Reports: Some Bulls players didn’t endorse Tom Thibodeau returning, already told he won’t

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The Tom ThibodeauBulls standoff might be finally nearing a conclusion.

This week.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

All signs point to these being Tom Thibodeau’s last days as Bulls coach with a resolution planned for no later than Friday, sources told the Tribune.

Furthermore, according to multiple sources, some players didn’t endorse Thibodeau’s return in exit meetings with management.

In fact, according to sources, some players have been making separate offseason plans for several summers instead of working out formerly at the Berto Center and now the Advocate Center to get a break from Thibodeau, who rarely leaves the practice facility.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

That would be in Chicago, where some players and people around the Bulls already have heard that coach Tom Thibodeau won’t be back next year, two people close to the situation told Sporting News.

Thibodeau has the support of some Bulls players, though apparently not others – which makes him like every coach in the NBA. Chicago management has incentive to leak information about the unhappy players, but that alone doesn’t present a full picture.

Still, it’s easy to see how the hard-driving Thibodeau would wear on his team. If players leave Chicago during the offseason for a break, that’s not the worst thing in the world. Mark it as a drawback in a pro-con list that still favors Thibodeau heavily as a good coach.

But that doesn’t make him a good coach for the Bulls. By this point, it’s apparent the rift between him and management (Gar Forman and John Paxson) is too deep.

We’ve heard about squabbles over playing time, practice habits and offense. Here’s another point of discord.

Doug Collins reportedly went to Thibodeau in 2013 about becoming a Chicago assistant coach.

Johnson:

In fact, Collins initiated the idea and it came in 2013, the sources said. This was shortly after the Bulls let Ron Adams go and Collins’ son, Chris, landed the Northwestern head coaching job.

Collins, according to one of the sources, talked to Thibodeau for two hours as a friendly overture to help him as an assistant focusing on the offense. Thibodeau called Collins back 10 days later to decline, which Collins understood with no issues.

Bulls management and ownership learned about Collins’ overture months later, two sources said. Thibodeau chose to keep the conversation with Collins private.

I don’t blame Thibodeau for not hiring Collins – especially as an offensive-minded assistant. Collins was a very good coach at one point, but he struggled to keep up as the NBA got smarter about shot selection. The Bulls didn’t need more long 2s.

And Thibodeau was under no obligation to disclose his meeting with Collins to management. But if Thibodeau had a healthy working relationship with Forman and Paxson, he would have.

This is an untenable situation that will probably be over very soon.

Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor to host ‘NBA Countdown’

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Things just keep getting better for NBA fans when it comes to national TV broadcasts.

It was announced in August that TNT would be doing away with the “Players Only” broadcast that appeared on NBA TV. Those broadcast crews were roundly criticized as being meandering and uninformed when it came to the product on the floor.

Now fans are getting more of what they want in the form of Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor.

According to a report from Richard Deitsch, Nichols and Taylor will be the hosts of ESPN’s pregame show, NBA Countdown.

Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups Won’t return as analysts on the pregame show next year, leaving just Jalen Rose. That means there are a couple of spots open, and we don’t yet know who ESPN will fill them with. Nichols will reportedly continue to host her regular show “The Jump”.

As the league continues to get more popular, it makes sense that broadcast partners listen to the audience. Nichols is an NBA favorite, so having her be more visible makes a lot of sense.

NBA players roast Kyle Kuzma over outfit posted to Instagram (PHOTOS)

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Kyle Kuzma is going to be expected to have a big year for the Los Angeles Lakers. He thinks he can have the impact of a third star for L.A., a team that didn’t add Kawhi Leonard to go alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis this summer.

That’s big talk from Kuzma, but perhaps that talk has boosted his confidence a little bit. In a photo posted to Instagram this week, Kuzma could be seen wearing… whatever this is.

Via Twitter:

Twitter had a great time with Kuzma outfit, which looks like something pulled straight out of an early 2000s episode of TRL.

Kuzma’s contemporaries in the NBA thought he was getting a little wild with it, too, with several hopping onto the post to roast the Lakers big man.

Via Twitter:

I don’t know what this means for the upcoming Lakers season, but I’m sure it’s something interesting.

Draymond Green says he’s ‘at a loss for words about’ DeMarcus Cousins injury

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Everyone has been upset about the recent ACL tear suffered by DeMarcus Cousins. The Los Angeles Lakers big man just can’t seem to catch a break, and has injured his Achilles, quad, and now ACL in the span of two years.

Last year was supposed to be one of retribution for Cousins with the Golden State Warriors, but the results were disappointing. Even still, the Lakers decided to take a chance on Cousins as they tried to push for supremacy in the Western Conference.

Meanwhile folks have shown their support for the former Sacramento Kings All-Star, with Draymond Green being the most recent star to offer comment. The former Warriors teammate of Cousins told ESPN how he felt about the injury this week.

Via ESPN and Marc Spears of The Undefeated:

“One of my goals coming into this season was for DeMarcus to destroy everybody and come back and show how great of a player he is and get what I think he deserves,” Green told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “I’m really at a loss for words about it. It’s one that really hurt me for sure.”

Cousins is now 29 years old, and the question is whether he will ever return to any kind of form approaching what he had in Sacramento. His injuries have been devastating, and they are the kind that few have returned from to play at an elite level in the NBA.

Cousins appears to be fast approaching a spot in NBA history with other potential greats whose careers were ruined by injury. Hopefully he can find a way to avoid that track.

Rumor: Jeremy Lin, open to playing in China, now in talks with Beijing Ducks

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Jeremy Lin does not appear to be on the radar of any NBA teams at this juncture. It has been an up-and-down summer for Lin, who won a championship with the Toronto Raptors back in June but finds himself a free agent here in August.

Lin has already said that it’s been extremely tough for him to go without a contract this offseason, and it was reported that he turned down a deal with CSKA Moscow to pursue further NBA opportunities.

Now there are murmurs that Lin could be headed to China to play for the Beijing Ducks. According to Sportando, Chinese reporter Sonx Xiang is saying that Lin and the Ducks are closing in on a deal.

NBA players can go on to have lucrative careers in the CBA. Lin is still a decent enough scorer at the NBA level, and it’s most likely he would fit into the Chinese game quite well.

As a branding and personal opportunity, China could fit Lin nicely. He’s currently on his annual tour of Asia, helping kids across several countries with basketball camps and charitable concerns.

The South China Morning Post has reported that Lin said he would be willing to play in the CBA. Lin also told website Radii of his trips to China that, “When I go there, I feel the most at home.”

Make no bones about it, Lin would much rather play in the NBA this season. Looking at his numbers on Synergy, it’s sort of surprising that nobody would want him as a third point guard on a minimum deal. But in the meantime, Lin has spent a significant amount of time in China and feels a kind of purpose when he’s there.

If he’s got to be away from home — and away from the NBA — this might be the best option for Lin available right now.