Posts Tagged ‘New York Post’

Report: Kidd loses power play in Brooklyn, free to talk with Bucks

After being denied a promotion by the Nets, Jason Kidd was granted permission to talk to the Bucks.

After being denied a promotion by the Nets, Jason Kidd was granted permission to talk to the Bucks.

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Jason Kidd‘s run as coach in Brooklyn could soon be over after just one season, courtesy of his own ambition.

Kidd was denied a promotion with the Nets and, in the wake of that failed attempt to increase his power to include personnel decisions, was granted permission to discuss future employment with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to a report from Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.

The Bucks, of course, already have a coach in Larry Drew. So it’s unclear exactly which job Kidd is exploring in Milwaukee. Both Kidd and Drew just finished their first seasons, respectively, in their current positions.

Kidd’s reported power play puts him in a precarious position with the Nets, who have loads of other decisions to make, including what to do with Kevin Garnett and the final year of his contract, and might have to add a coaching search to their to-do-list.

If Kidd tried to undercut Nets GM Billy King and failed, he’s almost certainly out of a job in Brooklyn. For this news to break on the eve of free agency makes for an extremely bizarre process as the Nets try to reload for the 2014-15 season.

There’s an excellent chance they’ll do so without the services of Kidd, whose methods, per the Post, were nothing if not bold:

According to a league source, Kidd recently approached ownership with a series of demands, including the role of overseeing the Nets’ basketball operations department in addition to his head coaching responsibilities. The source said Kidd didn’t want general manager Billy King to be dismissed, but wanted to be given a title and placed above him in the organizational hierarchy.

Ownership declined to grant Kidd that kind of power, which is rare for any coach in the league to have. The source said ownership felt Kidd wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility after having only one year of coaching experience — the team finished his first season on the bench with a 44-38 record, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference — and allowed Kidd to seek other opportunities.

The franchise then was approached by the Bucks to speak with Kidd about the prospect of hiring him, and have done so with the Nets’ permission.

Kidd has a small ownership stake in the Nets, so perhaps he felt he was well within his rights to ask for more power. But someone else within the organization clearly didn’t agree with his way of doing business.

Whatever role the Bucks have played or will play in this process can only be further complicated by them speaking to a coach of an Eastern Conference rival while they already have a coach under contract.

Whatever happens in Milwaukee, it’s clear Kidd’s days are numbered in Brooklyn.

Nets, Wallace Closing In On Deal … First Of Many In Brooklyn This Summer?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The Portland Trail Blazers got the No. 6 pick in the Draft (point guard Damian Lillard) in that trade with the New Jersey Nets last season for Gerald Wallace. And now Wallace is closing in on his prize, a reported $40 million from the Brooklyn Nets.

The deal for Wallace was expected when he opted out of the final year of his deal last to become a free agent, with the express intent of signing a new deal to remain with the Nets.

This is just one of the many moves expected from the Nets, who are still hunting the biggest fish of the free agent season in Deron Williams. Things are just getting started for Nets general manager Billy King, as the New York Post reported:

Though Williams is the most important player in the Nets plans this summer, King has plenty of other work to do. The Nets entered free agency with six players on their roster for next season and roughly $40 million in salary-cap space.


Former Knicks, Heat Forward Pat Cummings Dead At 55

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Pat Cummings, an original member of the Miami Heat and a former Knicks forward was found dead in a friend’s Greenwich Village apartment Tuesday afternoon, according to multiple reports. He was 55.

A standout at the University of Cincinnati, Cummings was a third-round Draft pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1978. He was later traded to the Mavericks and signed as a free agent with the Knicks in 1984.

A member of the inaugural Miami Heat in 1988-89, Cummings played 683 games over 12 seasons in his NBA career. He finished with averages of 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds, with his most prominent stint coming as a member of the Knicks’ frontcourt rotation with Patrick Ewing and Bill Cartwright from 1984-1988.

Cummings also played for the Jazz.

The details surrounding his death were still being investigated, per the New York Post:

The medical examiner will perform an autopsy today to determine the cause of death, though as of last night there were no signs of criminality.

Cummings’ girlfriend found him unconscious on a pullout couch. He later was pronounced dead at the scene.

Linsanity … One And Done In New York?

HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — No one said Linsanity would last forever.

But one-and-done in New York for Jeremy Lin?

Apparently there are no guarantees that Knicks fans will get an encore performance from the mercurial point guard who took the NBA, and the global basketball world, by storm this season when he burst onto the scene.

Lin will be a restricted free agent this summer and according to his agent, Roger Montgomery, is not necessarily destined to sign with the Knicks, courtesy of the New York Post:

“I don’t expect that. We’re not anticipating that’s going to happen. We don’t have assurances of anything. I know history shows most restricted free agents go back to their team, but I’m not going to assume anything. We’re waiting to see what happens.”

Surely, those aren’t the words Knicks fans want to hear. Not after Knicks coach Mike Woodson declared at season’s end that Lin would be back. And certainly not after seeing the impact Lin had on their team when he was healthy, after helping them revive their season only to miss the playoffs with an injury.


Knicks Longing For Days Of Linsanity

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — What happened to all those good vibrations emanating from the New York Knicks a couple of weeks back, when Linsanity was in full effect, Gotham was on fire with hoops fever and the Knicks were a healthy star or two from assaulting the top of the Eastern Conference standings?

