Posts Tagged ‘NBA NEWS’

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When the Bulls named Michael Reinsdorf chief operating officer and president in 2010, Jerry’s son vowed to be hands-on and accessible.

The former has been apparent over the last eight-plus years, and the latter is happening with more frequency. Michael Reinsdorf sat down with the Tribune for a lengthy interview on the eve of this season and did so again by phone Monday.

Over the course of 30 minutes, he touched on a wide variety of topics, including the futures of John Paxson, Gar Forman and Jim Boylen. Here’s a partial transcript of that conversation, edited for space and clarity:

Will John Paxson and Gar Forman be back next season?

Absolutely. We believe they’ve done a great job. I know that in this market, with some of our fans and some in the media, they look at it differently. That perplexes me. Let’s talk about them individually because that’s another thing I don’t understand — why they’re referred to as “GarPax” when they have different job responsibilities.

John, as our vice president of basketball operations, he took over in 2003 and orchestrated our first rebuild. He inherited a team and made a lot of different trades. He drafted Kirk Hinrich. We spent $3 million in a trade with Phoenix so we could draft Ben Gordon and Luol Deng in the same draft. He added Joakim Noah. We signed a top free agent in Ben Wallace in 2006. A lot of people forget he was the No. 1 free agent that year. And we ended up sweeping the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in the first round and played Detroit in a tight, six-game series. We were on our way.

The Lakers had a pretty devastating weekend. They blew a close game late against the Bucks and then lost another must-win game to the Suns, lowlighted by LeBron inbounding the ball off his own backboard. Luke Walton isn’t all to blame for the Lakers’ collapse — there’s plenty of blame to go around — but it’s increasingly clear a) that the Lakers are unlikely to make the playoffs, and b) Walton will be at least one of the scapegoats. Here are some replacements that make sense (a version of this list originally ran in February).

Jason Kidd

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In odds released by Bovada in February, Kidd was actually the betting favorite to be the Lakers’ head coach on opening day next season. A lot of times these odds can be taken with a grain of salt because they have low betting limits, but Kidd to the Lakers has been a subject of persistent chatter all season. Personally, watching the Bucks improve vastly after replacing Kidd, I think this would be a horrible idea. However, maybe the Lakers do it anyway?

Ty Lue

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When Lue replaced David Blatt in Cleveland, the Cavs won the title later that season. He has familiarity with the LeBron media frenzy, and won’t get bogged down by the media circus perpetually surrounding the Lakers. Lue played for the Lakers in his first three seasons in the NBA, from 1998-2001.

Mark Jackson

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Jackson had a 121-109 record in three years as coach of the Warriors, including 51-31 in his final season.

Otto Porter Jr. has had a massive impact on the Bulls’ soul.

Their 5-3 record since he came on board is an obvious consequence. His attitude, his shot-making, his size — which makes switching seamless — and his dog mentality on defense have generated a true esprit de corps.

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“I can’t say I did,’’ coach Jim Boylen said Thursday when asked if he thought Porter would be so influential so quickly. “I would not be telling you the truth. I’m thankful for it, but I didn’t see it coming.’’

That’s because a player’s intangibles often aren’t felt until he’s in that locker room.

Jabari Parker was signed to a two-year, $40 million contract during the summer and boasted that he wasn’t paid to play defense, which he backed up once training camp and the regular season started.

Parker and Bobby Portis were sent packing to the Wizards for Porter, who came in with playoff experience and a contract that pays him $26 million this season and $27.2 million next season with a player option at $28.4 million for the 2020-21 season. Big money, no doubt. But the new highest-paid Bull is willing to dive after loose balls, wants to defend the best players and plays the game unselfishly.

Adam Silver still thinks the NBA All-Star Game needs a dramatic overhaul, and this year’s exhibition in Charlotte didn’t change his mind.

“The All-Star Game didn’t work,” the commissioner said at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, adding that the game was “an afterthought” of the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

“I get it. We put an earring on a pig.”

