HoopsHype rumors

November 9, 2012 | 09:33 PM ET Update

Phil Jackson and Mike D'Antoni are the leading candidates to replace Mike Brown as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne on Friday. "It's neck and neck," the source said. ESPN.com

The Lakers are expected to reach out to both men as early as Saturday morning, as well as several other candidates. They'd like to move quickly through this process as interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff has only committed to working a few games. "It's not going to be a long process; that's for damn sure," a source told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "But they're going to do their due diligence." ESPN.com

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle isn't one bit happy that the preseason Western Conference favorite Los Angeles Lakers fired his former assistant Mike Brown after five games. "I think it sucks," Carlisle said Friday afternoon on ESPN Dallas 103.3's "Galloway and Company." ESPN.com

November 9, 2012 | 06:31 PM ET Update
November 9, 2012 | 06:00 PM ET Update

The Los Angeles Lakers will begin a national search to fill the team's head-coaching vacancy after firing Mike Brown on Friday. One of those candidates will include former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson. In a press conference at the Lakers' facility, Kupchak said the Lakers have yet to reach out to any possible candidates. "When there's a coach like Phil Jackson, one of the all-time greats, and he's not coaching, you'd be negligent not to be aware that he's out there," Kupchak said. "As I mentioned earlier, we're putting together our list and attack plan. We have not reached out to anybody at this time." Los Angeles Daily News

In the short term, Lakers assistant Bernie Bickerstaff will serve as the team's interim coach, while the rest of the assistants will stay put. That includes Eddie Jordan, Darvin Ham and Chuck Person. Kupchak said he talked with Bickerstaff for 30-45 minutes, explaining the strong possibility the promotion is only temporary. "If we don't get the coach and we want and Bernie is doing a great job, crazy things happen in this league," Kupchak said. "But I think going into it and the way I explained it to him, that's not the plan. But it's certainly a possibility." Los Angeles Daily News

Nothing softens the sting of being fired from the Los Angeles Lakers organization like a chicken sandwich ... just ask ex-coach Mike Brown ... who hit up a Chick-fil-A right after he got the chop today. TMZ obtained photos of Brown hanging at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Costa Mesa, CA around 11:30 AM ... just a few hours after news broke that he was fired from the team over their dismal 1-4 start. TMZ.com

“No. Now that part was definitely not true,” Felton said of the rumor that he forced his way out of Portland. “I think anybody, any coach, any player other than … I ain’t going to put that out there. I don’t think no coach would say that. No player would say that. It was just the media writing some stuff they didn’t know anything about. Only thing was that I came in out of shape. I said that from day one. I admitted to it, but I worked my behind off to get my weight off towards the end of the year and second half of the season to have better numbers. I made sure that didn’t happen again this year. I came in in great shape and still am.” HoopsWorld

Bill Ingram: A source familiar with the situation in Indy told me earlier today that part of Hibbert's issue is the absence of Darren Collison. Twitter @TheRocketGuy

November 9, 2012 | 04:56 PM ET Update

Dwight Howard has told the Los Angeles Lakers he wants them to bring back Phil Jackson as coach,’ a source close to the team tells SheridanHoops.com. With the Lakers having fired Mike Brown earlier today, speculation is running rampant about who the next coach will be. SheridanHoops

Buss’ son, Jim, is expected to be the person who makes the ultimate decision on who the next coach will be, and the source who spoke to SheridanHoops made it clear that Buss is aware of Howard’s wishes. It remains unclear if Jackson would be interested, but he retains a close relationship with Kobe Bruant and Pau Gasol — two of the players he coached in Los Angeles before leaving the team after the 2010-11 season. SheridanHoops

GQ: This offseason, you were a free agent, and you took your time deciding between your hometown Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets. What was it like being courted by Mark Cuban? Deron Williams: I never really spoke to Mark Cuban. There wasn't much courting, to be honest. GQ.com

GQ: A lot of people are fascinated by Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Is there a side of him that you've seen that the rest of the world hasn't? He's laid back, man. A lot of the stuff around him is just speculation and rumors. He's a real normal guy. I promise. If you're around him for an extended period of time, you never really have any idea that he's worth $20 billion, or whatever he's worth. I went out to Russia and had dinner at his house, or compound I should say. We just ate, chilled, and hung out. He does a crazy physical workout every day. I don't know. He's really down to Earth. GQ.com

