That means Mister Thibs is the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls. After crying for a few days at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, the prominent assistant coach of the Boston Celtics was officially ushered in as the coach for Chicago. He was the architect of the Celtics’ dreaded defense helping them to a championship and two Finals appearances. Chicago is the 3rd largest market behind Los Angeles and New York so that’s why this is worth noting. Bulls’ fans are excited.Read More
Jalen Rose: ``It is almost CERTAIN that LEBRON JAMES WILL NOT be returning to the CAVS!”
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Rose, an analyst for ESPN, also tweets that the Bulls, Clippers, and Heat are the top three destinations for James.
Of course, all these organizations have issues: the Bulls - a contender because of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah - have unstable management with GM John Paxson going all 'Fight Club' on former coach Vinny Del Negro; the Clippers have talented players, but an awful owner in Donald Sterling; and the Heat may prefer a big like Chris Bosh as a sidekick to Dwyane Wade.
The Cavaliers aren't out of the sweepstakes, as they have a financial and personal advantage over the competition.
For instance, they can offer James $30 million more than any team. They can also offer an extra year on his max' contract.
And don't forget that James, who can afford to live anywhere in the world during the summer, makes his off-season home in nearby Akron, Ohio, where he grew up.
Clearly, James is comfortable in Cleveland. And clearly, he`s connected to Ohio. This loyalty will be a huge factor in his decision.
Rose may be right: James could still bolt on the Cavaliers. But it`s far from a certainty.
The Lakers have the best player, but Boston's depth of big-time playmakers will prevail in a game like this. I count eight Celtics -- the four current or former All-Stars in their starting lineup, plus Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson’s and little-used Michael Finley, a three-point shooter with the potential to become this game's Steve Kerr -- who have it in them to make the big shot. The absence of Kendrick Perkins may create more offense for the Celtics, and they'll make up for his rebounding with a team effort led by Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Anticipate nothing less than a tightly wound classic played to a tempo that suits Boston.
Click here for Ian Thomsen's official game seven prediction and more analysis from the CNNSI crew.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Boston Celtics are deserving of respect.
Consider their road to the NBA Finals. First, they took out Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat -despite some questionable tactics from Kevin Garnett. They made the Cleveland Cavaliers – the NBA’s best team in the regular season – implode, which, unfortunately, gave us an extra month of The LeBron Watch. They then coolly took out the Orlando Magic, the reigning Eastern Conference champions, in six games.
This was a most improbable run for a club that was supposedly dead, gone, and over at mid-season. Clearly, they saved their best for last, though.
The green-and-white have now pushed the defending champion and heavily favoured Lakers to the limit. The secret to Boston’s success: inspired team play on the defensive end.
Look at the NBA Finals: they’ve mostly contained Ron Artest and Lamar Odom; they’ve battled superstar Pau Gasol; and they’ve made the immortal Kobe Bryant look surprisingly mortal.
Doc Rivers’ crew is an all-time great defensive team. They can hang with any of Phil Jackson’s Chicago teams that had notable defenders like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. And they hold their own against Detroit’s Bad Boys and any of Pat Riley’s squads in Los Angeles or New York.
Offensively, somebody different carries the load each night. For instance, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo have all had moments.
Of course, reserves Glen Davis and Nate Robinson – also known as Shrek and Donkey - won game four of the NBA Finals. And the defending Sprite Slam Dunk Champion went off in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, too.
That said, the Lakers have the edge in the decisive game-seven. Here’s why:
1) Home-court matters: The purple-and-gold is a different team at home. They’re confident. They’re nasty. And they’re arrogant.
2) No Perk’: The Celtics will miss Kendrick Perkins. They lack the size to win the paint, and contain Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
3) Kobe Bryant: He’s the best player on either team. He’s the best player in the NBA. And he understands tonight is a legacy game.
Bryant – if he wants to be considered an all-time great – can’t afford a loss. After all, five championships are far better than four. And two losses to the arch rival Celtics in the NBA Finals would be devastating.
Expect Bryant to drop a Jordan-like effort. And HoopsVibe News expects the Lakers to win.
Prediction for game-seven of the 2010 NBA Finals: Lakers 95, Boston 88.
Got thoughts? What is your prediction for game-seven of the NBA Finals?
"Speaking of Collison, the Pacers have reached out to New Orleans about the former UCLA point guard."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Indiana and New Orleans are two of the NBA’s smallest markets. Both have limited budgets. Yet, both are desperate to upgrade their roster.
And this is Corporal/Commissioner David Stern’s post recession problem: his league has become increasingly fractured and polarized into have and have-not franchises.
The have franchises – think Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and New York – will spend their summer trying to land big-ticket free agents.
No expense will be spared. Mayors, politicians, celebrities, rap icons and even a president have tried wooing the game’s elite player to their club of choice
The have-not franchises – think Indiana, Minnesota, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Memphis – will spend their summer scheming up creative and cost-effective ways to compete.
With this in mind, a Darren Collison deal would make some sense for the Pacers and Hornets.
