Tag:Los Angeles Clippers
Posted on: March 18, 2010 1:15 pm
Edited on: March 19, 2010 8:11 am

Jackson could be on radar for Clips, Nets

Mark Jackson’s decision to sign with an agent this week has not gone unnoticed in coaching circles, where it is believed that the former All-Star point guard and current broadcaster finally will get his chance to roam the sidelines as an NBA head coach. 

Jackson did not employ an agent when he was in the running for head coaching jobs in New York and Minnesota last summer and Phoenix in 2008, preferring to deal one-on-one with team executives. Jackson, 44, got passed over for all three jobs but is expected to be in demand once the NBA’s coaching carousel starts spinning at the end of April. 

“Despite the economy and the potential work stoppage, there’s going to be more movement than we’ve seen in the past,” said one person involved in the coaching business. 

The two most sensible landing spots for the ABC/ESPN commentator are the Clippers and Nets, according to sources familiar with both situations. Jackson lives in Los Angeles and is a native New Yorker. Despite turmoil in both organizations, the situations will be extremely attractive for top coaching candidates this summer. 

One person familiar with how coaching candidates view the Clippers job described the team as being in the “best shape in the league” payroll-wise and talent-wise. There are signs that frugal owner Donald M. Sterling, who demoted and then fired former coach and GM Mike Dunleavy in recent weeks, could be ready to open his notoriously tight checkbook for a high-profile name like Jackson. The Nets, according to sources, would be viewed as more of a longer-term growth opportunity for Jackson, who has no previous coaching experience. But the cap space to sign a max free agent, the possibility of landing presumed No. 1 pick John Wall, and the team’s eventual move to a new arena in Brooklyn – one borough over from Jackson’s native Queens – might overshadow the fact that the Nets (7-61) are on their way to one of the worst seasons in NBA history. 

Another situation that bears watching is Indiana, where Jackson enjoyed some of his best years as a player. Former Pacers GM Donnie Walsh, who also is represented by Jackson’s new agent, Steve Kauffman, thinks highly of Jackson and still holds sway over Pacers owner Herb Simon when it comes to transformational decisions such as a coaching hire. If the Pacers decide to dismiss Jim O’Brien after the season for a new voice, and Jackson’s communication skills and popularity within the organization will be among his biggest strengths. 

Jackson’s decision to sign with Kauffman Sports Management made official his well-known private desire to leave the broadcast booth for a chance to coach. Sources familiar with Jackson’s thinking say he is cognizant of the role his lack of experience would play and is determined to recruit the most experienced assistants possible to help him make the transition. Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans and Golden State are among the other teams that could be contemplating coaching changes this summer.
Posted on: March 9, 2010 9:41 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2010 9:53 pm

West: No interest in Clippers job

The first name that came to mind after the Clippers' rude and unceremonious news release came out Tuesday night announcing Mike Dunleavy's firing was none other than Jerry West. The Logo had been long rumored to be a candidate to take over the Clippers' woebegone basketball operations if -- and, as it turned out, when -- they finally "severed ties" with Dunleavy.

From West himself Tuesday night: Not gonna happen.

"No contact, no interest, not looking to work anymore," West said by telephone after the Dunleavy news broke. "Time for someone younger to have an opportunity to do something. I have not been contacted, nor would I have any interest."

But West, who was at the center of speculation to take over the Knicks' basketball operations when Isiah Thomas was deposed two years ago, left the door open ever so slightly to returning to a front office in some capacity.

"Unless there was something that was along the lines of a consultant job -- a working consultant," West said. "I don’t want a title or need a title. It was fun to be involved. It's a tough business. But I'm not looking for a job nor am I putting my name out there for any job. I've always felt we all have a lifespan with what we’re doing. Mine has been served."

West, 71, left the Memphis Grizzlies after his contract expired in 2007 and hasn't been involved in running a team since. The architect of two Lakers dynasties is forever linked with job openings, though. Another credible Jerry -- Colangelo -- would be high on any serious team's list of candidates. During All-Star weekend in Dallas, Colangelo tried to tamp down speculation that he was in the running to take over the Nets -- but also said if a team called, he'd listen.

