Master P wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted to coach the Pelicans … telling TMZ Sports he’s signed with one of the biggest agencies in sports to help him get the job!!! Remember, the rap legend told us earlier this week about his desires to lead his hometown team … saying he’d be the guy to bring in wins and keep young superstar Zion Williamson happy.
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“Right now, I just hired a sports agent,” P says. “So, you know, to be an NBA coach, you have to have a sports agent.” But, it’s not just any sports agent — P says he’s teaming up with Roc Nation Sports’ Raymond Brothers … a fellow Louisiana guy who’s repped players from the Ball Bros. to Caron Butler to Zach Randolph.
As for his coaching staff?!? He’s already got a guy lined up. “I talked to John Lucas, he’s willing to support me and come with me on this journey. So, I will have John Lucas that knows the X’s and O’s on the staff with me to make this happen. So, I got all the pieces to the puzzle.” “I think this will be history!!!”
The candidacy of Jacque Vaughn as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans is “gaining traction”, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Vaughn was previously head coach of the Orlando Magic and has been an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets since 2016.
“I’m not saying he’s going to get his job because Charles Lee on the Bucks’ staff is also going to be a strong candidate. The word coming out of Chicago at the draft combine is that Jacque Vaughn, who is close to Trajan Langdon… Jacque Vaughn is going to get a real serious look and has interviewed I believe with the Pelicans.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans has permission to interview Brooklyn assistant Jacque Vaughn and Milwaukee assistant Charles Lee for the franchise’s head coaching job, sources tell ESPN.
One reason for optimism is that several NBA sources tell The Undefeated that there is high interest from teams to hire African American coaches who could perhaps relate more strongly with the league’s predominantly Black players. ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan said on The Jump on June 17 that the Celtics want to hire “a coach of color” in acknowledged efforts to bring diversity to their franchise. Other sources said the Pelicans would like to add an African American head coach who could relate well with star forward Zion Williamson and the Wizards are interested in hiring a Black head coach, too.
Will Guillory: Griffin says he spoke with Teresa Weatherspoon today. He said her candidacy is “premature” and people may have read too much into her being named the team’s Summer League coach.
Christian Clark: Pelicans interviewed 9 candidates for head coach last year. Team will look at several of those candidates again this year. Others not in that pool will be considered as well.
Jake Madison: David Griffin says the decision to part ways with SVG was “wrought in our philosophical differences in how we get to our next step.” Let’s hope he clarifies what those philosophical differences are
Scott Kushner: David Griffin said he thinks SVG and his staff did a remarkable job and that he’s a tremendous basketball coach. Admits his comments today will be incongruous.
Scott Kushner: I’ve been told by several people the discussions between David Griffin and Stan Van Gundy have gone very well, and there’s “an obvious mutual respect there”. This isn’t to say SVG is the front runner — but he’s clearly a viable candidate.
The New Orleans Pelicans are planning to interview Lue in the near future too, sources said. Lue and Pelicans Executive VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin have strong ties, most notably working together to win an NBA title in Cleveland in 2016.
With such so much on the line, it will be important for the Pelicans to conduct a thorough search process and not rush the decision. Griffin has probably been thinking of potential targets for a while now, but some surprise candidates could reveal themselves in the days ahead. The best person might not be on the list of obvious candidates NBA insiders will promote in the days ahead. Payton had no name recognition or head coaching experience when Loomis hired him to lead the Saints in 2006, and the team has never been the same since. Griffin said he plans to take his time, and that’s exactly what he should do.
Danny Leroux: I have been banging this drum for a while but it feels like this is setting up for D’Antoni coaching the Pelicans. Kurt Helin: I mentioned this on the radio in New Orleans yesterday. D’Antoni to the Pelicans (after the Rockets are eliminated) is something to watch.
Scott Kushner: A lot of names will be bandied about in the next few days. The No. 1 priority is finding someone who is capable of connecting with Zion Williamson and building a trust with him to fully unleash him. I don’t think NBA HC experience matters. Personality does.
Marc Stein: Clippers assistant coach Ty Lue and Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd are expected to be prime candidates for the Pelicans’ coaching vacancy, league sources say, with Lue and Kidd also both on the Nets’ list of prospective candidates when Brooklyn’s search starts in earnest soon
If it happens, though, here’s one scenario worth remembering: Mike D’Antoni, the Houston Rockets coach who will be a free agent this summer and who worked with Griffin during those Seven-Seconds-or-Less Phoenix Suns days of old, comes to usher Zion Williamson into Year No. 2 of his career while the Pelicans look to upgrade their offense (they were 16th in offensive rating this season; D’Antoni is an offensive mastermind).
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry worked with Griffin with the Suns, and he interviewed Griffin for the Cavaliers’ head coaching job that eventually went to David Blatt. Gentry is a favorite of the organization, and he was expected to return next season regardless of the front office hiring, sources said.
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July 30, 2021 | 9:44 pm EDT Update
While he won’t be back as one of their two-way players at this point, Devontae Cacok is still returning to the team he won a championship with in 2020, as he will be playing for the Lakers’ summer league team in Las Vegas, a league source told Silver Screen and Roll.
Alex Kennedy: Jānis Timma will play with the Orlando Magic in Summer League, a source told @basketbllnews. Memphis selected him 60th in the 2013 NBA Draft, then Orlando acquired his draft rights in 2015. The 29-year-old has an impressive overseas résumé, playing for Olympiacos, Khimki, etc.
After going undrafted Thursday night, former Kentucky Wildcat Olivier Sarr has signed a deal to play on the NBA Summer League roster with the Memphis Grizzlies.