“No matter how (the season) ends, I think Timmy is going to look at (retirement) again,” Popovich told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “And if you ask me, my guess is that he’ll go for another one because he has been so consistent this season. It’s just consistent stuff: another double-double, over and over and over again. Because of that, I think in his mind that if it continues through the rest of the year, I think he’ll say, ‘I’m going to go another year and see what happens.’ Because what he has told me is that the minute he feels like he’s a hindrance to his team or he’s not on the positive end or helping him, he’s going to walk right off the court. It might be during the third quarter of a game. He’s not going to hang on to finish a contract or make the money or have the notoriety that you know he doesn’t give a (expletive) about. So the way he’s playing now, he’s going to look in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, I’m doing all right.’ ”
November 30, 2015 | 12:05 pm EST Update
Shams Charania: The Wizards are planning to waive forward Martell Webster, league source tells Yahoo. Webster has one year left on deal, partial guarantee.
These Rockets were just scrappy. Maybe the flash from last season won’t ever return as Bickerstaff continues to find consistent rotation minutes for the bench, manage Howard’s minutes and attempt to get the effort the previous coach did not. “We’re kinda ticking the clock right now,” Bickerstaff said. “Things are turning in the right direction for us, but with us, we understand it is everyday. We can’t afford right now with the position we’re in to take any steps backwards. We can’t get too comfortable, too confident because we won a game. This game is over with now, and we fly to Detroit and we got to prepare ourselves to get a win in Detroit.”
In your role as the Lakers general manager, what was the toughest cut that you ever had to make? Probably the worst thing that I had to do, and I was almost forced to do it, was trading Nick Van Exel to Denver. He was one of my favorite players of all time, but he obviously wasn’t very happy with me because I would try, from a different position as a GM, to get him to understand that there are just certain things that you have to do in this league in order to survive. I told him that he had to be able to live with his coaches and live with his teammates, but there were just a whole bunch of things that happened that would not allow that to go forward. The thing that I liked about Nick was that he had an unbelievably difficult life growing up. He was so competitive, so it was a really sad day for me when I had to trade him.
The other one that was very similar was when I traded Norm Nixon. He and Magic Johnson both needed the ball to be successful. Jerry Buss and I talked about them and I said, “I don’t call Magic Johnson ‘Magic Johnson.’ I always call him Earvin Johnson, but he was Magic Johnson when he had the basketball in his hands. When he played and he didn’t have the ball in his hands, he was Earvin Johnson.” I think our fans got to expect Magic Johnson instead of Earvin Johnson. He and Norm were too similar in the way they played the game. They both needed the ball. Those were horrible days for me and I will never forget that Jack Nicholson, who was an incredible Lakers fan, wore black to our games for a solid month. He and I finally had to have a talk about that.
I know there were some communications breakdowns between you and Jerry Buss near the end, but how difficult was it for you, after all those years in the organization, to actually decide to leave the Lakers? It was probably the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life, Larry. Really? Oh yeah. I am very realistic about things. Most people don’t realize that we have a shelf life at one place. My shelf life was up there.