A decade after Lawrence Frank replaced him as Nets coach, Byron Scott chimes in on the Frank/Jason Kidd tussleKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie17 hrs ago
Nearly a decade ago, after a 22-20 start to the season and a five-game losing streak that saw the team dumped by an average of over 13 points per game, New Jersey Nets head coach Byron Scott was fired by the team and replaced on an interim basis by unheralded assistant coach Lawrence Frank. Frank went on to win his first 14 games as Nets coach and lead the team to within a game of the Eastern Conference finals, losing in the second round to the eventual champion Detroit Pistons. The work earned Frank a full time gig with the Nets, one that he held onto until a 0-16 start doomed his 2009-10 season with the team.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie21 hrs ago
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has treated Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov with a healthy sense of tact in the years since Mikhail just about swiped Cuban’s starring role as “The Owner Who Will Spend Anything to Win.” While it’s true that Cuban has spent quite a bit in nearly 12 years of Mavericks ownership in the pursuit of championship rings, he hasn’t gone completely batty with his payroll against his better instincts – witness his passing on re-signing Steve Nash as a free agent in 2004, a move that eventually backfired, but the sound basketball decision at the time.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie22 hrs ago
The Indiana Pacers don’t play the San Antonio Spurs until Saturday, which leaves the Spurs plenty of time to rest up following the travel and eventual postponement of their hoped-for game against Minnesota in Mexico City on Wednesday. That game was shuttered because of smoke caused from a misfiring generator, the sort of haze that co-incidentally made the Pacers flight from Salt Lake City to San Antonio dodgy enough that the airplane’s pilots thought it best to land a few hours outside of San Antonio.
In the overnight Texas fog, the Pacers boarded a bus to drive them the rest of the way to their hotel. What followed, through the tweets of Pacers director of media relations David Benner and radio play by play man Mark Boyle, was a bit of a trying journey. Here are some selected documents of the next few hours:
Fog in San Antonio forced Pacers to land in Houston. Busing to S.A. and bus with 8 of travel party breaks down. I miss 17 hours to Asia.
Minnesota and San Antonio’s game in Mexico City postponed due to generator malfunction, smoke in the arena (Photos)Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Everyone seems to be fine, and the incident happened well before fans were allowed into the Mexico City Arena, but the scheduled pairing between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City was canceled after an electrical short to a generator powering one of the arena’s escalators.
As soon as smoke started billowing throughout the arena and its corridors away from the court, arena and NBA personnel immediately asked the players, team employees and scores of media to evacuate the building. By all accounts nobody appeared to be in danger, but the combination of the massive amounts of smoke and the high Mexico City altitude made this a dangerous “home” game for the Timberwolves and their San Antonio counterparts to play.
Via CJZero and NBA TV, here’s a shot of the arena around 9 p.m. ET, a half-hour before tip-off:
Here are some various pertinent tweets from Spurs and Wolves beat writers and broadcasters, detailing the (thankfully) orderly evacuation:
Wolves CEO chris wright says earliest arena could be readied is 1015 pm. Other option tomorrow nite, neither seems likely
The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account wonders if the team can join the awful Eastern ConferenceKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
There are seven teams currently slated to head toward the lottery in the Western Conference, per usual, and five of those teams have records good enough to make the Eastern playoff bracket. The 12th-best record in the Western Conference – currently held by both the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers at 9-9 – is tied with the winning percentage of the team with the third-best record in the East. That would be your Washington Wizards. Tied. For third in the East.
The East is terrible this season, and though teams like the Knicks, Bulls, Nets, Hawks and Pistons may eventually get their acts together, the drop-off between standout Indiana and Miami clubs and the rest of the dreck is significant. Worse, the eventual winner of the piss-poor Atlantic Division (the Boston Celtics hold that honor right now, at 8-12) will be rewarded with the ostensible fourth seed in the East this spring due to NBA bylaws.
That’s pretty awful. And it’s especially awful if you’re battling amongst the trees in Pacific Time out West, wondering how this is even fair in the slightest. The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account struck out first, indirectly looking to inspire a move:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Everyone here is well aware of the Chicago Bulls medical and training staff, right? The ones that cleared former center Omer Asik to play with a broken fibula during the 2011 playoffs? The one that listed Luol Deng as “day to day” after a spinal tap, before then selling him out to the media and fans before reportedly ignoring him during the summer months that followed? The ones that thought it was just fine to push Joakim Noah’s feet for 40 minutes a game last season in spite of his history with plantar fasciitis? Before he had to sit for most of the second half of the season after developing, you guessed it, plantar fasciitis? The team that put both Noah and guard Jimmy Butler back into games with what should have been obvious, debilitating injuries?
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace are two pretty bad dudes. Despite the perpetual smirk the two tend to walk around with, the New York Knick veterans dole out hard fouls and tough love on the court, while barely concealing their hard guy status on the defensive end.
The Knicks, meanwhile, have lost nine straight. This is part of the reason why it seemed quite believable that both World Peace and Martin would engage in some combination of a shouting match, fight, or heated back and forth at practice, as ESPN reported last weekend. Combining the typical reaction to a losing streak, an embattled coach in Mike Woodson who has been on the hot seat for weeks, and both Metta and Kenyon’s irascible (to say the least) past, and you have a tussle straight out of central casting.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
The San Antonio Spurs probably don’t like having to travel out of the NBA loop for a regular season game down in Mexico City. The Minnesota Timberwolves, one can be assured, definitely don’t like having to travel thousands of miles between countries to play a “home” game, which they will against the Spurs on Wednesday. The contest is still a cool exercise, though, with the NBA deciding to play an actual game that counts in basketball-mad Mexico City, as opposed to an exhibition game featuring heavy minutes for players that may not even make the final roster cuts.
Ever-mindful of scouting for youngsters looking to make the leap to the NBA, the Spurs decided to meet with a local youth team following their practice on Tuesday. And, following a photoshoot and team huddle, the defending Western Conference champs kicked off their shoes and set up for a scrimmage with the youngsters.
It didn’t go well for San Antonio. Watch:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
Before being released, Royce White played in two exhibition games with the Philadelphia 76ers in October. His stats weren’t good – Royce missed eight of 12 shots, he racked up eight fouls in nearly 33 minutes of action, alongside five turnovers and nine rebounds. He was also, clearly, out of shape, and even thrown out of one of those games.
Following Kobe Bryant’s contract extension, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki uneasily discuss their own futuresKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
Kobe Bryant’s massive contract extension came as a massive surprise, because though it was apparent that both Bryant and the Lakers wanted to continue their relationship until the end of Kobe’s career, most assumed Los Angeles would at least wait to see how the recovering Bryant performed in 2013-14 before deciding to hand him more and more money. It turned out that the Buss family apparently had no issue jumping the gun and making Bryant the league’s highest paid player in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, even if it meant hamstringing the team’s attempts at rebuilding with Bryant at the helm. Because though the Lakers will have cap room to sign a high end free agent this summer, salary cap space will be hard to come by after that, and Bryant plus a star plus minimum-salaried filler is no championship contender at this point.