Larry Bird’s club has to get better at point guard. TJ Ford – and his $8 million dollar salary – isn’t the answer. And Jamaal Tinsley’s $5 million pact is still on the books, even though he was released years ago.
Collison, a lightning quick table-setter, filled in admirably for injured superstar Chris Paul. Best of all, the UCLA alum has three years remaining on his rookie pact.
Meanwhile, reports that the Hornets and Paul were considering parting ways are false. Team and player are apparently committed to each other and sticking together.
However, New Orleans was always a poorer NBA market. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. Then The Great Recession came. And now there’s the Gulf Coast oil spill.
All contributed to the city’s struggling economy, which means there’s less disposable income for citizens to spend on disposable goods –like NBA tickets and luxury boxes.
So the Hornets can't generate the revenue to sign high or even medium priced free agents. Their best and only option this summer is trading the young and inexpensive Collison for other young, and inexpensive players.
They've got lockdown defender Dahntay Jones, athletic swing Brandon Rush, and blue-collar bruiser Tyler Hansbrough.
All are young. All are cheap. And all could play a role in The Bayou. Perhaps, Bird, Indiana's head suit, lets New Orleans pick two of these three players.
That said, nothing is imminent between the Pacers and Hornets. Expect them to keep talking. As mentioned, in today’s NBA, their options are limited.
Get at us with thoughts on this deal?
With that in mind, league sources have indicated the Cavs have begun to consider taking some risks with their roster. That may even include seeing if a trade makes sense for one of the most popular players on the team.
According to multiple league sources, the Cavs are testing the trade value for point guard Mo Williams, among other players. It is part of what appears to be an effort to tweak the entire backcourt, as Delonte West is also on the trade block.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: When you choke for a second consecutive year in the playoffs, everything and everyone is fair game.
Mike Brown, a former Coach of the Year, is gone. GM Danny Ferry is looking for a new executive suite to call home. And Mo Williams – a talented, hot shooting, and popular point guard – could be next to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Williams’ fall within the organization is somewhat unexpected, though. His catch-and-shoot approach fits with LeBron James, a superstar who runs the offensive sets and likes handling the ball.
Unfortunately, Williams has a tendency to disappear in the playoffs and, because of his size and average quicks, he often struggles to defend opposing point guards.
For instance, Williams got lit up by the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose and the Boston Celtics’ Rajon Rondo in the playoffs.
Coincidentally, James recently mentioned as much in his recent interview with Larry King.
“You kind of forget about Rajon Rando. And that's exactly happened at times,” said the superstar. “You know, he kind of controls the whole ship that goes on in Boston. And they did a good job. I mean we're a really good team, but they were better than us in this year.”
So, perhaps, owner Dan Gilbert is reacting, or possibly overreacting, to James’ comments about Rondo torching Williams. And perhaps, trading Williams would be another attempt to appease the two-time MVP and his people.
Desperate times do call for desperate measures. After all, with James’ pending free agency, the only person guaranteed to be in Cleveland next year is Gilbert.
Should the Cavaliers trade Williams? Is he to blame for their playoff failures?
The New Orleans Hornet quickly reached an agreement Friday night with Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams to be their next head coach after Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau withdrew from consideration earlier in the day, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources told ESPN.com that Williams' deal will be made official no later than Saturday after Thibodeau, who was offered New Orleans' job last week, informed the Hornets that he plans to pursue opportunities with the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets.
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: New Orleans got their man off the NBA coaching carousel. Well, sort of.
Once it became clear Boston Celtics defensive guru Tom Thibodeau had little interest in the Hornets gig, the club went all out for Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams.
Williams is a fine choice. He's young, personable, hardworking and smart.
This, however, may not be enough to resurrect a Hornets squad that fell behind in the competitive Western Conference last year and lacks the financial resources to catch up through upgrading their talent.
Meanwhile, Thibodeau is a lock for a head coaching gig, either with the Chicago Bulls or New Jersey Nets. Of course, he'd also get serious consideration with Boston -if Doc Rivers retires at season's end.
Got thoughts on the coaching carousel?
Danny Ferry is out as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, choosing not to re-sign his contract that was set to expire in June. The decision comes as a surprise but was made days ago, and complicates the most important offseason in team history.
Ferry's departure Friday after five seasons occurred two weeks after the club fired coach Mike Brown following the team's second-round loss to the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs. It also comes as the team is making plans to try to re-sign two-time MVP LeBron James, who will be a free agent next month.
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: It's official. The inmate, LeBron James, is running the asylum -even if he has a foot out the free agent door.
Ferry's firing comes as a surprise because days ago reports indicated the retired forward and owner Dan Gilbert had essentially agreed on an extension.
Apparently, the stumbling block was authority. Ferry rightfully thought a GM needed control over basketball operations. He wasn't prepared to deal with Gilbert or James meddling in personnel decisions.
So he left.
Assistant GM Chris Grant will slide into the big chair in the executive suite. However, it remains to be seen how much authority Grant will have as the new GM.