Meantime, with another important draft and the biggest free-agent class in NBA history looming, the Clippers had better hope the promotion of assistant GM Neil Olshey works out. After reading the Clippers' brutally worded news release on Dunleavy's dismissal -- and knowing the organization's track record for losing and cheapness -- what credible candidate would want to work there?

"The team has simply not made sufficient progress during Dunleavy’s seven-year tenure," the news rocket said. "The Clippers want to win now."

And for the past quarter century, too, right?

The irony is that buried somewhere in all that dysfunction is a fairly promising roster and cap flexibility. Clippers fans can look forward to Blake Griffin's return in 2011-12, and Dunleavy left Donald Sterling enough cap space to get a marquee free agent if anybody wants to go.

That's almost as hard to imagine as the Clippers winning anything on Sterling's watch, no matter who's picking and coaching the players.

Posted on: March 26, 2009 10:59 am
Edited on: March 26, 2009 4:09 pm

Isiah to return with Clippers? (UPDATE)

You knew he would come back. You just didn't know when. Or where. Or in which basketball league.

My friend and colleague, Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com, reports that the Clippers have had discussions with disgraced Knicks executive Isiah Thomas about an unspecified role in their front office . So this is what it's come to for Isiah. The Clippers. I guess the Fort Wayne Mad Ants aren't hiring.

Thomas has gradually returned to the public eye in the months since a bizarre incident at his Westchester County, N.Y., home in which he apparently was hospitalized following an overdose of sleeping pills. To this day, it's not clear exactly what transpired. The incident has become yet another strand of the complicated fabric that is Thomas' basketball life.

He's still on the Knicks' payroll, having been relieved of his duties as coach and team president last spring and taking on an ill-defined role as a scout and consultant to Knicks president Donnie Walsh. On several occasions this season, Walsh has been asked what Thomas has been doing to earn his paycheck, and Walsh has seemed unsure how to answer. He'd say things such as, he talks to Isiah all the time but then couldn't remember the last time he spoke with him. He'd say Isiah was scouting players, but couldn't name one player he'd discussed with him.

Then Thomas surfaced in several college arenas where he was scouting players, and told the Associated Press earlier this month while taping a TV appearances with his former college coach, Bob Knight, that he's been "very active" in his role with the Knicks and was doing OK since the October incident at his home. Thomas has endured some tough times since then, with the death of Pistons owner William Davidson and news that his former coach and father figure, Chuck Daly, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Sheridan's story points out that the talks between Thomas and the Clippers have been "informal yet substantive," and makes it clear that no job has been offered. It's not even clear what the job would be. GM? Scout? Assistant GM? Coach? So let's not jump ahead of ourselves.

OK, let's. If the Clippers, or any team for that matter, were to hire Isiah for the right job, it wouldn't be as disastrous as some people would suggest. For all his faults -- running his mouth about things that aren't his business, making enemies, inciting brawls by telling Carmelo Anthony not to go into the paint, signing Jerome James -- Thomas has been known throughout his career for his ability to evaluate talent. He made some miserable moves as the Knicks' president, but look at the pieces that the new regime finds worth salvaging for the future. Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson, and David Lee -- all drafted by Isiah. Scouting college players and running a draft are two things Isiah can do, and do well.

Clearly, Mike Dunleavy is in trouble in Clipperland and will not retain both the coach and GM titles. In a strange way, perhaps Thomas is the one who can throw Dunleavy a lifeline that they both could use.

UPDATE: Have no fear, Clippers fans. (Are there Clippers fans?) A person with knowledge of the discussions between Thomas and the Clippers told CBSSports.com Thursday that the flirtation amounts to Thomas putting out feelers and said there is "zero Clipper interest."






Posted on: February 18, 2009 8:22 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2009 12:57 am

Rockets interested in Baron? (UPDATE)

UPDATE: After hearing and reading media reports that Tracy McGrady will have season-ending microfracture surgery on his ailing left knee, the Houston Rockets aren't ready to pack it in. They might be looking to do something big.

