Heat demote two assistants to hire Juwan Howard

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Stability for the sake of stability is often overrated, but sometimes it has its purposes.

When you have the NBA’s best player and are consistently reaching the NBA Finals, that’s not the time for radical shakeups. The status quo is working.

But once that situation changes, other dominoes start falling.

The Miami Heat, to say the least, are in transition. With LeBron James in Cleveland, the Heat will look very different next season. At this point, might as well take care of everything now.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Ron Rothstein and Bob McAdoo will no longer play significant roles on head coach Erik Spoelstra’s staff – and could be completely off the bench, according to league sources.

Those changes will clear the way for Juwan Howard to be promoted from his role in player development, league sources said.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

"As far as being on the bench, they no longer will be," said the source, who said the two have been offered the opportunity to remain with the team in other capacities. "The staff is evolving."

"The fact is," the source said, "they were part of Pat’s group."

To his credit, Riley has empowered Spoelstra to run the team. Maybe Riley was too overbearing with Stan Van Gundy (or not, because it resulted in the 2006 championship), but that hasn’t seemed to be the team president and former coach’s approach with Spoelstra.

And I think Spoelstra is a very good coach. He deserves a chance to coach his own way, just as Riley would have wanted before he moved into the front office.

It’s an interesting departure from New York, where Phil Jackson seems to be taking a different approach. Maybe that will work for Jackson and the Knicks, but it’s definitely different. And remember, Spoelstra has earned a lot more trust than Derek Fisher, a first-time coach.

As far as Howard, he’s clearly a trusted voice in Miami. After three years with the Heat, he eased into retirement and player development last season. They know what they’re getting.

 

 

http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/02/phil-jackson-will-coach-through-steve-kerr-knicks-president-reportedly-tells-carmelo-anthony/

Jeanie Buss: Phil Jackson fired by Knicks because ‘people close to you will take the knife and put it in your back’

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When he hired Phil Jackson as team president, Knicks owner James Dolan infamously said he was ceding control “willingly and gratefully.”

But New York kept Steve Mills, who had been running the front office, on staff as general manager. Mills also replaced Jackson as president after Jackson got fired.

That served as a lesson for Jeanie Buss, Lakers owner and Jackson’s former fiancée.

Sam Amick of The Athletic:

Jeanie had learned from Jackson’s mistakes in New York, where he took that job as the head of the Knicks front office in March of 2014 and was fired three years later after, as she saw it, he fell prey to the internal politics that have plagued that franchise for decades.

“He should’ve made sure (to control) who was surrounding him, because the people close to you will take the knife and put it in your back,” she continued.

Buss doesn’t name Mills or anyone. But it’s hard not to jump to man who was both Jackson’s predecessor and successor. After regaining control, Mills said he tried to steer Jackson in other directions (which, hopefully).

This reflects poorly on Dolan, whose poor leadership has cast a shadow over the organization for years. There is a toxic culture within the Knicks, from the top down.

But it’s not as if Jackson were simply a victim of that culture. With the notable exception of drafting Kristaps Porzingis, Jackson failed miserably in roster-building. He contributed to the malaise with a comedy of incompetence.

Maybe Mills stabbed Jackson in the back. But Jackson was his own problem, anyway.

Report: Knicks, Lakers, Clippers will pursue Kevin Durant in free agency

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The Warriors are reportedly bracing for Kevin Durant to leave in free agency next summer.

Just because of the New York rumors? Maybe. They’re spreading like wildfire.

But the Knicks won’t be the only team chasing Durant.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

The New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers will take a run at the back-to-back Finals MVP, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Of course, every team wants Durant. But not every team will actually pursue him. Many teams believe they have no chance of signing him and won;t waste their time.

It’s probably not coincidental this early list of suitors includes only the very biggest markets. Durant already plays for the best team in a desirable location. How do you differentiate yourself from Golden State? Maybe by being in an even bigger market.

The Clippers are reportedly the frontrunner to sign Kawhi Leonard. Could they get Durant, too? That’d be intriguing.

The Lakers are definitely looking to get LeBron James a star teammate, and Durant’s name has at least come up. But Durant is already dogged by the perception he’s just riding the Warriors’ coattails. He wouldn’t change the narrative by joining LeBron.

The Knicks don’t even project to have max cap space, though they’d rush to move Courtney Lee or someone else to get Durant. But this is already the worst team on the list. New York is going to further deplete its assets while remaining appealing to Durant? Hey, it could happen.

Or maybe Durant will look at these teams and see has it pretty good in Golden State.

It could also go the other way. If Durant gives even the slightest indication he’s interested teams not yet planning to pursue him, they’d jump to get into the race. So, don’t assume Warriors, Knicks, Lakers and Clippers is anything more than the preliminary pool of vying teams.

Report: Jimmy Butler trade talks ‘mostly dormant’

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Timberwolves president Tom Thibodeau reportedly raised his asking price for Jimmy Butler after the star’s explosive return to practice.

Unsurprisingly, potential trade partners – who already weren’t offering enough to satisfy Minnesota – didn’t rush to meet Thibodeau’s new demands. Not even close, apparently.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

For now, Minnesota’s talks with teams around the NBA are mostly dormant, league sources told The Athletic.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and Butler reached an agreement: Minnesota would continue to try to trade Butler, and Butler would be a good teammate and play hard.

But how long will this détente last if the Timberwolves aren’t making progress on a trade?

Watch Kelly Olynyk’s game-winning putback with 0.2 seconds left for Miami

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All game long Miami owned the glass — the Heat grabbed the offensive rebound on 42.9 percent of their missed shots on Thursday night. That led to 16 more shot attempts and nine more free throws by the Heat than the Wizards on the night.

And it led to this, the game-winning putback from Kelly Olynyk with 0.2 seconds left.

 

Wizards fans need to admit it — they missed Dwight Howard inside (he is out with a butt injury, yes seriously). Without his presence (he’s still a quality rebounder), the Heat just outworked the Wizards on the glass and that ended up being the difference.