GQ: Was there a particular "New York moment" during the Hurricane? Did you see something that'd made you think, "That'd only happen in this city,"? Well, I don't know if you'd call this a "New York moment", but I definitely saw something I'd never seen before. The night all the power went out, I was standing out on my balcony, looking outside the window. Out of nowhere, I saw this big green flash across the sky. It wasn't lightning. It looked... It looked like a UFO. GQ: Nice. What was it really? A UFO. I'm telling you, man. GQ: You really think it was a UFO? I don't know, man. I'd never seen anything like that before. GQ.com

GQ: Lastly, an important question we've all been wondering. If there was a zombie takeover of Brooklyn, and you had to choose one teammate—current or ex—to fight them off, who are you taking? Oh, no question. Reggie Evans. He's tough. He's crazy. He'd have my back in any situation. You don't want someone who's going to run away and leave you when those zombies are coming at you. Reggie, he'd be there ‘til the end. I know he'd be fighting every last one with me. GQ.com

November 9, 2012 | 04:43 PM ET Update

Kobe Bryant: Tough day. I've seen coaches as well as friends come and go. No matter how many years I've been playing, it's still hard to deal with. I had a good relationship with Mike and I will continue to have one. I wish him and his family nothing but the best. I spoke with him today and thanked him for all of his hard work and sacrifice. As a team, we must focus our energy on tonight's game. We must block out the weight of today's news and simply do our jobs to the best of our ability. Mamba out Facebook.com

November 9, 2012 | 04:03 PM ET Update

Phil Jackson was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a Schwab event in Chicago next week that will have upwards of 3,000 attendees. In what was called a “last minute development”, the former Lakers and Bulls head coach will be replaced, of course, by Alan Alda. The Big Lead

Tyrone Corbin just shook his head. "Five games in a lot of things could change," the Jazz coach said. "It's a long season, I don't know what the expectations were. It's unfortunate it had to happen and it happened so soon." Word of Mike Brown's firing as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers quickly traveled to Denver, where the Jazz were shooting around at Pepsi Center. "It's unfortunate," Corbin said. "It's unfortunate anytime anybody loses a job like that, it's just unfortunate that it happened to him." Salt Lake Tribune

The Lakers end up finding a permanent replacement, among the names most commonly floated is former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. Folks around the Jazz were skeptical that the Hall of Famer would end up with the Lakers. "I doubt it happens," forward Paul Millsap said, "but it sounds good. It would be good to look over and see Coach Sloan over on the bench, but I doubt it's in L.A." Salt Lake Tribune

November 9, 2012 | 02:46 PM ET Update

Phil Jackson: While it isn't clear whether the Lakers have contacted their former coach yet, it is widely known that Jackson, 67, is healthy, ready to go and interested. It's worth remembering that the organization was expunged of nearly all signs of Jackson's reign, however, after he stepped down following the 2010 -11 season. Jackson's first lieutenant, Brian Shaw, left to become an assistant with the Pacers once it became obvious he was going to be passed over as Jackson's heir. The transition from the Princeton offense back to the triangle presumably would be smoother than the transition from whatever it was the Lakers were running last season to the Princeton. CBSSports.com

Shaw: It's difficult to lure an assistant under contract with another team for a head coaching position during the season, and the Pacers like Shaw and recently increased his salary to just under $1 million a year, sources say. Some view Shaw as a logical long-term choice, since he has no head coaching experience. But given the short leash with Brown, the Lakers obviously are not in the midst of a long-term plan here. And Shaw left L.A. with a bitter taste after being passed over as Jackson's replacement. CBSSports.com

Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers are dumping Princeton offense, sources tell Y! Sports. "This (firing) was about the offense, more than anything else," source says. Twitter @WojYahooNBA

The Bulls have a promotion through which fans can get a free Big Mac if the Bulls score 100 points in a home win. The Bulls won 99-93 as Noah missed his 3 with 3.8 seconds left. "I talked to him about it, but I'm going to keep that private," Thibodeau said after Wednesday's practice. ESPN.com

November 9, 2012 | 01:54 PM ET Update
November 9, 2012 | 01:39 PM ET Update
November 9, 2012 | 01:17 PM ET Update

