Report: Don Nelson may be interested in coaching Timberwolves

8 Comments’s Marc Stein has the story:

Name to watch in Wolves search: Don Nelson. sources say he’s not only open to return to coaching but intrigued by ‘Sota roster

This would certainly be an interesting hire. The 71-year old Nelson recently retired after clinching the all-time record for regular-season coaching wins. He both took the Warriors to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade and led them to one of the greatest upsets in playoff history in his first year as Golden State’s head coach, but most feel he overstayed his welcome in Golden State, and the team fell into disarray as Nelson often appeared apathetic on the sidelines.

Still, with Ricky Rubio coming aboard and the roster filled with big men who can shoot like Kevin Love and #2 overall pick Derrick Williams, an uptempo approach could work for the Timberwolves, and Nelson is still the godfather of uptempo basketball in the modern NBA.

Sources: D’Antoni’s assistant coaches sign contract extensions


Marc Berman of the New York Post has the story:

A source said Mike D’Antoni’s assistant coaches — Dan D’Antoni, Phil Weber, Herb Williams and Kenny Atkinson — have signed contract extensions for next season, though the club has not and will not announce it. D’Antoni has plans to add another defensive assistant to the staff.

The Knicks re-signing all of D’Antoni’s assistants, particularly his brother, would seem to suggest that D’Antoni will be given at least one more year as the head coach of the Knicks. The Knicks finally returned to the playoffs last season after signing Amar’e Stoudemire in the off-season and trading for Carmelo Anthony at the trade deadline, but the team was horrendous defensively all season, and Stoudemire and Anthony never really seemed to mesh offensively.

When the Knicks were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, D’Antoni seemed to be outcoached in key moments by Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. D’Antoni probably deserves a full year with both Anthony and Stoudemire to try and make the style that worked for him in Phoenix work in New York, but the Knicks may have to get more out of their players next season than they did last season for D’Antoni to have any long-term job security.

Brian Shaw to be Vogel’s head assistant in Indiana

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It probably wasn’t the job he was hoping to get when the off-season began, but long-time Laker assistant coach Brian Shaw will be Frank Vogel’s head assistant in Indiana, according to multiple sources.

When Phil Jackson retired after the Lakers were swept by the NBA champion Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs, some believed that Shaw’s knowledge of the Lakers’ personnel and offensive system would make him next in line for the Lakers’ head coaching job, and Shaw was endorsed by several Laker players. However, the Lakers ultimately decided to hire former Cavaliers head coach and 2009 Coach of the Year Mike Brown as their head coach, and former Cavalier assistant and Detroit head coach Jon Kuester will be Brown’s lead assistant in Los Angeles.

It’s unclear whether Shaw will try to install the legendary Triangle offense in Indiana, but it seems unlikely. While the Pacers do have an excellent young post-up player in Roy Hibbert, they had most of their success playing either drive-and-kick or run-and-gun basketball last season; they played at the 6th-fastest pace in the league, and the Nuggets were the only team to make it into the playoffs while playing at a faster pace than Indiana.

Pacers will officially name Vogel head coach

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According to multiple sources, the Indiana Pacers will officially remove the “interim” tag from Frank Vogel’s head coaching title and announce a three-year extension with him at a press conference on Wednesday morning.

Vogel coached the Pacers to a 20-18 record after taking over for Jim O’Brien in the middle of last season, which allowed the Pacers to get the fifth and final playoff spot. Before Vogel took over, the Pacers were 17-27. The Pacers lost to the Chicago Bulls in five games in the first round of the playoffs, but they played the 62-win Bulls much tougher than just about anybody expected them to.

This is a move that has seemed inevitable for months now, and a good one for the Pacers. The Pacers started to look like they were getting it together in the second half of last season, and Vogel will be a good man to lead the team back into contention.

Mike Brown hires former Cavaliers assistant Kuester as assistant coach


One of Mike Brown’s former assistants in Cleveland will be joining him in Los Angeles. According to Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Lakers have hired former Detroit Pistons head coach as an assistant:

LOS ANGELES — Former Detroit Pistons coach John Kuester has been hired as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, the team announced Wednesday.

“I’m extremely excited to have John join the team as a member of my coaching staff,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said in a statement. “Having previously worked together in Cleveland, I know what assets he will bring to the team. His ability to effectively communicate with the players while teaching them valuable skills on both ends of the court is a quality that I respect and value. I look forward to working with him again.”

Kuester had been an NBA assistant coach for a long time, but his main claim to fame before becoming head coach of the Pistons was being known as Brown’s “offensive coordinator” during the 2008-09 season, when the Cavs went from being the 17th-best offensive team in the league to the 4th-best offensive team in the league. Throughout the season, Brown, who had the reputation as a less-than-creative offensive coach, openly called Kuester his “offensive coordinator,” which was somewhat unprecedented in the NBA.

Much of that jump in offensive efficiency was due to the Cavs adding Mo Williams and Delonte West during the 2008 off-season, and the Cavalier offense didn’t suffer much when current Warriors assistant Mike Malone took over the “offensive coordinator” spot in the 2009-10 season.

Kuester’s head coaching stint in Detroit was something of an unmitigated disaster, but Brown clearly trusts him to oversee his offense, and his addition to the Lakers’ coaching staff should help Coach Brown as he attempts to replace the legendary Phil Jackson as the head coach of the Lakers.