contenders saw their chances evaporate when Riley got his Big Three.

Nine, 10 11 . . . you get the point.

There is, of course, consolation for Riley.

Along with half an award . . . he also still has LeBron, Wade and Bosh, and possibly some championship hardware on the way.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for theSouth Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

Kevin McHale wants to coach the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls fanbase just hangs their heads.

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Kevin McHale was a smart basketball player, he is a smart man. He knows a good coaching gig when he sees one.

And he sees and wants one — the Chicago Bulls.

The entire city of Chicago just had a chill run up their spine like they walked out of a lakeside building on a windy February day. But we’re not making this up, McHale wants the gig, as he told ESPNChicago.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach said he would like to be considered as one of the possible replacements for the recently fired Vinny Del Negro.

“Of course,” McHale told ESPNChicago.com on Monday night after working Game 4 of the Magic/Hawks series for TNT. “You go in there and talk to [Bulls general manager] Gar [Forman]. I know Gar and John Paxson real well. And hopefully if it’s the right fit, it’s the right fit. That’s what you’re looking for and that’s what they’re looking for. They’re looking for the right fit…

“You got to wait and see,” he said. “But I think Chicago is a great job. Derrick Rose, love him. Taj Gibson, love him. Joakim Noah, love him. You’ve got Kirk Hinrich, love him. They’re tough guys, they play really hard and they get after it defensively and I think they’re all just going to get better.”

McHale’s right, this is a plum job. Best one on the market this summer. But his phone has not rung yet, and it’s not likely to.

McHale’s coaching experience consists of two partial seasons behind the bench in Minnesota, where he was also the guy running basketball operations in the front office. The most recent of those came when he fired their coach and was given the “you built this squad, you coach it” poetic irony job. Didn’t go well.

Plus, the Bulls have said they want playoff coaching experience, and McHale has none.

Bulls fans can relax, he’s not likely to get the job. And we get it, you want better names to come forward. But until some names you do like start popping up, you’re going to see more of this. Enjoy.

Bulls John Paxson apologizes for incident with Vinny Del Negro

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Speaking publicly for the first time since the March 30 incident, Bulls Vice President John Paxson apologized to Vinny Del Negro, the Bulls organization and its fans.

“I hold myself accountable, and responsible,” Paxson said. “I am not at all proud of how I handled the situation.”

The situation was after a game against the Suns when Del Negro played Joakim Noah more than the 35 minutes he was allotted per game by Bulls management. Noah was recovering from plantar fasciitis, which led to the limits being imposed on the coach.

Paxson confronted Del Negro in what turned into a physical incident.

“I felt at the time I was standing up for a policy we put in place, but I was wrong in how I handled it,” Paxson said.

Paxson would not get into the details of who said what at the press conference (which I watched online). But now that Del Negro has been fired, Paxson could afford to come forward and seem to take the fall. It was really Del Negro that took the fall, he got axed. Logic dictates this troubled relationship was a part of the reason Del Negro was fired, even if the Bulls people deny it.

Paxson said his role with the team now — as it has been before the season started — was not to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the team. He added that the transition has been hard for him.

“My role now, is more of an extension of (Bulls owner) Jerry (Reinsdorf), to keep an eye on the organization and to make sure we go about things the right way,” Paxson said.

Paxson said this incident should not define him. It probably won’t. The next coach the Bulls hire will.

Vinny Del Negro is out. Now Bulls: Who you got that's better?


We’re going to take Bulls General Manager Gar Forman at his word.

He stuck with his themes at the press conference this morning where he talked about the firing of Vinny Del Negro. (I watched the conference online). Forman deserves the break, he was thrown out to the wolves to explain this. He was the guy standing in front of LeBron to take the charge. He stood there like a man.

He said the team had gotten better under Del Negro (something John Paxson echoed) but a “new dynamic” was needed.

“In order to take the next step, we need a new voice,” Forman said.

Fair enough.

So who you got? Who is out there that is going to be that much better?

Forman said he is the point man on the coach search, but he would not talk names. The Bulls have said — after bringing in a rookie in Del Negro — they want a coach with NBA head coaching experience. So here is a list of guys currently on the market:

Doug Collins (which would be a second dance in Chicago, so probably not), Lawrence Frank, Kevin McHale, Maurice Cheeks, Byron Scott and Dwane Casey.

Any of those names blow you away? One of those guys leap off the page and say, “Wow, he’s way better than Vinny?”

Scott has had success — and success with top point guards in Jason Kidd and Chris Paul — but he has lost both teams after a few years and been let go because players no longer responded. Is he the long-term coach for this young team going forward?

Maybe there is somebody else out there, a rabbit they are going to pull out of their hat. Of course, then there is the question of signing him — remember that two years ago the Bulls had long conversations with Mike D’Antoni (who would have been a great fit with his system) but the deal fell apart when owner Jerry Reinsdorf and D’Antoni talked money. Top coaches cost, and the Bulls didn’t want to pay it.

And here we are. They have let go of a solid coach that got the team to play hard, saying they wanted a new voice and dynamic.

So, who do you have that’s better? The pressure is now on you three — Forman, Paxson and Reinsdorf. This is your summer, this is your call.