Expect Gilbert to be very involved this summer. If James resigns, Gilbert and Grant will likely let the superstar pick the new coach and have a large say in all basketball related decisions.
This isn't the way to run a winning organization. For instance, Tim Duncan always defers to coach Gregg Popovich and executive R.C. Buford. The Los Angeles Lakers started winning when Kobe Bryant quit commenting to random fans outside of strip malls about swapping Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd and focused on basketball. And even the great Michael Jordan had little say in the happenings of the Chicago Bulls.
So Gilbert, who doesn't have James' name on a new deal, is taking a risk in re-structuring his entire organization to suit his free agent superstar.
Got thoughts on Ferry leaving the Cavaliers? Let us know in the comment box below.
This has been a wild month for the Chicago Bulls organization. The whispers of LeBron, Chris Bosh, and now Phil Jackson as head coach have been spreading around the NBA like wildfire. Can the unthinkable occur? How is this even possible? This is something that the rest of the league does not want to happen. The perfect storm might be brewing somewhere in the background of the conference finals. Many people’s feelings are getting hurt around the internet if you are not a Chicago Bulls fan. This team can possibly acquire Videogame James, CB4, and Phil Jackson?Read More
"There has been no direct contact between Bulls officials and Jackson, the sources told Broussard, but people close to both parties have spoken and come away with the belief that Jackson would be open to a potential reunion in Chicago next season.
Gar Forman, the Bulls' general manager, refused to comment on the club's coaching search when reached Monday night by telephone.
The Bulls are not alone in registering interest in a coaching reunion with Jackson. NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein on Tuesday that the New Jersey Nets have made similar back-channel inquiries about their chances of luring Jackson away from the Los Angeles Lakers at season's end."
HoopsVibe's Call: Money and power.
These are the reasons Coach Phil Jackson could leave the Los Angeles Lakers when his contract expires at season's end. Jerry Buss, the team's owner, wants the Hall of Fame sideline boss to reportedly take a $5.0 million salary reduction next season.
Jackson is earning $12.5 million for 2009-10, the last year on his contract. Buss hopes he'll do the exact same job in 2010-11 for $7.5 million.
There's also a power struggle going on. Buss is aging. He named his son, Jim, as successor -even though his daughter, Jeanie, enjoyed great success in the team's marketing department. Rumor has it Jeanie was passed over for the Lakers' top job because her long-term partner is Jackson.
Jackson, health permitting, has repeatedly said he wants to continue coaching the purple-and-gold. He's settled out west; his team will contend for years.
Still, with a huge pay cheque available and the chance to partner with a top free agent, Jackson could conceivably go back on his word.
Will Jackson leave the Lakers? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.
Usually in professional sports, the coach is selling the free agent player on his team as a potential destination. The Los Angeles Clippers are prepared to take a different approach. As the only team without a coach that doesn't appear to be looking, reports say that the Clippers are prepared to offer big-name free agents something in addition to the maximum contract: pick your own coach. That's right, the plan in Los Angeles might be to use the coaching vacancy as an additional draw to free agents like Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and even Lebron James. They all know they will get the maximum salary, but where else can they pick their coach?
HoopsVibe Call: It's why the Clippers are the Clippers. And it's why they'll remain a league laughingstock.
Despite having talented players, coaches, and executives, Los Angeles' other team can't get their act together. Allowing star free agents like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and even Dwyane Wade to pick their next coach is another example of their lunacy.
Good organizations don't let the inmates - regardless of how talented Bosh, James, and Wade are - run the asylum. For instance, in San Antonio, Tim Duncan has always deferred to coach Gregg Popovich, which forces his teammates to listen to the veteran sideline boss.
Across town, Kobe Bryant, like it or not, follows Laker coach Phil Jackson -even though he oftens seems more like the duplicitous Machiavelli than the peaceful Zen-Master. And Michael Jordan also followed Jackson when they won six NBA Titles with the Chicago Bulls.
Having a player - regardless of how great he is - select their next coach makes that coach a subordinate. And this is a recipe for disaster. Of course, leave it to the Clippers, one of the worst organizations in pro sport, to make this blunder.
Should Bosh, James, or Wade get to pick the Clippers' next coach? Should any player get to pick his coach? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.
"Chris Bosh's agent has told the Toronto Raptors that he's narrowed his list of preferred teams to five, two sources told ESPN.com's Chad Ford at the NBA draft camp.
Del Negro's firing didn't come as much of a shock to most around the NBA, but it was still jarring to some of his players.
In Out of Bounds IV, Marija translates Big Ben Roethlisberger's apology statement, tells Brad Miller he's not wanted in NY and lets you know what you can do to keep Jeff Van Gundy the hell away from the Bulls.Read More
When the dust settles after a fantasy draft, we kick ourselves in the teeth with our picks. Why did I draft this guy in the first place? Why did I reach? We ask ourselves that all the time. The guys on this list are inconsistent or gets injured a lot. Or both.Read More
"I've had security for a long time. I'm assuming there will be interest but you never know."
Dear Chris Bosh,
Amar’e once said, “No doubt about it, I’m better than Chris Bosh.”