Adrian Wojnarowski

  • Referees' union rips NBA for not suspending Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    National Basketball Referee's Association general counsel Lee Seham responded angrily to the NBA's unwillingness to suspend Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer for making on-court contact with a game official.

    Budenholzer was ejected for coming onto the court and brushing against referee Ben Taylor on Saturday night in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    The NBA issued a $25,000 fine to Budenholzer on Monday.

    Seham's public statement included an apparent shot at NBRA nemesis Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

    "Referees operate in an environment in which an influential NBA team owner has repeatedly mocked the efficacy of fines as means to change bad behavior. Recent league precedent dictated that a coach who aggressively charged onto the floor during live action and physically interfered with a referee would be suspended.

    "We are now operating at a lower level with less transparency, degraded safety and diminished respect for the game. Coaches should compete by creating better teams, not by physically intimidating officials."

    The NBA termed Budenholzer's contact with the referee as "incidental" in announcing his fine.

  • J.B. Bickerstaff, son of an NBA lifer, gets shot of a lifetime with Rockets

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    It was nearing midnight in the East now, and J.B. Bickerstaff, on his drive home, spoke softly so his young daughter wouldn’t awake in the backseat. This had been a long, surreal and sobering day, punctuated with a crazy shot and a magnificent overtime victory.

    At the end of a night that had turned out to be an unforgettable beginning to his head-coaching career, John Blair Bickerstaff, 36, found himself thinking about the cruelty of endings.

    After all, he’s the son of Bernie Bickerstaff, a gentleman of the coaching craft, a lifer. Coaches’ sons have littered the NBA landscape, but few were NBA coaches’ sons. Some coaches have been around basketball their whole life, but few, if any, had their diapers changed on NBA training tables.

    “You learn what it feels like to have to move, change schools and there’s always that stigma that you were fired. Whatever opportunities come next, you were fired. I know what that feels like.

    “I know that burn.”

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    “I thought we were going to turn it around together, Mac and the staff,” Bickerstaff told Yahoo Sports.

    “Yes, I do.”

  • Sources: Rockets part ways with coach Kevin McHale

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    After struggling to a 4-7 start to the season, the Houston Rockets parted ways with coach Kevin McHale on Wednesday morning, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff will take over as the interim head coach, with assistant Chris Finch ascending to associate head coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    McHale delivered the Rockets to the Western Conference Finals a year ago, but four straight blowout losses and a roster struggling to respond with effort pushed the organization to make a move to salvage what had been expected to be a season of championship contention.

    Only 11 games into the season, the move reflects owner Leslie Alexander's seriousness about winning within the present window with James Harden and Dwight Howard. Alexander and management, including executives Daryl Morey and Gersson Rosas, made the decision on Tuesday to replace McHale, league sources said.

    McHale signed a three-year contract extension a year ago and is owed approximately $12 million. He went 193-130 in four-plus seasons with the Rockets and is the winningest coach, by percentage, in franchise history.

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  • Sources: Glen Taylor in negotiations to sell minority stake in Timberwolves

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is engaged in serious talks to sell an approximate 20 percent stake in the franchise to a group led by Memphis Grizzlies minority partner Steve Kaplan, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    For the Kaplan group, a significant motivation in purchasing the minority share of the Timberwolves is vested in hopes to position itself to buy the majority stake once Taylor decides to sell in the future, sources said. Nevertheless, whatever its wishes, there's no assurance Kaplan's group would have an inside track on eventual majority ownership.

    Kaplan is partnering with controversial ex-Memphis Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien and Indonesian billionaires Handy Soetedjo and Erick Thohir, league sources said.

    Kaplan, a Los Angeles-based private equity investor, would need to divest its ownership stakes in Memphis to complete a deal with Minnesota.

    Kaplan's group bid unsuccessfully for majority ownership of the Atlanta Hawks in 2014. It lost out to an ownership group led by Tony Ressler.

    Levien and Thohir are co-owners of Major League Soccer's D.C. United franchise.

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  • Sources: Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler will undergo season-ending hip surgery

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler will undergo hip surgery and miss the season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Chandler has been diagnosed with a labral tear, league sources said. He suffered the injury during the preseason.

    Chandler's agent, Rich Kleiman of ROC Nation, confirmed the need for surgery to Yahoo Sports on Wednesday night.

    Chandler is expected to make a complete recovery from the surgery after a six-month rehab process, a league source said.

    For the Nuggets, it's a devastating loss. Chandler had worked himself into excellent shape and his presence has been missed on the young Nuggets roster. He is considered a vital part of coach Michael Malone and general manager Tim Connelly's revitalization efforts with the franchise.

