Roland Beech: Sources: After two years in Sacramento, Roland Beech, VP of Basketball Results, leaving Kings. Beech was well-paid analytics hire from Mavs.
April 19, 2018 | 5:09 am EDT Update
TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
Mark Jackson, another Queens product, and former Knicks point guard, and former Knicks coach Mike Woodson each interviewed for the head-coaching post Wednesday in Los Angeles. There is one speculated scenario in which both Jackson and Woodson (who worked under Mills during the 2013-14 season) could be brought back into the organization: with Jackson as head coach and Woodson as a top assistant. According to a source, Knicks brass is aware of Jackson’s run-ins with his assistant coaches while he was head coach at Golden State and hope, if he is hired, that he surrounds himself with a more cohesive staff.
As for the Knicks’ next coach, O’Quinn said he is taking a wait-and-see approach and doesn’t get too caught up in the names he’s hearing. “Rumors have some truth to them, so you listen to them just like anybody else,” O’Quinn said. “But, rumors really don’t materialize until the gavel hits the desk. Until it happens, that’s when I’ll really believe. I don’t live with the rumors.”
Kyle O’Quinn said he hasn’t made up his mind about the opt-out clause in his contract with the Knicks and instead has focused on taking care of another important decision. O’Quinn said he has hired a new agent after his name was among more than 25 players who appeared in a February Yahoo! Sports report that said he took loans from former NBA agent Andy Miller and ASM Sports agency while in college at Norfolk State. O’Quinn denied the report at the time and has switched to Priority Sports agency. His next decision is whether to activate the $4.26-million player option with the Knicks this summer.
After a 100-97 win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday in which the Cleveland Cavaliers needed 46 points from LeBron James to even their Eastern Conference first-round series, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue challenged the rest of the team to step up. “I need to see more out of a lot of guys,” Lue said in his postgame news conference.
Per ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin, James addressed the ways Cleveland used its lineup in the regular season: “I think we spent so much time trying to figure out who we were in the regular season and getting the right lineups and guys in and out and things of that nature, we could never build for the playoffs. It was kind of like, build for the next game. So the postseason finally hit us and it hit us very well. And I think that can be the best teacher for us to know exactly what we should be ready for tonight.”
When New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry thinks about the best two-way players in the NBA, he thinks about a guy on his own roster. He thinks about a player who has been a force at both ends in the Pelicans’ two playoff victories at Portland. He thinks about Jrue Holiday. “I may be a bit biased,” Gentry conceded, “but if you can tell me a better two-way player in the league right now, I’m willing to listen. But what we ask him to do and the things we ask him to do offensively, he was just great tonight.”
Any time you’re doing something better than Michael Jordan, especially in the playoffs, you’re really doing something. And with 55 points in his first two playoff games, including 28 in a 102-95 Game 2 win over the Thunder on Wednesday, Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell topped Jordan’s record for most points by a guard in his initial two postseason contests.