Thanks but no thanks was the message Connecticut men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie essentially delivered Wednesday when he issued a statement regarding the rumors he is an NBA coaching candidate. “As I have said many times, I am proud and honored to be the head basketball coach at the University of Connecticut and I have no plans to pursue other opportunities,” Ollie said, per NBC Sports. “We are already excited about next season and I am looking forward to preparing our team to be the best we can be on the court, in the classroom and in our community.”
August 29, 2015 | 6:58 am EDT Update
Buss, who shares the majority ownership of the Lakers with his five siblings, said the Lakers’ franchise is not on the market. “There is no point to sell, because it’s a family business,” he said. “We have Jesse [Buss] who runs the scouting and does an incredible job. Joey [Buss], who is the business side and runs the D-Fenders and does a great job. They’re the future of the Lakers. “We’re not going to sell, that’s all there is to it.”
In February, Lakers Coach Byron Scott downplayed his use of analytics but has since gone on record, via radio on The Beast 980, that he’ll “use analytics a lot more” this season. On Thursday, Lakers part-owner and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss told The Times, “We’ve been using them for quite a long time. That’s basically [on] what I make all my decisions, is my own analytics.”
Buss said the team has relied on an analytics staff for “six [or] seven years, but before that we were breaking down shot charts, everything we could get our hands on.” To the notion the Lakers are behind the times, Buss simply disagrees. “It’s an unfair assessment,” he said. “We don’t announce what we do … if we are ahead of the game why would we tell people what we’re doing, so that they can catch up?”
Chinese powerhouse Guangdong Southern Tigers is considering to sign Jamaal Franklin as second foreigner. The player arrived for the training camp and coach Du Feng already told the decision on him has not yet been taken.
Former Dayton Flyers guard Jordan Sibert traveled to Florida on Friday and will sign soon with the Orlando Magic, he said. He will compete for a spot on the team during training camp. “New journey. Same mission,” he wrote on Instagram.
The Lakers absorbed Hibbert into their cap room in July, giving up just a 2019 second-round pick in a trade the team had lined up with the Indiana Pacers before they tried the free-agent market for bigger names like DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge. “We had him locked up,” said Buss. “Larry Bird, [Pacers president of basketball operations], is a man of his word, and he basically said he we have a deal … It was contingent on [the Lakers not signing a big dollar free agent].” “He was fine with that,” he continued. “Bird wanted to put the kid into a spotlight like this.”
Dexter Pittman: «LeBron doesn’t need to work so hard because God gave him all for basketball. LeBron is like Superman. Some years ago there were LeBron and Kobe, now he’s above everybody. He’s a great basketball teacher and if I speak a lot with my teammates is because he taught me how to read the game. Only Chris Paul is as intelligent as him; he sees what will happen before it happens.»
One of the big questions for the coming season is Bryant’s role. How many minutes can the 38-year-old veteran play? “[Bryant] and Byron talk daily,” said Buss, deferring the answer to the team’s coach. “I think they’ve got a game plan of how they’re going to handle it.”
Pitino’s debut at the Pan Am Games in July underscored just how daunting a task he had undertaken. It featured a 92-59 drubbing at the hands of Brazil. Then came another 30-point plus loss to Team USA. However, since then that initial rag-tag Puerto Rican squad has been upgraded for the next week’s FIBA Americas Championship Olympic qualifier in Mexico City. But the reality is the team is overmatched. Just don’t tell that to Pitino. “I don’t regret this at all,” Pitino said. “Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] and Brett Brown both told me I’d learn a lot — and I have.”
While Pitino’s family couldn’t quite comprehend (and still can’t) his reasons for this summer-long commitment, Pitino decided to coach Puerto Rico for several reasons: (1) to learn new ideas; (2) the sheer challenge to get Puerto Rico into the Olympics and (3) it offered his new-look Louisville team valuable experience playing against a group of pros.
In addition to considering streaming options, the team has had meetings with a number of traditional cable outlets. The Clippers’ local TV rights represent a major return on Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the team. National rights for the league have skyrocketed, with the NBA scoring a nine-year, $24 billion deal from ESPN and Turner Sports that begins with the 2016-17 season.
If the Clippers decide to pursue online broadcasting, a hybrid method is a strong possibility. The team could still air games via traditional methods while offering enhanced viewing options to online subscribers. It’s also possible the threat of taking the Clippers online is merely a bargaining chip for Ballmer.
Luol Deng of the @MiamiHeat fled South Sudan as a child with his family and has been working tirelessly to end the conflict there ever since. Luol has directly engaged opposition and government leaders to lobby for a sustainable peace in the country. He’s leading South Sudanese youth and the diaspora in advocating for unity with his South Sudan Unite initiative. That’s why today, he met with President Obama in the Oval Office to discuss the situation in South Sudan. After the meeting, Luol said the President thanked him for his efforts and asked for his advice on how the United States can best support the peace agreement signed this week.
2K Sports has now revealed the NBA 2K16 player rating for Kobe Bryant. Some might say the rating is too low for someone as talented as him. Ronnie2K tweeted out the photo you see above. The “Black Mamba” has a player rating of 85. This is the lowest rating he has ever received in a NBA 2K game before.
Perry Jones: Damn man a 69?? Wtf I’m nice .. And where my tats at?? This me from 2011, but naw I’m just happy to be on the game .. But that update better be daily SH*T!!!!! @nba2k @ronnie2k #nba2k16. Oh yeah I forgot .. To ALL haters and doubters.. check bal
After privately expressing a great deal of interest in former Bleacher Report NBA writer Ethan Skolnick and ESPN’s Israel Gutierrez as Dan Le Batard’s successors in afternoon drive, The Ticket has decided to open up the search and consider other options, in addition to those two former Miami Herald sports writers.
August 28, 2015 | 5:35 pm EDT Update
Toure’ Murry, who spent five games with the Wizards last season on a 10-day contract and joined them for the Las Vegas Summer League, will return on a non-guaranteed deal for training camp next month, CSNmidatlantic.com was told by a person with knowledge of the situation.
August 28, 2015 | 4:09 pm EDT Update
Charles Barkley, appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, talked about how he never found Dawkins in a bad mood — he was always “jovial.” Dawkins had become an ambassador of the game, someone beloved by all. And someone who will be missed.