Phil Jackson making more noise about retiring after this season. We give up guessing.

1 Comment

pjackson.jpgJeannie Buss says he will be coaching somewhere next year. Now, Phil Jackson himself makes it sound like maybe not. Another couple just not communicating.

Jackson was on Fox Sports Radio‘s Petros and Money (with Matt “Money” Smith, who used to be the Lakers radio postgame guy and still does a little television for them) and made it sound like the regular season is just too much of a grind.

“Well I think (the chances he retires after this season are) pretty good.  It’s really about how I feel about getting into another 82 game season.  It’s a commitment.  As you guys know, it’s not about this last month of April, May, and part of June to coach.  That’s exciting, fun, challenging, and you’ve got a team in a seven game series that brings out all those ideas and percolates things as a coach.  But it’s those other 82 games, the exhibition season, and being in five different cities in eight different nights or seven different nights.  It kinda wears and tears and kinda creates a life that gets a little bit ragged and a little bit jagged.  Obviously I have the pace of that.  I know a lot about it having done it for a large part of my life, maybe 35 years of my adult life.  I’ve got a little bit of the rhythm of it, but it is something that I think about as the season gets to the end.  You know last road trip and stuff like that.  You wonder is there a time where you just feel like I’ve had enough, I just don’t want to do it anymore.  It’s enough is enough.”

Remember, he has said he would come back if his team won a title. So consider this a little motivation for them.

After that, predicting and guessing at what Phil Jackson really means at any given moment becomes wasted energy. It will be hard for him to walk away from this team. But he will likely be asked to take a pay cut next year, and that might motivate him to. Or not. This statement was as much about negotiations as actual plans.

I’m tired of guessing what he is really thinking. We’ll know when he signs or doesn’t.

Karl-Anthony Towns denies Jimmy Butler rift due to Butler sleeping with Towns’ girlfriend

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
1 Comment

Karl-Anthony Towns reportedly won’t sign his contract extension until the Timberwolves handle the Jimmy Butler situation, which escalated with Butler’s trade request.

What’s the problem between the teammates?

Robert Littal of BSO:

Towns:

OK then.

Same company to appear on Trail Blazers jerseys, reportedly endorse Damian Lillard

Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers have announced a multi-year jersey sponsorship deal with Performance Health, an Illinois-based company that manufactures products for the rehabilitation and sports medicine markets. The company will also reportedly endorse Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

A logo for the company’s product Biofreeze will be featured on the left shoulder of Portland’s uniform. With the deal, the Blazers become the 24th NBA team to include a corporate sponsor on its jerseys.

Biofreeze is a topical pain reliever. Snowboarder Shawn White and tennis player Sloane Stephens are among the product’s individual athlete endorsers.

The NBA first allowed jersey sponsorships last season. Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan said Portland was close to deals last year but they fell through, and so the team took its time in finding the right partner.

The Biofreeze logo will also be featured on the team’s practice apparel.

Report: Jimmy Butler wanted Timberwolves to add four years, $155 million to his contract this summer

AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King
3 Comments

Jimmy Butler rejected the largest-possible extension the capped-out Timberwolves could offer him this summer – a four-year deal worth $100,514,631 ($25,128,658 average annual salary).

After all, his projected max in free agency this summer is about $190 million over five years (about $38 million annually) if he re-signs or about $141 million over four years (about $35 million annually) if he leaves.

But Minnesota’s extension offer wasn’t technically the largest possible this summer. Theoretically, the Timberwolves could have cleared cap space to renegotiate his salary upward then offered a richer extension based on his new salary.

And apparently that’s what Butler wanted – and didn’t get – before requesting a trade.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic:

Butler was hoping for a renegotiation and extension of his contract this summer, one that would have raised his salary for 2018-19 to $30 million and added another four years and $145 million on to that.

The Timberwolves could have trimmed their roster to only their starters – Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Karl-Anthony Towns. That would have meant using sweeteners to unload Gorgui Dieng‘s negative value contract, dumping recent first-round picks Justin Patton, Tyus Jones and Josh Okogie and not using the mid-level exception on Anthony Tolliver. Only players who signed for the minimum could have still wound up on the roster.

Minnesota still wouldn’t have had enough cap space to renegotiate Butler’s salary up to $30 million.

Perhaps, Butler wanted the Timberwolves to take more drastic measures like trading Wiggins for little to no returning salary. But they clearly weren’t going to do that, and they’d long gone down the opposite road of adding salary. They weren’t coming close to clearing the $10 million of cap space necessary to raise Butler’s salary that much.

This is all raises questions about timing. Nearly every report on Butler’s wishes has gone out of its way to say contract concerns – not problems with Wiggins and Towns – were the primary driver of the trade request. But if that were the case, why now? Butler had to know for months he wasn’t getting his desired extension.

While his brother spars online with Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins takes up fight with Stephen Jackson

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
9 Comments

Jimmy Butler lit a fuse by requesting a trade from the Timberwolves.

Then, Andrew Wiggins‘ brother, Butler, Stephen Jackson and Wiggins himself all fanned the flames of the resulting fire.

Butler reportedly had problems with Andrew Wiggins last season, specifically Wiggins’ work ethic and defensive approach. Want corroborating evidence the Minnesota teammates aren’t simpatico? Wiggins’ brother, Nick Wiggins, tweeted (and deleted) “Hallelujah” to news of Butler’s trade request:

Butler – probably not coincidentally while working out – responded via Instagram:

Butler:

Hallelujah, keep that same energy

Then the retired Jackson acted out an elaborate scene in which Andrew – played by Jackson – copped to having no heart:

The real Andrew Wiggins didn’t like that and posted on Instagram:

Jackson responded:

If he didn’t like Butler giving him grief, Wiggins darned sure isn’t ready for heat from Jackson.