Seattle looms as the greatest threat of all, with a group headed by billionaire Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer having already landed city council approval for a $490 million arena for professional basketball and hockey. The Maloof family that owns the Kings, that took it to such great heights during their glory days in the early 2000s and down to the lowest lows of late, has said consistently that they don't want to sell. But the mistrust in the Maloofs runs deep in these parts, and so the tension remains in what has become a most awkward arrangement between a once-beloved team and its city. "If somebody is going to pay an exorbitant price, and overpay, or do something very similar to what (Anaheim Ducks owner Henry) Samueli was going to do in Anaheim, if Chris Hansen is looking to do something like that, then that may be something that doesn't apply to us," Johnson told USA TODAY Sports. "All things being considered, I would like to believe that (the Maloofs) have a change of heart and are willing to consider selling at a fair price and that they would give us a chance to keep the team here in Sacramento." USA Today

What we do know is that T.I., who has been spotted at Atlanta Hawks games for years, will be helping to call the action for at minimum the first half of Friday night's Hawks/Miami Heat tilt, apparently joining the very good Bob Rathbun and fellow Duane Ferrell on the call. A press release announcing the addition also mentioned that: "T.I. will be available for media prior to the broadcast from 6:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.," but he'll probably just hide in the training room to avoid reporters pregame like most players do. I'd get taped up before hitting the airwaves, as well. Yahoo! Sports

November 9, 2012 | 01:04 PM ET Update

Mike Brown has been fired by the Los Angeles Lakers, according to his agent Warren Legarie. The Lakers are off to a 1-4 start and will play Golden State tonight at the Staples Center. USA Today Sports

Sources told ESPN.com that the Lakers, while having publicly expressed support for Brown in the wake of a 1-4 start, have privately grown sufficiently concerned about the state of the team to the point that management is prepared to look seriously at a coaching change at this early juncture if L.A. can't take advantage of what looks to be multiple winnable games in the upcoming stretch. ESPN.com

Although there are numerous quality coaches available for hire, sources stress that it's not yet clear what sort of direction L.A. would pursue if it decides that an early season change on the bench is unavoidable. Mike D'Antoni, Nate McMillan, Jerry Sloan and Howard's outspoken former coach in Orlando -- Stan Van Gundy -- are among the accomplished coaching names who are presently unattached. The prospect of Jackson's third stint coaching the Lakers is also sure to be talked about if the star-studded roster continues to slump. ESPN.com

The Shanghai team has officially reached an agreement with Gilbert Arenas. It is reported that the two sides signed a contract of the 1+1 type. The team will pick up the option for the second year based on Arenas' performance this season. 361 Sport

Cuban, who considered Kidd a close friend and made it clear that the future Hall of Fame point guard could always have a position with his franchise, felt betrayed. But time heals many wounds, so maybe Cuban isn't so mad four months later. "I was never pissed off, just disappointed," Cuban said. "But I'm done talking about it." ESPN.com

His shooting gives the Heat another dimension, especially because Lewis is 6 feet 10. He is 8 of 17 (47 percent) from 3-point range this season. "I think he's figuring out his role," guard Dwyane Wade said. "And his role, when he comes in, he's going to get opportunities. Take them. We want him to be aggressive. I think he's doing it a little bit quicker than all of us expected. He's getting comfortable in his role. If he keeps it up, he makes us a more deadly team when he comes in." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Oklahoma City Thunder's new alternates, officially released on Thursday, fall into the latter category. That doesn't mean the duds are no good, though. Rather, we think they're kind of cool; especially considering that the designers were working off of a relatively staid logo and pattern with the typical Thunder uniforms. Sure, they're a money-grab; but it's still a pretty fetching design: Yahoo! Sports

November 9, 2012 | 09:55 AM ET Update

After sitting out the previous two games with a mild concussion, New Orleans Hornets rookie forward Anthony Davis could be cleared to play for Friday night's game against the Charlotte Bobcats, according to sources close to the situation. Davis said after Thursday's practice that he is no longer experiencing recurring concussion symptoms such as headaches but continues to undergo tests required in the NBA's strict concussion policy. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Our reporter telephoned the vice general manager of Shanghai Basketball Chi Zhang. He said, "One million for Arenas? Who said that? There's still no final confirmation at the present moment. Arenas has already been to two training trials. If we do sign him, it will be for one season." Eastday.com

