Earlier today on ESPN’s Mike And Mike In The Morning 11-time championship coach Phil Jackson alluded to his reaction when he was told by Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak that he would not be re-hired by the Lakers in favor of ex Suns/Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. It was almost a given that Jackson would return to the head coaching role left open by the recently fired Mike Brown, and no one expected the complete 180 Lakers management did that night. Calling Jackson at midnight to inform him that D’Antoni was the right man for the job over Jackson, considering the current roster including Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Phil had kept quiet about the incident for the duration of the season, with many fans calling for Mike D’Antoni’s head and the ever present chant of “We Want Phil!” echoing around the Staples Center on a nightly basis. Even then he kept quiet. But on the eve of the release of his new book Eleven Rings: The Soul Of Success, Jackson has become more vocal about a number of topics, including that of the choice to hire D’Antoni.
This powerful, tall, shot blocker currently plays his ball out of the University of Kentucky, so it would be safe to say he is coming from good stock. Currently being touted as one of the best shot blockers to come along in years and is known for having a fantastic work ethic. Whispers are suggesting that he is just as good as last years Draft Number One – Anthony Davis, so we should be in for a real treat. Not only does he possess great length (7′ 4″ wingspan) but his body is NBA ready. Noel is also known to have great steals ability for such a big man. This exciting prospect is currently predicted to go at Number 2, which would see him fall to the Orlando Magic.
The NBA Draft Lottery is coming right up, and with 14 teams having a chance at winning the number one pick in the impending draft, nerves are certain to be creeping up on planty of the league’s GM’s. Amongst the prospects NBA teams will be vying for are Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, Kansas Shooting Guard Ben McLemore and Georgetown Swingman Otto Porter. All are expected to go with high picks. Below are the top 14 teams with the lowest winning records from the past NBA season’s chances (%) of winning the 2013 lottery.
Charlotte Bobcats owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan has today announced that his struggling franchise will be returning to their old moniker the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014/15 season. Jordan advised the team has submitted the name change paperwork which will allow the team to become the Charlotte Hornets once again. This is an exciting prospect for long-time fans of the NBA who all have fond memories of the Charlotte Hornets through the late 80′s to early 2000′s, lead by such greats as Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson and Muggsy Bogues before the team migrated south to New Orleans in 2002.
In news this morning reported by Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, The LA Clippers have informed coach Vinny Del Negro that he will not be returning after 3 seasons with the club. After months of speculation surrounding his job’s stability, the team finally informed Del Negro of their intention to not renew his contract following the team’s disappointing first round exit of the 2013 Playoffs.
Vice President of basketball operations Gary Sacks had this to say of Del Negro:
“We would like to thank Vinny for everything he did during his three years with the organization. Vinny helped this team win a Pacific Division title and we greatly appreciate all that he and his staff helped us accomplish. This was a difficult decision, but we feel this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward.”
Some have questioned the move considering Del Negro guided the Clippers to their most successful season in franchise history including their first 50 win year, a 17 game win streak, a 16-0 line in December, and their first ever Pacific Division title ever. One has to wonder if the playing group had lost their respect and desire to play for Vinny Del Negro with the rise of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin being the team’s main focus moving forward.
There is no word as to what the Clippers have planned in regards to a replacement, but the rumors are sure to escalate as time goes by. Byron Scott has been mentioned as a possible candidate considering his close relationship with Chris Paul. We’ll keep you updated.
A nasty fall in Game 5 sees Harrison Barnes headed to the locker room with what appears to be a concussion. He has not emerged from the locker room for halftime warmups, and so far there is no further information surrounding his condition.
Welcome to another edition of NBA Nation Australia’s Roundtable! This week we’ll be tackling more hot topics from around the league including George Karl, the MVP award, the free agent debate in LA, most improved teams, Derrick Rose and Kobe’s mum (only because it’s Mother’s Day). We also welcome back podcaster and blogger Jabari Davis from The OpinioNation (theopnation.com), Brent Veale formerly of That Basketball Show and Tom Read from the #BelieveTheHype podcast!
Here it is – A comprehensive video compilation of the 2012/13 season’s heaviest, nastiest and most awe-inspiring throw downs! From DeAndre murdering Brandon Knight, to LeBron baptizing Jason Terry and Harrison Barnes embarrassing Nikola Pekovic, they’re all here in all their posterizing glory! Which dunk is your #1?