Getty Images

Lakers reportedly reach out to Tyronn Lue, get permission to talk to Monty Williams for coaching job

17 Comments

In a sign that the Lakers may just expand the powers of general manager Rob Pelinka and not bring in someone to replace Magic Johnson atop the basketball operations food chain, the team is moving full speed ahead with its coaching search one day after Luke Walton was out the door.

Two reports say the Lakers are starting the process with the two names that quickly surfaced after — actually, before — Walton was gone: Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams.

Lue is currently not working and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports said that meeting likely happens next week.

Williams is an assistant coach with the Sixers, so his plate is full right now (he and the entire Sixers coaching staff will be putting in long hours after Saturday’s loss to the Nets). Still, the Lakers have started the process of talking to him, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been granted permission to discuss the franchise’s head-coach opening with Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams, league sources told ESPN….

The expectation is that Pelinka likely will speak to Williams on the phone or travel east to meet with him because the 76ers’ first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets just started, league sources said.

While LeBron James does not get to pick the next Lakers coach, his seal of approval matters. Both Lue and Williams would get that. Lue was LeBron’s coach in Cleveland and won a title with him. Williams, who was the Pelicans’ head coach for five seasons, knows LeBron through USA Basketball and would give him a thumbs up as well.

Whoever lands the Lakers coaching job will have a lot of work to do, melding a roster that will see a lot of turnover this summer. The Lakers are going big game hunting for elite free agents or stars who become available via trades, but around them the roster will shift as well as all the one-year contracts the Lakers had expire and they look to fill the roster out with players who fit whatever system the team is going for under the new coach. Also, this time the Lakers should look for a little more shooting.

It appears more and more that Pelinka — the former agent for Kobe Bryant and other NBA players, now in just his second year as a GM — will be running the Lakers basketball operations and constructing the new roster. That is not the direction most around the league first expected Los Angeles to go — the Lakers were expected to chase big name front office people, ones they could poach from other teams or who happened to be available, but instead owner Jeanie Buss seems to be leaning toward the familiar, the person she knows.

Reports: Nick Nurse to become Canadian national team head coach

AP
1 Comment

Nick Nurse got the Toronto Raptors to their first ever NBA Finals appearance. The Raptors beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night. Already a budding Legend in Canada, it appears that Nurse is going to increase his sway in Ontario.

According to multiple reports, Nurse will become the head coach of the Canadian men’s national basketball team. He will also hold executive duties for that organization.

And the kicker? Nurse will also apparently have more involvement and interaction with Drake’s brand OVO.

Via Twitter:

Everything is coming up roses for Nurse. If he can eat some tape and figure out a way to slow down the Warriors the way he did with Antetokounmpo, he might just be able to give the two-time defending champions a run for their money.

Report: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert hospitalized after possible stroke

Getty
1 Comment

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has reportedly suffered a stroke but is resting comfortably in the care of medical professionals.

According to the Detroit News, Gilbert was hospitalized on Sunday morning after evidencing stroke-like symptoms. His current condition is not known, but his company released a statement saying his family was seeking privacy.

Via Detroit News:

“He received immediate medical attention and is currently recovering comfortably,” said a statement issued by the Quicken Loans family of companies following inquiries from The News. “Our collective thoughts and prayers are with Dan for a speedy recovery.”

Details of his diagnosis and prognosis were not released; the family requested privacy.

Gilbert, 57, is the founder of Quicken Loans and the majority owner of the Cavs. He was scheduled to speak on Wednesday at a conference on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. It’s unclear if Gilbert will be keeping that appearance date as we don’t yet know the severity of his injuries.

The often-bombastic Cavaliers owner has made waves over the years, most recognizably with his Comic Sans letter. Recently, Gilbert said that he felt the Kyrie Irving trade was a winner for his team, and that Irving was likely to leave the Boston Celtics.

Gilbert has owned the Cavs since 2005.

Report: Raptors could get OG Anunoby back during Finals

AP
Leave a comment

The Toronto Raptors are headed to the 2019 NBA Finals, and they are going to need every player on their roster if they want a chance at dethroning the Golden State Warriors.

Forward OG Anunoby has been out since early April after needing an emergency appendectomy. He has not played in the playoffs yet this season, but a new report says the Raptors may be hopeful he could return before the end of this final series.

Via Twitter:

Anunoby Is a useful second-year forward who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Toronto is going to have a hard time matching up with the Warriors defensively, whether Kevin Durant plays or not. Having Anunoby available would help Toronto be more switchable and more adept at taking on some of Golden State’s smaller lineups.

We don’t have a timetable for Anunoby’s potential return yet, but the way the Finals are spaced out (Game 1 is on Thursday, Game 2 is next Sunday) it could help get players healthy and ready.

That could be good news for Kawhi Leonard, who sat out several games this year simply to rest. Leonard has looked a little banged up through these playoffs, as has just about everyone else. The bad news for Toronto is that this time between games could also help the Warriors get Durant ready to play.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals is on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Canada.

Drake gave Nick Nurse another shoulder rub (VIDEO)

Twitter
10 Comments

People are already getting tired of Drake being a prominent figure in the storyline of the Toronto Raptors. They will have to just deal with it for now as Toronto is headed to the 2019 NBA Finals after beating the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.

That said, Drake is actually an ambassador for the Raptors. Some folks seem to forget that.

There was a dust-up during the Eastern Conference Finals about Drake having given Raptors coach Nick Nurse a shoulder rub during Game 4. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer thought that fans shouldn’t be interacting with members of the coaching staff or players, but the Raptors didn’t seem to think it was that big a deal.

After the Raptors won on Saturday, Drake embraced Nurse yet again, playing off of the initial kerfuffle.

Via Twitter:

Get ready to see more Drake than you’ve ever wanted.