According to his agent, Baynes' performances have caught the eyes of several NBA general-managers. "There are two Western Conference teams closely following Aron, and after four rounds of Euroleague, there has been much more serious enquiries and interest shown," Moldovan commented. Specifying on what exactly attracts NBA teams to Baynes, Moldovan said, "they love the that he's a good free throw shooter (68% in Euroleague), which is rare for bigs in the NBA. Because Aron started playing ball so late, he is only now coming to his peak. Judging by the way he's playing now and the interest I'm getting -- the NBA is his next step -- it's now just a matter of finding the right fit for him," he said. Sportando

The plan was to return to Dallas, where he won a championship ring in 2011. Jason Kidd, now a Knick, said plans changed. “My first intention was to stay, but then looking into it and thinking it through, I thought this was a great opportunity, not only to play at the Garden but on a team that can be competitive,’’ Kidd said. “I talked to my family and we felt coming here was the best situation to be successful.’’ New York Post

Chandler, a former Mavericks teammate, said Kidd did the right thing, though Dallas owner Mark Cuban was fuming at the betrayal. “I wasn’t shocked because of the direction of the [Dallas] organization. Jason was coming down to the last years of his career. There’s great personnel here and he feels like he has another chance to win a championship,’’ Chandler said. New York Post

Westbrook again said something tonight that he’s repeatedly said in the past. KD’s the go-to guy down the stretch. It’s a stance Westbrook always has maintained and one that throws dirt on anyone who tries to claim Westbrook wants to be the man. “It was his time,” Westbrook said of Durant in crunch time. “Everybody knows that’s his time. And he took his time and got the shots he needed.” Oklahoman

Patience has been the team's mantra, but Gasol said there's passion behind it. "It seems like there's been a lot to deal with, like there's been quite a bit going on, but we do need to be consistent in improving and keeping that sense of urgency at all times," he said after the team's practice Thursday. "I think we're in a position that it's going to be there. We need it to function at our best. And it doesn't have to translate to stress or frustration or too much pressure. It's that healthy tension that keeps you on edge." Los Angeles Times

Brook Lopez said he didn’t let talk about possibly going to Orlando for Dwight Howard bother him. “It is what it is,’’ said Lopez, the Nets center who faces the Magic on Friday. “I don’t pay attention to sports media every day and watch TV and go on ESPN.com or anything like that. If my name was out there, I didn’t really know it too much. I obviously knew of the situation. I didn’t let it bother me that much.’’ Sulia

During the Bucks' 2-0 start, Brandon Jennings was leading the way with NBA-best averages of 13 assists and four steals. The 34 points he scored over those two games -- including a last-second three-pointer to beat the Cavaliers -- were inspired by the failure of his contract negotiations. "It's a humbling experience again for me," Jennings said of his inability to agree to an extension with the Bucks in advance of the Oct. 31 deadline, setting up the 23-year-old point guard to test the free-agent market after the season. The last time he had so much to prove was during the 2008-09 season, which he spent mainly on the bench as a 19-year-old in Italy. Coming off that experience, he put together a terrific NBA rookie year in which he started every game while leading the Bucks to the playoffs. "When I went to Europe it was humbling, and this one now -- not getting an extension,'' he said. "So I just go out there and play every game and I just push myself." SI.com

Wizards people talk about Seraphin’s strong work ethic; he actually enjoys being coached. Fans should look for Seraphin to start drawing double teams regularly. Then, sit back and watch as he beats them with his nifty footwork and nice shooting touch. You may not want to leave your seat when Seraphin has the ball down low. You just may miss seeing a great jump-hook shot. Washington Post

In short, the guy who dressed up as President Barack Obama for Halloween is considered by some to be the president of the Jazz locker room. “I’d have to go with Mo Williams for the president (of the locker room), because he talks a lot,” center Al Jefferson said Wednesday, the day after Obama was elected to a second term in office. “Vice president would probably be Paul (Millsap) because he doesn’t talk at all.” Standard-Examiner

The leader of the group – the massive, wide-bodied Mahorn – was in Sleep Train Arena, calling the game for Pistons radio, and he thought Robinson went over the edge. "That was dirty," Mahorn said Thursday when reached on his cellphone. "We all have mental lapses, but you don't take your frustration out in a way that will hurt somebody. I didn't have the physical gifts or the flight of a Dominique Wilkins. I used my body and my width to position. I would use my big (butt) to clear some room. "But we never tried to bust somebody in the mouth. You don't hit somebody in the face. You don't want to be that guy, because now everything he does is going to be looked at. The referees remember." Sacramento Bee

