Archive for June 9th, 2013

Jason Kidd

Freshly retired NBA star Jason Kidd is pursuing the Brooklyn Nets’ head coaching job and his candidacy has been discussed within the highest levels of the organization, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Kidd has been talking with associates about the possibility of making the immediate leap from a Hall of Fame playing career to a head coaching job, and has been working to identify a staff of assistant coaches who could help him overcome the significant learning curve, sources said.

The Nets have considered Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw as their top target for the vacancy, but are competing with the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets to secure him.

Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

dwyane wade

“Must-win” talk is typically reserved for playoff games later in a series. But with a less than typical situation on hand for the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals’ 2-3-2 home-court format, Dwyane Wade already views Game 2 as critical against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.

“It’s very urgent,” Wade said Saturday after the Heat’s practice. “Obviously you don’t want to go down 0 2 going to San Antonio for three straight games. Odds are not that good. They are not in our favor. We’re not a team that really says too much [like], ‘This is a must win game.’ But this is a must win game.”

Before losing the Finals opener on Thursday night, Miami was 7-2 at home in this year’s postseason. The Spurs are 6-1 in the playoffs at AT&T Center and 9-2 overall in Finals history in San Antonio.

LeBron James took a different public tone Saturday than his sidekick, saying, “Every game is important. Game 1, Game 2, 3, 4, no matter 2-3-2 format or it could be a 3-2-2 format. No matter what the format is, it’s The Finals.”

Reported by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports

Chris Bosh

The Charlotte Bobcats are looking to make a splash this summer and are open to trading their first-round pick in a package for an All-Star-caliber player. There are rumors the Heat will be looking to deal Chris Bosh, and the Bobcats, who are under the salary cap and could accept Bosh’s near-maximum deal, could be a prime candidate. As much as Charlotte would love to build through the draft, team officials understand they have to start winning and need a player to be the face of the franchise. Bosh could serve that purpose.

Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe

Mike Budenholzer is in his final series on the staff with the San Antonio Spurs. David Fizdale is now often mentioned as a candidate for jobs that could take him away from his job with the Miami Heat.

Meanwhile, all either of those guys could care about is beating the other in the NBA Finals.

Whenever a head-coaching vacancy is created in the NBA these days, it usually isn’t long before some of the league’s top assistants get mentioned as candidates to fill the role. Budenholzer was hired by the Atlanta Hawks last month as their new coach, and Fizdale has been mentioned as a potential hire in several cities so far during these playoffs.

It can be quite a distraction. But in the cases of Budenholzer and Fizdale, the task at hand in these finals takes absolute priority.

”For me he’s been a confidante for a long time, a really trusted professional and friend all at the same time,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Budenholzer, who’s been with him for all four of San Antonio’s previous championship runs. ”Highly gifted, highly intelligent young man who is going to do a great job, I believe.”

Budenholzer’s future is crystal clear: He’s moving to Atlanta.

In Fizdale’s case, any talk of his future is all speculation, most of which seems like news to him.

Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Tony Parker

Despite the notion they’re old, the Spurs are actually overall the younger, less-experienced team in these finals. Miami has nine players in their 30s to the six on the Spurs, and their Big Three and Bonner are the only Spurs to have played in the NBA Finals.

That makes it easier for the Spurs to enjoy this trip more than when they were the team expected to be here every year.

”We definitely are having fun,” Tony Parker said. ”I think we appreciate every moment. We don’t take anything for granted, because it’s been a long time. It’s been six years. Felt like forever. After the Memphis series, there was a lot of emotion.”

Heat veteran Shane Battier wasn’t exactly sold on the notion of this Spurs transformation into a happy-go-lucky group.

”Don’t believe them, first of all,” he said. ”They are extreme competitors and they have a level of self-deprecation I think that is part of them, but don’t buy it for one second. Those guys are killers. They’re cut-throat and they will stomp on you if need be, and we’re the same way.

”We appreciate the opportunity to play in the finals. Difficult to get here. Hardest thing you’ll do in this game is to try and win a championship, so we appreciate the opportunity and we want to make the most of it,” he said.

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

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