Lakers contact Adelman about coaching position

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The Los Angeles Times reports Friday night that the Lakers have reached out to Rick Adelman about their vacant coaching position in the wake of Phil Jackson’s imminent and assumed retirement. The move comes after word broke last week regarding the Lakers’ interest in Adelman. There’s no indication at the moment if the interest is mutual.

The Times also confirms that the Lakers are “adamantly opposed” to any price that would be attached to pursuing a current head coach in the league, ruling out former assistant Kurt Rambis, former player Byron Scott, and Nate McMillan from consideration.

Adelman makes the most sense for the Lakers. He’s the highest profile coach on the market outside of Jerry Sloan, who the Lakers could not survive in terms of discipline (nor could Sloan survive the L.A. drama), and Adelman’s long-standing experience and reputation for working with veterans would fit well with the current roster of Laker championship-caliber players. His offense is at least vaguely reminiscent of the Triangle, and he doesn’t come with any flaming red flags to throw a spike in the gears.

For fans of Adelman from his time in Portland, Sacramento, and Houston, Adelman joining and/or winning a ring with the Lakers would be a severe twist of the knife after years of watching him battle the higher-paying, bigger market behemoth and lose time and time again. But Adelman surely deserves a shot at a championship roster, and this provides him his best chance at winning a title before his ride into the sunset down the road. It seems like a perfect fit. The only question left is if Lakers’ management will be willing to pony up what it takes to secure his services and if Adelman has any interest in nice weather, palm trees and lots and lots of money.

The Times reports that the Lakers are not expected to rush the decision, with the final call possibly not coming until June. Assistant coach Brian Shaw remains on the list of candidates despite his possible interviews with Golden State and elsewhere. The drama continues in Hollywood.

Caris LeVert suffers injury so horrific, it brings teammates to tears and opponents to prayer (video)

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Caris LeVert has been one of the Nets’ biggest bright spots. The hard-working 24-year-old was a Most Improved Player candidate, and he seems well-liked throughout the organization. He’s even already hit a couple gamewinners this season.

But LeVert’s breakout campaign hit a devastating snag tonight, as he injured his leg.

The reactions of both his Brooklyn teammates and the Timberwolves say everything. This is a tough one.

Markelle Fultz takes ugly pump-fake free throw

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A key question after the 76ers traded for Jimmy Butler: How would the demanding star affect Markelle Fultz‘s confidence?

Butler isn’t even playing for Philadelphia yet, but this isn’t an encouraging sign.

Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice:

Maybe the ball just slipped out of Fultz’s hands on the way up, and he had to continue pushing it toward the rim to avoid a violation. That could happen to anybody.

But given everything we know about Fultz’s shooting woes, it’s impossible to take this as anything other than a ghastly low point in an ongoing problem.

LeBron James: ‘I almost cracked’ with Lakers’ slow start

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LeBron James has played in eight straight NBA Finals.

How’s he handling reduced expectations with the Lakers, who started 2-5 before rising to 7-6?

LeBron, via Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

‪“I haven’t changed anything outwardly, but you know me. You know how I am. I almost cracked [last week]. I had to sit back and remind myself, ‘[Expletive], you knew what you were getting yourself into,’” James told Yahoo Sports while laughing after Saturday’s win in Sacramento. “This process has been good for me. I just have to continue being patient.”‬

LeBron warned everyone to stay clear when he loses his patience, but he has never sounded close to losing it this season. He signed a four-year deal with the Lakers, said he doesn’t feel urgency to win quickly before his prime ends and seems content to wait for a co-star.

If anything, it seemed LeBron might be too relaxed, enjoying the Los Angeles lifestyle and focusing on showbusiness.

So, this is a welcome sign of his competitiveness.

Also kudos to LeBron for harnessing it unlike others in the organization. These Lakers need time to determine how these oddly shaped pieces fit together – unless a star becomes available. Then, all bets are off.

Dwyane Wade: Making Carmelo Anthony ‘fall guy’ doesn’t address the ‘real problem’

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LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul – the banana-boat buddies – comprise the NBA’s most famous friendship group.

With Anthony nearing his end with the Rockets, that puts Houston teammate Paul in an awkward place. But Wade and LeBron are speaking up. So are the Trail Blazers’ Evan Turner and Damian Lillard.

Wade:

LeBron:

Evan Turner:

Damian Lillard:

It’s unclear whether Wade is scolding the Rockets or fans/media. That comment is far more loaded if he’s referring directly to the organization. I wonder what he sees at the “real problem” in Houston.

A struggling team waiving a minimum-salary player is rarely viewed as making that player the scapegoat. But Anthony has an outsized reputation due to his long, star-level career. With that in mind, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tried to defend Anthony.

But Anthony is a part of Houston’s problems. He’s awful defensively and shooting poorly. There is mounting evidence he’s washed up. Downgrading his role, whether or not that includes waiving him, is a step in the right direction for the Rockets.

It won’t solve everything, and Anthony – after all that he has done in the NBA – should be treated with respect. But there’s no way around his substandard current level of play.