Though I’m sure all of the ’08-’09 Nets are eager to erase any and all semblances of the nightmare season that was, they’ll have to wait just a bit longer before the new coaching regime can officially begin. According to Al Iannazzone of NorthJersey.com, Rod Thorn hasn’t even spoken to the coaching candidates already with NBA teams, and will not be interviewing any prospective coaches until after the lottery.
This is definitely the wisest strategy. As bright as the Nets future looks with the current core — Devin Harris, Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee, Terrence Williams, and Yi Jianlian have a combined 14 years of NBA experience, nine if you exclude Harris — things are set to be even better next season with a top pick in the draft and plenty of cap room to play with. Internal improvement and external additions should make the Nets a much improved team next season. Plus, I’m not sure New Jersey could go 12-70 again if they tried.
Iannozzone also cited unnamed sources in asserting that Avery Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau, and Villanova’s Jay Wright are the lead candidates for the job. He also claims that should Erik Spoelstra be forced out as the head coach of the Miami Heat, the Nets would have some interest in him as well. That’s a solid group of candidates, and one of them will surely be lured to the helm by the possibility of coaching Harris (and/or John Wall or Evan Turner), Brook Lopez, and a free agent acquisition to be named at a later date.
Nets reportedly extend Caris LeVert on 3-year, $52.5 million deal
The Brooklyn Nets have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, and that’s going to be important for the next half-decade or so. Those two players will shoulder the bulk of Brooklyn’s championship hopes over that time frame.
But so too is it important for the Nets to keep a strong team around its superstars. Too many teams seem to end up top heavy as they try to chase championships year after year.
To that end, Brooklyn has reportedly signed their own budding star Caris LeVert to an extension that takes him through 2023.
LeVert’s extension is worth a reported $52.5 million, which makes him reasonably paid within the team context and should give him a chance to cash out yet again before he hits age 30.
This season will be an interesting look into how LeVert and Irving work together on the floor without Durant. They can get into some kind of rhythm and find an understanding between them, which is going to be vital for when Durant eventually returns in 2020.
Team USA sees betting odds in World Cup skew downward
Serbia seems like a pretty good shot to usurp the throne for the United States. Nikola Jokic has said that he wants his team to medal, but no doubt he and his squad will be looking for a gold medal.
The United States is suffering from a lack of continuity and star power. That might not matter given that Gregg Popovich is still the head coach and USA Basketball far out matches other countries in terms of raw talent.
But as we saw in 2004, talent doesn’t trump all when it comes to Team USA. The door is open for other countries to grab the top spot for the time being, and oddsmakers think so as well.
Rui Hachimura, the Gonzaga star drafted ninth by the Washington Wizards, is having a blast this summer playing for his native Japan as their national team gears up for the World Cup in China starting in one week.
However, he may never have been more pumped than when his friend, legendary sumo wrestler Hakuho, came out in his robes and drained a free throw.
Sumo wrestler Hakuho hit a free throw and his friend Rui Hachimura got excited. 34 year-old Hakuho is the LeBron James of the sumo. He has dominated sumo for over a decade pic.twitter.com/8lhk8nNqML
I need to see a sumo wrestler pickup game now more than I need anything else in my life. I want to see the battle for post position.
Hachimura has played well for Japan, he dropped 31 points on Germany in the final tuneup game for the World Cup, showing off a comfort level from the midrange that is impressive. He hit shots off the dribble and on the catch.
Hachimura and Japan are in the same group as Team USA in the World Cup, and the two teams face off Sept. 3 in Shanghai.
Enes Kanter says he might add ‘American’ name once he’s a U.S. citizen (VIDEO)
Enes Kanter has been dealing with being a man without a country for some time. The Turkish-born Boston Celtics center has openly criticized Turkish president Recep Erdoğan, And as such he is no longer welcome back in his home country.
In fact, Kanter didn’t have a valid Turkish passport this past spring, so the question of whether he might be able to re-enter the United States if he went to Canada was raised by several Portland Trail Blazers fans, including Senator Ron Wyden.
Kanter has been in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen for some time, and he appears close to that goal. As such, Kanter mentioned this week that he might add an “American” name onto his name when that happens.
Speaking to TMZ, Kanter said that, “I’m actually becoming a U.S. citizen in two years: I’m actually thinking about adding an American name. I’m still thinking about it. I don’t know yet.”
One of the newest Celtics, Kanter appears to have a diplomatic way about him and the ability to network with folks higher up. Given amount of time, resources, and potential political power behind him as an NBA player, there is hope that he will become an U.S. citizen.
Whether Kanter really wants to add an ”American” name — whatever that’s supposed to mean — is anyone’s guess. One of the founding principles of this country is the concept of the melting pot, and so a great American name for Enes Kanter would be… Enes Kanter.