Marc Stein: ESPN sources say former Sacramento Kings coach Mike Malone has secured a second interview with the Denver Nuggets for their coaching vacancy
July 31, 2015 | 11:23 am EDT Update
The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed Montana native Josh Huestis to a four-year contract. Huestis is a 6-foot-7-inch, 230-pound forward who was chosen by the Thunder with the 29th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He agreed to a “draft and stash” that called for him to play in the NBA Developmental League last season at a salary of about $25,000. He averaged 10.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assist and nearly 1.6 blocked shots per game for the Oklahoma City Blue.
Hawks player Mike Scott bonded out following his arrest on felony drug charges in Banks County, according to a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson. A court date is pending. It could take several days for the case to be put on a court calendar, according to the Banks County Superior Court Clerk’s office.
Scott had a bond of $8,100 after being arrested and charged with felony possession of marijuana and possession of Schedule I drug (MDMA known as Molly) Thursday morning. His brother, Antonn Scott, posted a bond of $9,300 after he was arrested and charged with with fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement officers, following too closely, felony possession of marijuana and possession of Schedule I drug.
Scott was likely on his way to Virginia at the time of the incident. He is scheduled to conduct his second annual basketball camp for youth on Saturday. The event was scheduled at his alma mater Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. It’s unknown whether the event will be held. Scott could face disciplinary action from the Hawks and the NBA. The league does not have to wait until the legal process is concluded, pending the conclusion of its own investigation, to hand down disciplinary measures.
July 31, 2015 | 10:40 am EDT Update
One league source told NetsDaily it will be a long time, if ever, before the Nets pay the luxuy tax again. Part of his thinking is that they will go into next summer with $40 million in cap space, enough to pursue a star or more likely, pay two of three good players … some of whom may be their own.
Could Embiid be waiting for the surgery? Is the Sixers’ potential franchise center trying to avoid a second operation after having two screws inserted into his navicular bone on his foot 13½ months ago, which caused him to miss his rookie campaign? Did Embiid already have surgery? Is he recuperating in Los Angeles or someplace else? The answer to these and other questions is: your guess is as good as mine. If the Sixers know, they’re not saying. The fans want to — and deserve to — know.
The Sacramento Kings have agreed to hire Nancy Lieberman as an assistant coach, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced. In a late-night text message to USA TODAY Sports, Lieberman called Thursday, “a crazy, wonderful day.” For at least the past year, Lieberman had been interested in joining an NBA team as a coach and has worked at high-profile camps last summer instructing NBA players.
July 31, 2015 | 7:20 am EDT Update
Even before the Nets pursued buyout talks with Deron Williams, ownership and management were always lukewarm about dealing Joe Johnson. As one league source told NetsDaily, the Nets were never aggressively marketing the 6’8″ swingman. The preference was always to dump Williams. There may have been perfunctory talks with Memphis and Cleveland, based on LeBron James desire to add him to the Cavs mix after an injury-marred post-season had deprived them of scoring power, but as far as pushing him and his $24.9 million contract, it wasn’t a top priority. Getting rid of D-Will was.
Moreover, various sources inside the Nets have suggested that the departure of D-Will is likely to help Johnson rebound. It was no secret that the two didn’t get along. That famous Johnson tweet back in early November was believed to be about his relationship with Williams.
One insider, asked after the buyout if the Nets were still pursuing a Johnson trade, said no. He volunteered there was probably no one more pumped about the buyout than Johnson. “I am sure Joe will have a tremendous season,” he added with a smile.
At this point, the Pelicans’ qualifying could end up as the most money Cole may be offered on the open market in free agency. Although the Philadelphis 76ers have been one of the teams that have expressed interest, according to sources, the Pelicans can also match any offer Cole receives.
”As far as Norris, I haven’t really talked to him,” Davis said. ”I’m kind of out of that situation, I’ll let Dell (Demps) and Coach (Alvin) Gentry do what they do.I know they are going to make the right decision. But we definitely hope he can come back. ”We would definitely love to him back with no question. We know that they are doing their best to bring everybody back. He’s one of those guys they want to bring back.”
Sources have indicated a great divide in the Knicks organization over the baggage-laden Ledo, with the front office more in love than the coaching staff with his skills. Knicks coach Derek Fisher has made it clear talent isn’t the most important determinant. Ledo’s axing is expected to pave the way for the long-awaited signing of Antetokounmpo, according to sources. The defensive swingman was the Knicks’ 2014 second-round pick. Antetokounmpo, 23, had an up-and-down season in the D-League, but should find his way to training camp on some variation of a partial guarantee.
Josh Smith: Let’s just look at what I actually said so we don’t get it twisted. This is the quote people shared: “It wasn’t about the money because of the Detroit situation, but at the end of the day, I do have a family, so it is going to be a little harder on me this year. But I’m going to push through it and try to do something long-term after this year.” The whole thing about it being “harder on me” comes down to family. It seems obvious to me, but maybe I could have said it more clearly. If you know the NBA, you know that moving to a new team is a decision that affects an athlete’s whole family. That’s even more true when you’re signing a one-year deal. With a one-year deal, there’s less stability because you know you might be moving again in a year.