    Chandler signed a four-year, $46.5 million contract extension in the summer.

    Chandler, 28, averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Nuggets last season.

    This is the second time Chandler has had to undergo surgery on his hip. He had a procedure in May 2012. Chandler is expected to undergo the procedure early next week in New York, league sources said.

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  • Five days in free agency: Inside the courtship of LaMarcus Aldridge

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    Sixteen million dollars a year, Popovich proclaimed with Aldridge approaching them. “Hey, Masai ought to pay you $35 million a year!”

    “If he could, he would,” Aldridge said with a laugh, a nod of respect toward the relentlessness of Ujiri’s pursuit.

    There was an inherent awkwardness to the moment, with Popovich and Aldridge understanding why Toronto’s top executive lingered outside the hotel. From far behind, Toronto still chased the biggest available free agent on the market, the Raptors’ general manager endearing himself to Aldridge, selling the starry free agent on a visit that would never materialize.

    Nevertheless, Ujiri stepped aside now. His brief, spirited run was over, and he knew it. Aldridge had come downstairs to accompany Popovich to lunch on July 3. They needed to talk again, and LaMarcus Aldridge needed to find a final connection with the coach, a franchise, to make that final leap of faith.

    The power structure of the NBA hung in the balance of that lunch meeting on July 3, hung on how Aldridge could connect with Popovich. Together, they walked down the sun-splashed sidewalk on North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills, and the rest of the league awaited the outcome.


  • Heat suspend guard Gerald Green for two games

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago

    The Miami Heat are suspending guard Gerald Green for two games.

    The Heat are punishing Green for his part in a law enforcement intervention at his condo on Nov. 4 that played a part in his four-day hospital stay.

    Green was not arrested or charged with any crime.

    Yahoo Sports first reported the suspension.

    Green was released from the hospital Saturday and will miss Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers and Thursday’s game against the Utah Jazz.

    Green is expected to return to the Heat on Friday. He has averaged 10.3 points per game this season for Miami. After two seasons in Phoenix, Green signed a free-agent deal with the Heat in July.

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  • Sources: Grizzlies acquire guard Mario Chalmers from Heat

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    The Memphis Grizzlies have acquired Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers and forward James Ennis in a trade, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    The Grizzlies will send guard Beno Udrih, forward Jarnell Stokes and a second-round pick to the Heat, league sources said.

    Miami will save $6 million in luxury tax payments with the deal.

    The teams have scheduled a trade call with the NBA office on Tuesday to finalize the deal, a league source said.

    In the final year of his contract, Chalmers, who was the starting point guard for two NBA championship teams in Miami, was no longer part of the Heat’s future plans.

    At 3-5, Memphis has been unhappy with its bench play and hopes that Chalmers will give it an upgrade at backup to starter Mike Conley, league sources said.

    Chalmers, 29, has averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 assists in his seven-plus seasons with the Heat.

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  • Source: Rockets waive Chuck Hayes as Terrence Jones, Patrick Beverley return

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    The Houston Rockets released forward Chuck Hayes on Sunday, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

    The waiving of Hayes clears the way for Houston forward Terrence Jones to return on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets, a league source told Yahoo Sports. Guard Patrick Beverley will be back on Wednesday, too, a source said.

    Jones was out with a lacerated eyelid and Beverley was sidelined under the NBA's concussion protocol.

    As injuries impact the Rockets' roster, Hayes could be a veteran who returns to the team again this season.

    Hayes, 32, played his first six NBA seasons for the Rockets and remains a favorite of the organization. Hayes could ultimately retire into a coaching staff role with the team, but is focused on continuing his playing career this season, sources said.

    After losing three games to start the season, the Rockets have won four straight.

  • Source: Brook Lopez avoids serious foot injury, expected to play against Rockets

    Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    Despite a spiraling start to the season, the Brooklyn Nets discovered Sunday that they haven't lost franchise center Brook Lopez to yet another right foot injury.

    After an MRI on his surgically repaired right foot turned out to be negative, Lopez is expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday against the Houston Rockets, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

    Lopez has had three surgeries on his right foot, and fears elevated again on Saturday night when he had to leave the Nets' loss to the Milwaukee Bucks with soreness. No additional tests are scheduled for Lopez, a source said.

    The Nets have lost seven straight games to start the season and are fighting through a tough stretch of 12 out of 16 games on the road.

    Brooklyn's sluggish start has taken on greater implications league-wide, because the Boston Celtics own the rights to the Nets' first-round pick in the 2016 NBA draft. The pick has no lottery protections, which means that the Celtics will get the pick regardless of how high in the draft the choice becomes.

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