Archive for June 24th, 2013

Nuggets hiring Brian Shaw as head coach

Denver Nuggets hiring Brian Shaw as head coach

Brian Shaw was hired as the coach of the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, securing his first NBA head coaching job after nearly a decade as an assistant.

Shaw confirmed that he had been hired by Denver during an exclusive interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne.

“I’m so appreciative for the opportunity to be able to lead this team and for the faith that [Nuggets team president] Josh Kroenke and [general manager] Tim Connelly have put in me,” Shaw told Shelburne. “It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been prepared by the best of the best for a long time. I’m just really looking forward to it.”

Shaw will replace George Karl, the NBA’s reigning Coach of the Year who led the Nuggets to a 57-win regular season but was fired following Denver’s opening-round elimination in the playoffs.

Reported by ESPN.com

Former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen was involved in a fight outside of a well-known sushi eatery in Malibu over the weekend that landed one man in the hospital, authorities said.

The altercation occurred about 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Nobu restaurant, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. There was an argument between Pippen and the man, who was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries, Whitmore said. His condition was not immediately available.

Investigators were interviewing several witnesses who apparently saw what transpired and criminal charges could be filed, Whitmore said. It wasn’t known if Pippen has spoken with authorities.

Reported by the Associated Press

Kings keep Shareef Abdur-Rahim on staff

shareef abdur-rahim

Whether in Denver or Sacramento, Pete D’Alessandro wanted to work with Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Abdur-Rahim, a former Kings forward and NBA All-Star, was an assistant general manager under Geoff Petrie and is the only holdover from Petrie’s staff.

Abdur-Rahim and new assistant general manager Mike Bratz give D’Alessandro more of a staff than he had anticipated entering Thursday’s NBA draft.

“(Bratz was) the guy I wanted,” D’Alessandro said. “And when I thought I had a shot at the Denver job and I saw things going on here, to take it a step further, I actually wanted Shareef as well. I wanted to bring Mike and Shareef over there, and when I got the position over here, it’s just the way it lined up.”

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

For the past several months, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has been looking for a buyer for the club who would originally own a portion of the team and then eventually would take over majority ownership.

But after not finding a suitable partner, Taylor changed his mind and bought the stock holdings of six partners who wanted out.

“I was looking at bringing somebody else in to do that, and it never worked out,” Taylor said. “So I just had told the partners that wanted to sell out, that had been with me for about 18 years, that if they wanted to sell out that I would buy their stock. I had about half of them do that, the other half stayed in. I just left that option up to them. They made their decisions, and everybody is happy with how it worked out.”

So now with the hiring of Flip Saunders as president of basketball operations, Taylor seems more involved than ever and he is probably more excited about this draft than any in recent memory.

Reported by Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant has consistently suggested he’ll play just one or two more seasons before retiring.

Currently on a trip to Brazil, the Lakers guard may have revealed a different plan altogether.

“I could easily see myself playing another three or four years,” he said on Brazilian television in a segment produced by Glenda Carqueijo (2:30 in the video).

The All-Star guard is currently recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon, suffered April 12.  He’s expected to return to the court by November or December.

Reported by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times

One of the NBA’s sleeper free agents is becoming more and more of a common name.

Point guard Gal Mekel, fresh off leading little Maccabi Haifa to an upset of Euroleague Final Four regular Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv for the Israeli championship earlier this month, appears to be inching closer to an NBA roster for next season.

Mekel had an eye-opening workout last week with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to sources close to the situation, and will audition Monday for the Dallas Mavericks. Sources told ESPN.com that the Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, are the latest team to express interest in Mekel, who has made major progress since his days at Wichita State from 2006-2008 and increasingly appeals to NBA teams thanks to his size, ability to read the game and, most of all, his pick-and-roll proficiency.

Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

Kyrie Irving praises Jason Kidd

jason kidd

Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving did not want to speculate on the future — not a possible future with LeBron James, something that is always fodder for supposition. He didn’t even want to look as far ahead as Thursday and who might be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, a slot held by Cleveland.

But if you want to hear about Jason Kidd, one of the game’s greatest point guards and a guy who recently turned coach, then Irving went from being Mr. Mum to Chatty Charlie yesterday.

“He’s a tremendous leader. Obviously, Brooklyn sees something in him especially from a leadership standpoint,” Irving said of Kidd going from player to coach after 10 days of retirement. “He’s coming straight off the court, but I feel the last few years he was definitely a coach out there on the court. The transition, I think, will be easy for him. I’m looking forward to see how he does.”

Reported by Fred Kerber of the New York Post

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers is abandoning his sinking ship and switching coasts. It’s the end of an era in Boston.

In a deal forced by his unwillingness to endure rebuilding, Rivers bailed on Boston and agreed Sunday to coach the Clippers, according to multiple sources. As compensation, L.A. gave up a 2015 first-round pick — and, in the process, presumably solidified Chris Paul’s return as a free agent — clearing the way for Rivers to resume title-hunting while the Celtics go about rebuilding around Rajon Rondo, who will return next season following ACL surgery.

The Clippers are picking up the three years and $21 million remaining on Rivers’ contract, following interviews with candidates Byron Scott, Brian Shaw and Lionel Hollins.

The next big question is what happens to future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, both of whom don’t fit into Boston’s long-term plan. The Clippers were also negotiating a deal to land Garnett for DeAndre Jordan, but that was blocked by the NBA because it was deemed part of a coach trade. Any subsequent deals sending Garnett to the Clippers would also be blocked, according to commissioner David Stern.

Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

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