Silver brought up the possibility of a midseason tournament replacing the All-Star Game if the league cuts the regular-season schedule down to roughly 70 games.

New York City hoops legend and former Nets star Kenny Anderson suffered a stroke this weekend and is currently hospitalized, according to former NBA guard Ron Harper.

“Let’s say a prayers for my guy [Kenny Anderson] who is [in] the hospital after having a stroke over the weekend. You’re in my thoughts my brother,” Harper wrote of the Queens native.

Anderson, 48, played for nine franchises in his 14-year career.

In an effort to broaden the scope of the sport of basketball across the world, the NBA and FIBA announced today that they are planning to launch a basketball league featuring 12 club teams across Africa. NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the creation of the league during All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.

The league will reportedly feature 12 franchises that will begin play in January 2020, with existing African club teams having a chance to qualify for the league. The new league will be called the Basketball Africa League (BAL), and will be based on already existing team competitions that FIBA has organized throughout Africa.

“The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa,” Silver said in a statement (via ESPN). “Combined with our other programs on the continent, we are committed to using basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports, media and technology across Africa.”

The NBA and FIBA also announced that they are planning on conducting qualification tournaments later this year in order to find the 12 best teams to represent countries including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia. According to the statement, there will be no more than two teams from any single country in the league.

Along with the announcement of the league, the NBA also announced that by the start of the 2019-2020, a revamped direct-to-consumers offering of NBA games will be available for fans in Africa, along with FIBA also promising to dedicate financial support and resources toward the development of the sport in Africa, which will include money that goes to training players, coaches, referees, and infrastructure.

There are currently 12 players from African countries on NBA rosters. Joel EmbiidLuc Mbah a Moute and Pascal Siakam are from Cameroon; Bismack Biyombo and Emmanuel Mudiay are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Abdel Nader is from Egypt; Cheick Diallo is from Mali; Josh Okogie is from Nigeria; Serge Ibaka is from the Republic of the Congo; Luol Deng and Thon Maker are from South Sudan; and Salah Mejri is from Tunisia.

 

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Things haven’t gone super smoothly for the Celtics this season, and there are apparently some underlying issues within the organization involving All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. According to a report from ESPN.com’s Tim Bontemps, members of the Celtics have been “frustrated” and “disappointed” with Irving throughout the season.

From ESPN:

“But while Irving said all the right things before this season began, things haven’t gone according to plan during it, as virtually everyone involved with the Celtics has been some combination of disappointed and frustrated by how this season has played out so far. That has been especially true with regard to Irving, multiple sources said, due to a variety of factors.

Irving is undoubtedly playing the best basketball of his career — but it hasn’t translated to wins. The Celtics are, in theory, more talented than the team that reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals without Irving and Gordon Hayward last season. But Boston is in fourth place in the East, getting there only after Friday’s win thanks in part to the Indiana Pacers plummeting after losing Victor Oladipo for the season because of a torn quad tendon.

Irving’s frustrations have spilled over to other members of the team. He has repeatedly aired his grievances with Boston’s young players — Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier — through the media, including after a loss in Orlando last month. It was after that same loss that Irving confronted coach Brad Stevens in the huddle for not calling the potential game-deciding shot for him, and Hayward on the court afterward for passing the ball to Tatum instead of him… The young players have, in turn, been frustrated with Irving.” 

After publicly declaring that he planned to re-sign with the Celtics last October, Irving has since back-tracked on those comments, leading many to speculate that he could be interested in leaving Boston to sign elsewhere when he hits free agency this summer.

“At the end of the day, like I said, I’ve spent the last eight years trying to do what everybody else wanted me to do in terms [of] making my decisions and trying to validate through the media, through other personnel, managers, anybody in this business,” Irving said regarding his upcoming free agency. “I don’t owe anybody s**t.”

When asked if his mindset has changed regarding re-signing with Boston, Irving said: “Ask me July 1.”

While the Celtics are a legitimate contender in the East this season, the long-term future of their most productive player seems increasingly uncertain.

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