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook said Thursday he believed his friend and summer workout partner Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose would return a stronger player when he returns from his ACL injury. Rose tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Game 1 of a first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers last season and had surgery May 12. Typically the recovery time after the surgery is eight to 12 months. “Definitely, he’ll be stronger, definitely be a lot better after seeing him this summer, seeing how quickly he was getting better and better,” Westbrook said prior to Thursday’s game with the Bulls. “No doubt in my mind he will. He works hard at what he does, and he’ll definitely come back better determined and come back and try to be better.” ESPN.com

But some fans’ ire Wednesday was directed at Brown’s son, Elijah, who plays basketball at Mater Dei High. The Lakers coach, though, had no idea his son had received threats on Twitter despite having a friend monitor his son’s account. “That’s news to me,” Brown said after Thursday’s practice. “I will alert Lakers security. “That’s the tough part about this business. To go after somebody’s family or something like that is, in my opinion, just ridiculous. It’s stupid, crazy, whatever you want to call it. They (family members) have nothing to do with what’s going on right now.” Orange County Register

The coach’s son did receive support from Lakers’ family members — Kristen Blake, Steve’s wife, and Daniel Artest, the brother of Metta World Peace. Steve Blake and his family received death threats on Twitter during last season’s playoffs. Kristen Blake wrote on Twitter: “Leave Mike Brown’s son alone. What’s wrong with u people?! Stop attacking FAMILIES! How would you feel if YOUR family was treated like that?” Artest wrote: “Leave my homie @elijah_brown_4 alone tho. Says a lot about u attacking a kid online over a damn game” Orange County Register

"A top-five pick has a 42 percent chance of being an All-Star," added Hammond, referring to a 20-year study of NBA drafts. "In the last few years, we haven't been drafting in the top five. We've been in the 10-through-15 range the last four years, and it's difficult to do it that way. "I hate to say these kinds of things because when you're an NBA general manager and you say we're still trying to figure it out, people say you've got to give me something better than that. But sometimes that is the terminology that is appropriate for what we're going through right now. ... I hate to go to the word luck, but small-market teams still need that luck. You need that lottery ball or that pick to fall your way." SI.com

Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin and his teammates may get an assist from Wall Street in their quest for a National Basketball Association championship. General Manager Daryl Morey, a 40-year-old statistical analysis devotee, is seeking to fill two vacancies in his basketball operations department: an analyst and an intern. The team has received more than 1,100 resumes, about 20 percent from people working in finance. “Wall Street folks are great at forecasting, at using objective evidence in decision making,” Morey, who holds a Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a telephone interview. “And they’re often overworked and miserable. The smart ones figure out it might not be worth it.” San Francisco Chronicle

Chris Paul has yet to make a long-term commitment to the Los Angeles Clippers, but on Thursday he became the owner of a new Los Angeles professional sports team. Paul, along with former Los Angeles Rams running back Jerome Bettis, Terrell Owens and Kevin Hart, became the first celebrity owners in the inaugural season of the Professional Bowlers Association's PBA League. The PBA League will feature eight teams of five PBA players each and make its debut in January. ESPN will televise five weeks of PBA League competition beginning Jan. 27, plus the PBA League Elias Cup finals in April. ESPN.com

Paul will not be playing for his yet-to-be-named Los Angeles franchise but is an avid bowler. He has hosted the Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational charity bowling event on ESPN the past four years benefitting his CP3 Foundation. "This is exciting for me and for the sport of bowling," Paul told PBA.com. "I love PBA action, have enjoyed getting to know many of the top bowlers and look forward to my team competing for the first PBA League Elias Cup." ESPN.com

Darko Milicic: "(Last Friday) it took me two hours to get here from where I come from. There was traffic. I don't know where these people are going. New York is ten times bigger than Boston. It's worse here and this city is ten times smaller than New York. I don't understand where these people are coming from. It's wasted time. I hate traffic. I left an hour-and-a-half early and I thought I'd be here in a half (hour). It sure wasn't enough because it took me two hours." CSNNE.com

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