The Rockets have been mentioned in plenty of trade scenarios in the past 48 hours, but none more intriguing than the one with the Clippers about Baron Davis. Those talks, however, have broken down.

"Not happening," a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com early Thursday.

The Rockets and Clippers discussed a trade that would've freed Davis from a disastrous return to his hometown and allowed the Rockets to remain in contention without McGrady. One possibility, first reported by SportingNews.com, had the Clippers willing to take back McGrady even though he won't play the rest of the season and faces a long recovery from the microfracture procedure.

That should tell you everything you need to know about how desperately Clippers owner Donald Sterling wants to retreat from the rare spending spree that resulted in Davis going to Clipperland in the first place. There figure to be other suitors for Davis, who has four years and $54 million left on his contract. Thus, possible landing spots would have to be limited to financially sound teams willing to take risks. (Mark Cuban, are you out there?)

The Sporting News' initial report on the Baron-to-Houston scenario quoted a person close to Davis saying, "It would be best for everyone if Baron moved on." That smells like an inside job, with Davis and his operatives trying to drum up an exit strategy to a solid playoff team. (Hey, it would beat the heck out of finishing the season with the 13-41 Clippers.) One team executive expressed serious doubts early Thursday that the Clippers would be successful in their Dump Baron campaign.

As for the Rockets, another source said they're telling teams they're working on "smaller deals." So while they're not taking McGrady's season-ending injury passively, they're not alarmed enough to make a $54 million bet.







Posted on: December 30, 2008 11:36 am

Baron denies Bay Area talk

Hey, it was just a little misunderstanding. Baron Davis is denying he told former teammate Stephen Jackson that he wants out of L.A. and has his eyes on a return to Golden State.

"No, I don't want out," Davis told The Los Angeles Times Monday. "I don't know what Stephen Jackson got from my conversation. That never came out of my mouth. I'm here. I'm here doing the same thing I did at Golden State. The first year I got to Golden State it was rough. It was a tough season. We were figuring each other out, figuring out the system. That transition year is always a tough year."

Davis did acknowledge telling Jackson he misses playing with him.

"When you see people, you miss what you had," Davis said. "Obviously, in no way shape or form am I ready to jump ship. That's not why I came here. That's not why I committed to come here. I'm committed here to turn this thing around. I like the talent on this team, I like the promise. The team is going to get better. My job is to continue to get better and make this year as positive and productive as we possibly can."

So there you have it.

Warriors coach Don Nelson refused to address the matter, and Ronny Turiaf brushed it off as "wishful thinking" on Jackson's part.

Whatever Baron said or didn't say to Captain Jack, I stand by my original reaction -- with a slight amendment. The Warriors are a mess. So are the Clippers.


Posted on: December 29, 2008 10:22 am
Edited on: December 29, 2008 11:20 pm

Baron Davis wants back in Golden State (UPDATE 2)

Now I've seen it all. According to the Contra Costa Times, Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson spent some time over the weekend with former teammate Baron Davis. And guess what? The Baron said "my bad" on opting out of his deal with the Warriors and signing a five-year, $65 million deal with the Clippers.

"He wants to come back," Jackson said. "And if he wants to come back, I want him back."

Things have gone south fast in L.A.; Davis has clashed with coach Mike Dunleavy and the Clips are 8-21.

I have a couple of thoughts: First, for Baron: When you opt out of your contract and sign with another team for a lot of money, you don't get to change your mind. And for Jackson: It might be time to stop playing fantasy G.M. If I could figure out who was in charge of the Warriors and making the decisions there, I'd be able to determine who was the most ticked off that Jackson seems to spend more time contemplating trades than trying to make the team better. What a mess in the Bay Area.

UPDATE: Matt Steinmetz has some insightful analysis of the situation here. His conclusion is what you might expect -- Baron isn't going back to the Bay Area -- but not for the reasons you might expect.

UPDATE: In the wake of Baron's comments to Jackson, Corey Maggette was asked before Monday night's game against Toronto if he wanted to do the Baron two-step and return to the Clippers. "Who me? No. I love it here, man," Maggette said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com