Sarver stays mum on lockout as Suns introduce new President

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The Phoenix Suns held a press conference on Monday to introduce a new President, Brad Casper, who will lead business and non-basketball operations, as well as a new Chief Operating Officer, Jason Rowley. The media turnout for the event was larger than usual for something that technically isn’t basketball-related, likely due to the fact that the team’s owner, Robert Sarver, would be there to make the introductions.

Sarver has been one of the owners blamed for holding up the labor negotiations on the league’s end, thanks to his reported insistence that the NBA system must undergo fundamental change if the long-term value of his franchise is to increase. So, now that the lockout has reached the stage where regular season games are being cancelled — and after a few polite questions were asked of the team’s new president — Sarver was asked point blank if he could clarify or explain his position on the lockout.

Unfortunately, he could not.

“I can’t comment specifically, really, about anything to do with the lockout at this point,” Sarver answered. “I’m kind of prohibited from doing that. But I can say that eventually, when it’s over, the facts of my role and my involvement will come out, and I look forward to that happening.”

OK, then. How about a message to fans, in general?

“I’m just prohibited from commenting about it,” Sarver said. “But as you know, don’t believe everything you read.”

That last statement was likely pointed at a particularly odd comment that was reported by Yahoo! Sports to have been made by Sarver, in which he allegedly stated that “his wife had asked him to bring back the middle level exception in a designer bag.”

It will indeed be interesting once the lockout is over to hear Sarver speak freely about exactly where he stood during it all, and how much influence he had over the ownership group’s position at the bargaining table. In the meantime, the Suns are proceeding with business as usual, and doing so with a new President and Chief Operating Officer.

Report: Brooklyn Nets looking to hire a blue-chip head coach

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When the Brooklyn Nets and Kenny Atkinson parted ways in early-March, the team installed Jacque Vaughn as the interim head coach. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that’s a short-term appointment. On his podcast “Brian Windhorst and The Hoop Collective”, the reporter said the Nets are looking to hire a coach with a track record of NBA success.

Windhorst said, “One of the things that has been expressed sort of the grapevine, that’s the way I’m going to say it to protect myself from the aggregators, is that Durant and Irving would like a blue-chip coach. I don’t know what this says about the way they thought about Atkinson, but they want a big-name coach.”

Names that have been linked to the Brooklyn opening are Tom Thibodeau, Mark Jackson and both Jeff and Stan Van Gundy.

Atkinson leaving Brooklyn was a surprise, considering he had led the Nets back to the playoffs in 2019. That success came after a three-year rebuild. That process was kicked off when general manager Sean Marks hired Atkinson to lead the on-court development. Under Marks and Atkinson, the Nets developed several players who had been given up on by other teams.

Brooklyn was 28-34 when Atkinson was let go. The Nets had gone 2-0 under Vaughn before the NBA suspended play in mid-March.

Rumor: NBA considering resuming 2020 season in a single site with shortened playoffs

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The NBA is determined to salvage what they can of the 2019-20 season. That includes drastically adjusting the playoff schedule per Marc Berman of the New York Post.

Among proposals being considered are best-of-three playoff series. The NBA has all but rejected a single-game elimination tournament. That would only be considered as a last resort per Berman.

One of the proposals on the table is gathering the entire league in one site to conclude the season. This proposal would involve playing games without fans present, but televising the contests. That would involve a 5-to-7 game regular season, followed by the playoffs.

Sites rumored to be under consideration are Las Vegas, Orlando, Hawaii, Atlantic City, Louisville and the Bahamas. Any site would have to have basketball facilities, as well as well as plenty of room to house the teams in a closed environment.

One league official was quoted by Berman as saying “Nothing is off the table.” Another told Berman “They’re very determined to have a champion.”

This Day in NBA History: Kyle Korver scores 11 points in one minute (VIDEO)

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These days, the Milwaukee Bucks are the beneficiaries of Kyle Korver’s three-point shooting prowess.

But back on March 30, 2015, Korver was wearing an Atlanta Hawks Jersey when he destroyed the Bucks. Korver exploded for 11 points in one minute during the third quarter. The only reason it wasn’t 12 points is his foot was on the line on one shot.

This video is a reminder of why Korver is so dangerous to this day (even if he has lost half a step).  He runs the floor hard and gets to his spots, he’s constantly moving to get open, and once open his quick release means he doesn’t need much room to get a shot off. Defenders always have to always account for him — in transition, on the weakside, wherever he is you can’t leave him.

If you do, he can rack up points fast.

Steve Kerr: ‘Very unlikely’ Warriors will play another regular-season game

Warriors coach Steve Kerr
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NBA owners and players are reportedly united on finishing the season or, as Adrian Wojnarowski put it, “finding a way to be able to crown a champion this season.”

Where does that leave the Warriors, the only team eliminated from the playoff race before coronavirus forced a league-wide stoppage?

Golden State coach Steve Kerr on “The Full 48,” via Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports Bay Area:

“Look, for us, our season is basically over,” Kerr said. “If the league was somehow to start up again, it’s very unlikely we would be playing regular-season games given that they’d be in such a time crunch. Who knows?

“But I’m feeling for all the teams in the fight, in the thick of it for a championship, that are in the playoff race, teams that have put so much into this, and this was obviously a year for us where we were trying to get healthy, trying to develop some young guys. So I’m not concerned about our guys, our team. I feel sorry for the teams that are kind of in limbo right now.”

There’s chatter about resuming play with a play-in tournament and postseason in Las Vegas. The league could be sharing plans internally. Kerr could be proven right. It’s certainly possible Kerr was even already told the Warriors are finished with the regular season.

But I don’t share his prediction.

There’s a lot of money to be made by holding more regular-season games, especially for high-revenue teams like Golden State.

This was a gap year for the Warriors. They’re clearly ready to move on.

But Stephen Curry is healthy again. By the time the hiatus ends, Klay Thompson might be cleared. With other stars on the court, Draymond Green could be more engaged. Though there would be limits on Golden State’s competitiveness, that team would be a draw that could help stuff the league’s coffers.

As Kerr said, there are unprecedented timing issues. Yet, every game is a revenue opportunity. That matters, too.