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Report: Lakers not actually interested in Jason Kidd

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The Lakers hiring Jason Kidd as their next coach went from rumor shared by Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report to report by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN:

I’ve been told there’s no way they’re really considering Jason Kidd. He’s not on their list. Now, that’s what I’m hearing. But I also want to emphasize I’m not covering the NBA like that. As much as I cover these games or what have you, I’m not on the phones with these executives every single day as intimately as the great Adrian Wojnarowski is. So, I’m certainly not trying to cast any aspersions on any of his reporting. Listen to this man, because he’s usually right on the money. He’s my friend. I respect the hell out of him. But in this particular story, the Lakers are saying, no, we’re not interested in Jason Kidd. And they want to make sure that that’s clear. I don’t know why, but they wanted to make sure that that was clear.

If the Lakers are spreading word they’re not interested in Kidd, I have one strong guess why: He’s a bad coach.

The latest Kidd rumors have caused panic among Lakers fans. Kidd really struggled guiding the Bucks, who’ve taken off since firing him.

Kidd is better at getting his name connected to openings – and even potential openings. Remember the Lakers haven’t fired Luke Walton, though that’s expected after the season. Kidd has been linked to the Suns, Pistons, Warriors, Knicks and Lakers. And that’s just since leaving Milwaukee. He also attempted a coup with the Nets then, when that failed, took a soft landing with the Bucks.

Magic Johnson’s decision-making with the Lakers has been suspect at best. Hiring Kidd, an old-school-style coach, would have been right in line with Johnson’s other failures. There are reasons Kidd-to-the-Lakers was at least believable.

There are also potential reasons the Lakers could have leaked interest in Kidd. Not all of this necessarily came from him.

Now, if the Lakers hire Mark Jackson, that will look far better by comparison. Tyronn Lue could look like an absolute steal by comparison.

Giannis Antetokounmpo drives through all Cavaliers for dunk (video)

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is undeniable.

Watch this video. He’s the only Bucks player in sight on the court. All five Cavaliers appear. Antetokounmpo dunks anyway.

He dribbles past Jordan Clarkson then through David Nwaba and Tristan Thompson. Nik Stauskas and Brandon Knight are shading close enough to narrow his potential path. None of it matters.

Antetokounmpo scores inside unlike anyone anyone we’ve ever seen.

Report: Jason Kidd holding off on Cal job until Lakers decide on Luke Walton

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The Los Angeles Lakers could be headed toward a departure with their head coach in Luke Walton. The Lakers will miss the playoffs yet again, this time coming up short despite adding LeBron James over the summer.

James has reportedly wanted Walton out for some time, and when the season ends many are expecting to see the two sides part ways. The list of potential coaching candidates for Los Angeles appear to be a group of also-rans, potential LeBron favorites who no self-respecting basketball decision-maker would want in charge of a championship-hopeful franchise.

One of those potential head coaching candidates is Jason Kidd, who was fired by the Milwaukee Bucks in January of 2018. We have seen rumors of Kidd being on the list of candidates for the Lakers job for some time, but now it appears that Kidd is basing his decision-making on the availability of the Los Angeles job.

Via Twitter:

Kidd holding out on making an employment decision until the Lakers decide what to do with Walton makes sense. That L.A. would be interested in Kidd to lead their group is another thing altogether.

Talent is a salve that has often pushed teams passed their failings, and this offseason for the Lakers will be a big-time test of that medicine. Los Angeles is not a well-run franchise, and the fact that they have expected anything different from their results speaks to the dissonance between their ability to make basketball decisions outside of branding.

But if they can add one or two big stars in free agency this summer, they might have enough talent on the roster to overcome the inherent issues with having LeBron run the team by proxy. It’s hard to have any faith in the Lakers to make the right decision at this juncture, and considering Kidd for the most important head coaching position in the NBA is par for the course.

Report: Pau Gasol out for month with ankle injury

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Malcolm Brogdon is out for the remainder of the regular season, likely the first round of the playoffs, and maybe longer with a plantar fascia tear. Nikola Mirotic is out likely through the end of the regular season (and maybe a little longer) with a thumb fracture. The injury bug that the Bucks avoided much of the season is catching up with them.

And Pau Gasol can now be added to the list, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

Gasol is going to play a limited role for Milwaukee, but his depth along the front line would have been helpful as the Bucks try to rest guys and get right for the postseason.

If these injuries — particularly Brogdon, who is an important glue piece for them — lingers into the second round of the playoffs for Milwaukee, it could mean an earlier end to the season than they hoped.

Kobe Bryant on Giannis Antetokounmpo: ‘I’m not surprised at what he’s doing’

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has made a leap this season. An MVP level leap.

A lot of credit for the leap has gone to coach Mike Budenhozler and the Bucks organization for putting players and a system around him that fits better. Milwaukee is playing 6.7 possessions per game faster, it upgraded the roster to surround Antetokounmpo with shooters, and the result is he has the freedom to attack. The Greek Freak is overpowering defenders on his way to taking two-thirds of his shots being at the rim. And he finishes with the best at the rim.

Just don’t undersell Antetokounmpo’s role in all this. He puts in the work.

Look what Kobe Bryant said at a recent Q&A, as reported by Frank Isola of The Athletic.

Giannis came to work out with me this summer and he showed up one-and-a-half hours early. We talked for 20 minutes before we worked out and he whips out a notepad. What the … he starts taking down notes. ‘What about the footwork here? What about the coverage here?’ And he’s writing them down. After practice same thing; he sits down, and we talked for like an hour. We talked about coverages and defensive match-ups that gave him problems. He just sat there and took notes. And he studied and studied so I’m not surprised at what he’s doing. He just has the mentality of he’s just getting better all the time. He’s just scratching the surface.

When you look at young players coming into the league — from Zion Williamson through the No. 60 pick this draft, whoever it ends up being — scouts and front offices can measure, watch, and project. What they don’t know is how the player will face the challenges of being in the NBA. On the court is part of that, but so is getting used to the travel, taking better care of their body, studying film, and what does that young player do with a lot of money, less structure in his day-to-day life (nobody telling him to get to class, etc.), and plenty of free time. Predicting how a 19-to-21-year-old will react in this new life is next to impossible. Think of yourself at 19.

Some guys have both the talent and the drive to get the most out of their talent and become elite at a young age. Kobe had it. LeBron James had it. Kevin Garnett had it.

Antetokounmpo has it. That is why he is one of the three best players in the game now.