Vinny Del Negro, one of three candidates who interviewed to replace Karl when the Nuggets ultimately hired Shaw, also is expected to be on Denver’s radar, league sources say. Nate McMillan, who replaced Shaw on the Indiana bench under Frank Vogel in 2013, is another intriguing name.
October 13, 2015 | 6:35 am EDT Update
Speaking of time, Zeller hopes he has a lot of it in Boston. The 25-year-old is in the final year of his rookie contract, and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said there have been discussions about an extension. Ainge has until the end of the month on the extension, and he likes to wait as long as possible on these things. “I’ve heard that,” said Zeller with a smile. “Look, it’s one of those things that, would it be great to get one? Yeah. But at the same time, you know, I’ve got one more year on my contract. I love playing, and I’m just going to try to do whatever I can to play as well as I can. Whether I’ve got one year left or six years left, I’m just going to keep playing hard. . . . “Obviously I’d like to be around here a long time. I think it’s a great organization. But I’m a very religious person, so I just kind of have to see what God’s plan for me is, and whatever it is, it’ll play out and I’ll end up exactly where I’m supposed to be.”
So meet Cousins, the floor spacer. He has never liked being labeled as just a post player, so this season he will have the opportunity to show he’s more than that. “I don’t really consider myself a center,” Cousins said. “I’m just a basketball player. There’s so much I can do on the floor. People get stuck on the word ‘center,’ ‘big man’ and (are) kind of ignorant to the situation. I can’t really worry about that. I just go out there and do my job.”
Nene won’t be the first longtime starter to shift to the bench; it happens to plenty of players as they climb out of their prime. Wittman recently invoked the most famous recent example: Andre Iguodala, a former all-star, moving from the Golden State’s starting lineup to sixth man for the Warriors’ championship run. “I’m sure sometimes it is, but it happens all the time,” Wittman said when asked whether the conversion could be difficult for Nene. “The bottom line is the betterment of the team.”
In the offseason, dysfunction led the Sacramento headlines as Karl and center DeMarcus Cousins publicly feuded and owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Vlade Divac didn’t seem to know how to address the glitches. “Everything after I got fired in December only validated the job my staff was doing,” Malone said in a phone interview Monday. “Everything kind of went haywire after that, and in the end, it was a perfect scenario. … “By the end of it, I looked like John Wooden.”
Malone also will seek out Warriors general manager Bob Myers, who has widely supported the coach. Malone also said owner Joe Lacob and former GM Larry Riley deserve a lot of credit for creating a championship roster. Actually, Malone tried to credit just about everyone but himself. “The credit goes to the players,” Malone said. “I give Mark Jackson a ton of credit, and then obviously, I give a ton of credit to Coach (Steve) Kerr. I have so much respect for him, because so many coaches would have come into that situation and tried to change everything and taken the credit for everything. He showed so much character in giving Mark Jackson and the previous coaching staff so much credit.
Kerr had surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his back July 28, but during the procedure, the dura surrounding the spinal cord was nicked and caused spinal-fluid leakage. On Sept. 4, Kerr had a second operation to patch the leak, but five weeks later, he’s still having adverse symptoms while taking a leave of absence from the team. “The body forms spinal fluid constantly,” said Dr. Neel Anand, the director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles. “As long as it doesn’t continue to leak, he’ll make a full recovery and be back to normal.”
Cavs coach David Blatt didn’t even know Smith had purchased the cotton candy as the Cavs shooting guard spent the night at the end of the bench, one of five Cleveland players out for the night because of an injury. “I wasn’t aware of that,” Blatt said when asked about Smith’s cotton candy fix after the game. “You know, I’m going to use one of those lines that you always use when there’s something that happens. The team’s immediate response is: We are gathering further information and we will respond accordingly. I’m going to lay my hat on that one, if I may.”
But Spiro also believes if there’s a principled reason for going to trial, he understands his client’s wishes. Spiro wanted Sefolosha to know two things: By turning down a gift from the district attorney’s office, the prosecution would come after him hard in a trial, and Sefolosha needed to realize a conviction was possible. “It was important to me as a man, a father to two young girls and as a role model, to stand up for what I believe in and have my name cleared of any wrongdoing,” Sefolosha said in a lengthy statement.
Sefolosha had support from his team, the Atlanta Hawks, the National Basketball Players Association, the NBA and family and friends. “It’s troubling to me that with so much evidence in my support that this case would even be brought to trial and that I had to defend myself so hard to get justice,” Sefolosha said. “It pains me to think about all of the innocent people who aren’t fortunate enough to have the resources, visibility and access to quality legal counsel that I have had.”
October 12, 2015 | 9:57 pm EDT Update
Derrick Rose may be cleared to begin activity within a week, and be able to practice shortly thereafter, Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Monday. The Bulls haven’t ruled Rose out for the opening game of the regular season against Cleveland Oct. 27. He had surgery Sept. 30 on a fractured left orbital bone suffered in practice a day earlier. “Derrick, hopefully in another week, will be able to start getting active again, and then hopefully start practicing shortly thereafter,” Hoiberg said. Rose was at the United Center for the Bulls’ preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night, but likely wouldn’t be on the bench, Hoiberg said. “He’s still getting a little bit of blurred vision, so I feel it’s best for him to watch the game in the back,” Hoiberg said. “But I know he’s excited to be here and be with the guys in the locker room.”
October 12, 2015 | 7:27 pm EDT Update
Alex Kennedy: Former NBA player Josh Selby has signed a contract to play in the AmeriLeague, according to sources. http://t.co/KamCJjjXdk
Serena Winters: Byron on D’Angelo: “It was the same w/ Magic, when he came down the court, you made sure your hands were ready & you were looking because even if Magic wasn’t looking at you, he could fire a pass to you. D’Angelo has a lot of that type of instinct in him”
KC Johnson: Rose didn’t have formal session w/ reporters but said he’s feeling better and fitted for mask tomorrow as he walked through locker room. Rose’s eye is still swollen.