Josh Smith: So I’m out there power-walking with the fam. My first response was, OK, who cares how a few people interpreted it? I know everyone on the Internet likes to be judgmental at one point or another. I try not to be too sensitive to any one thing. But it’s funny, because if you look at my whole statement, no one present at the press conference had any issue with it. Everyone seemed to know what I meant. It wasn’t until later that it took on a life of its own.
“Well, I think offense wasn’t really too much of an issue last year,” Gasol said on a conference call from South Africa, where he’s taking part in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders event, which culminates with the first-ever NBA exhibition in Africa on Aug. 1. “We have a lot of talent offensively, and I think we’ll play with better flow offensively with Fred. We’ll have more freedom to play in transition and explore our abilities as individuals and as a team. As long as we understand that defense wins championships and makes the difference, and make sure we don’t neglect that side, we should be fine.”
One of the best stories going through the grapevine in Vegas was that at some practice, KG ripped into Pek for not getting back on defense — hit him with “motherfucker” and everything. And no one had ever seen anyone talk to Pek like that, because he’s Pek and he’s scary. Do you remember that? Flip Saunders: That happened during the season, in his very first practice with us. People were talking about it in Vegas, because KG came out and did a shootaround with us there, and people couldn’t believe how energetic he was. And we said, “Well, you should have seen him when he ‘motherfucked’ Pek because he didn’t get back on defense during a dummy drill.” No one had ever seen that with Pek. That’s KG. He always said that living up to his contract meant giving everything he had, in practices and games. He expects that from everyone on the team. A guy like Pek has never been pushed. How did Pek react? Flip Saunders: He put his damn head down and started running fast. That’s the thing about KG: He’s running back faster than anyone. If a Hall of Famer, one of the greatest power forwards ever, is doing that at 38, how can you not do it?
And yet despite his consistent success over the course of his 14-year NBA career, the Bulls center is mindful of how quickly a team’s fortunes can change, meaning every opportunity to chase a title is a crucial one. “The window is very small. You never know when it’s going to close. You just know it’s going to close fast,” Gasol told reporters on a conference call from South Africa, where he’s participating in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program. “You just don’t know exactly when. So you do have to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along, and we have a great opportunity.”
OK, so, what stories do you break out when people ask you how nuts the CBA was in the 1980s and 1990s? Flip Saunders: There are so many, some you could never tell publicly. But you’d be doing deals with another GM at like 3 a.m., and there was no trade call like there is today. We’d just call Jim Tooley’s office2 and leave voice mails, and, boom, that meant the trade was done. And then the next day, one GM would try to beg out of the deal. Because, let me tell you, if you get a coach after six beers at 4 a.m. in Cedar Rapids, they will trade you something for nothing. The two times I won championships, I traded for big-time scorers at 3 a.m. and gave up nothing.
Bob Ortegel, who has been connected to Mavericks basketball on television and radio since 1988, told Fox Sports Southwest on Thursday he has worked his final studio show. He’s retiring. Ortegel, 74, has been a regular on the cable network’s Mavericks live studio shows since December, 2011. He joined Mavericks game broadcasts as a TV analyst in 1988. He was removed by Mark Cuban in February 2011.
Aminu is also a descendant from a line of Nigerian kings. “My grandfather and my great grandfather were both kings,” he said. “Last year I was able to go to the city in Nigeria where my Dad is from. And I was able to see the mosque that they built where my grandfather was buried.” During the week the group is doing far more than just basketball related activities like clinics and camps before the game on Saturday. He’s looking forward to visiting an orphanage in Johannesburg and one later in the month when he visits Ethiopia.
So on Thursday, Business Insider reached out to Cuban — via his Cyber Dust app — to ask if he would consider running for vice president if asked by Trump, a fellow billionaire. “Would I consider?” Cuban responded. “Yes.” However, the “Shark Tank” star and outspoken investor said he would probably not end up accepting the hypothetical offer. “Would I do it. Probably not,” he continued. “I’m not cut out for politics. At least [the] way they are now. Maybe in the future if Trump truly impacts how the game is played.”
July 30, 2015 | 9:48 pm EDT Update
Hawks forward Mike Scott faces felony drug charges after he was arrested in Banks County on Thursday morning. Scott, who just completed his third season with the Hawks, was arrested along with his brother, Antonn Imhotep Scott, for possession of marijuana and MDMA, known as Molly.
According to a report from the Banks County Sheriff’s office, deputies attempted to stop a Chevrolet Tahoe on Interstate 85 driven by Antonn Scott for following too closely to other vehicles at 9 a.m. The vehicle failed to yield to police and reached a speed of up to 98 mph. The vehicle traveled for two miles before finally stopping for police. The deputies found over an ounce of marijuana and 10.9 grams of MDMA. The two were arrested and taken to the Banks County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Center. Mike Scott, 27, of Smyrna, was charged with felony possession of marijuana and possession of Schedule I drug.