Ira Winderman: Jimmy Butler to ESPN's Rachel Nichols on James Harden, "Thereās a lot of stuff always in the media. I think that he's a hell of player. I like the group we have. To tell you the truth, I just want the guy to be happy. Thatās what life is about. That's what the game is about."
May 6, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
One day after ESPN reported coach Nate Bjorkgren faces an uncertain future with Indiana, the new coach blamed himself for any communication problems with players and those in the organization. āYou know I donāt make excuses for things,” he told reporters before the game. āIām a young coach. Iām learning, Iām growing and Iām trying to be better. This is on me. Iām the head coach and fingers should be pointed at me. I love coaching this team and the relationships with these coaches and players, I’ve just got to keep getting better.”
J. Michael Falgoust: This is what led up to the Greg Foster blow up with Bitadze. He let Harkless get to the rim for a 2nd chance dunk and got scolded for not contesting. Bitadze responds w/ a 3 and when he runs back you can read his lips pretty clearly. āSit the f$&@ down.ā That did it #PacersKings pic.twitter.com/oFEmdUpPUl
Scott Agness: Bjorkgren arrived. He says theyāre āin a frustrating stretch. Competitive juices are flowing.ā He has talked individually with Goga Bitadze and assistant Greg Foster about their confrontation.
According to several NBA officials, among the coaches who are on shaky ground are Sacramentoās Luke Walton, Washingtonās Scott Brooks, Houstonās Stephen Silas, Orlandoās Steve Clifford and Indianaās Nate Bjorkgren
Some of those NBA officials are now wondering whether Budenholzerās time in Milwaukee is about to expire ā especially if the Bucks donāt make a deep playoff run. āBud knows the situation heās in,āā an NBA executive, who knows Budenholzer, said. āThereās a lot of pressure on him, no doubt. He didnāt do so good in the playoffs the last two seasons even with maybe the best player in the league (Giannis). āNow, that they got Holiday. They gave up a fortune for him. So, heās feeling the heat. I think they have to get to the Finals for him to keep his job.āā Another NBA official echoes those comments, saying, āHeās on the hot seat. He has to win big in the playoffs. This is a tough business; itās a bottom-line business.āā
A league source also suggested Budenholzerās future in Milwaukee could hinge on another factor. āIāve heard things about his relationship with the Greek Freak,āā the official said. āIāve heard itās not the best. I heard Giannis accepts things from him and respects him because heās the head coach.
Harrison Wind: Nikola Jokic on Michael Malone: “The guy gave me everything. The guy gave me the freedom. He lead me. He showed me the way. And we built a great relationship…itās more than basketball. Itās six years of building something together.”