How did they go from rocking the basketball world to dropping like a rock in their last eight games — in which they’re just 3-5 — and sinking to the ugly depths of what we’ve seen from them the past three days?

If you watched them Sunday in that overtime loss against Boston, you saw a stumbling Jeremy Lin trying to navigate his space on the floor with Carmelo Anthony and fail miserably for most of the game. Lin made some plays late, but neither he nor Anthony made enough of them to overcome Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and the Celtics.

Then came last night’s debacle in Dallas in the Fan Night matchup on NBA TV, where Anthony’s game flatlined into a 2-for-12 shooting effort and the reigning world champs took the Knicks apart before a late rally made things interesting score-wise.

Anthony admitted to struggling with this new system, the one where Lin serves as the Knicks’ catalyst and he and Amar’e Stoudemire (who along with the Knicks’ reserves sparked that rally in Dallas last night) sit on the receiving end for action that may or may not find them in their respective sweet spots. Howard Beck of The New York Times has the details:

“I think anytime you go from the early part of the season, just having the ball and me just having the ball and being the distributor, and now just running the wings and waiting for the ball to come to me, that’s quite an adjustment for myself.”

It is an adjustment that Anthony and the Knicks (18-20) will have to make soon, before they lose their hold on a playoff spot. They are 0-2 on this trip, with another difficult game ahead Wednesday in San Antonio and a late-season schedule packed with playoff-bound teams. They have 28 games to reestablish an identity and get Anthony back in the fold.

“I think we all are adjusting, we all are sacrificing for the betterment of the team,” said Amar’e Stoudemire, who had a resurgent game with 26 points and 7 rebounds. “That’s what it takes to win a championship. You got to sacrifice in order to get to that point.”

It’s not Lin’s fault and it’s not entirely on Anthony, either. The Knicks are currently experiencing an offensive system error that can only be fixed by its administrator, coach Mike D’Antoni. His hot seat cooled considerably during the height of Linsanity, but it will warm back up if his team continues on its current course.


Read The Board Knicks …

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — You want to believe that there is a way out for the Knicks, that there is a path that leads them away from the smoldering pile of potential that was the first month of this season.

And then you read things like this from Amar’e Stoudemire (courtesy of the New York Post), doing his best to diffuse the heat that accompanies a 1-9 stretch in the big city:

“We got to start reading the board before games,” Stoudemire said. “We have to prepare ourselves better as individuals. Coaches give the game plan. We have to be ready to execute the game plan. If we’re not ready to execute the game plan, we’re not helping our teammates.”

Stoudemire is doing his best to stick up for Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, whose hot seat grows warmer with every loss. Something tells me it’s going to take a little more than just reading the board before games and executing the game plan to fix what’s wrong with the Knicks.

(A healthy Carmelo Anthony and some fresh-legged energy from Baron Davis, whenever he is ready to play, certainly can’t hurt.)

The (4-17) Detroit Pistons visiting Madison Square Garden Tuesday night could be a temporary elixir … I said “could be.”

Labor Talks: Still No Common Ground

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The good news first: the two sides in the NBA’s labor dispute will meet again Monday.

The bad news? After spending a huge chunk of Friday’s session and nearly all day Saturday trying to find common ground, the sides are still “miles apart.”

That’s better than galaxies apart and even worlds apart. But it clearly puts us no closer to a solution than we were before the weekend began. That said, Monday’s and perhaps Tuesday’s scheduled sessions can yield more positive returns.

In the meantime, we’ll return to the sobering news that progress has been anything but steady …

Full Season Unlikely?

Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated: The threatened “enormous consequences” have yet to appear, but they will be revealed soon enough. Two days of extended negotiations concluded Saturday with little optimism that the NBA owners and players can end their lockout in time to rescue the full 82-game schedule.

Most fans will say nothing is more important than starting the season on time Nov. 1. But the owners and players have agreed to disagree with their paying customers on that point. It is, in fact, one of the few points on which the union and owners have struck common ground.

They are so far apart on how to divvy up the $4 billion generated by their league — by far the most important issue separating them — that they agreed to not discuss it whatsoever Saturday. Instead they turned their attention to the so-called system issues, including the rules for player contracts, caps on team payrolls, annual exceptions and the like. After spending all of Saturday and much of Friday on these topics they could claim little more than a better understanding of each other’s positions.

“It at least helped us to focus on a couple of issues,” said deputy commissioner Adam Silver. “Some of the earlier meetings have been a little bit more rambling in terms of various issues sort of raised and taken off the table, put back on the table.”

Commissioner David Stern acknowledged “a pretty broad gap” between the owners’ and players’ goals for a new system. “We’re not near anything,” added Stern. “But wherever that is, we’re closer than we were before.”

Stern would not say when the league would announce the cancellation of the remaining preseason games, nor would he hint at a deadline to reach agreement and save the full season. But the likely window is a scant 10 days to two weeks.

Modest Movement On Certain Issues

Ken Berger of The “modest movement” on system issues that one person in the negotiating room described to came only after the two sides, at [Billy] Hunter‘s suggestion, agreed to separate the division of basketball-related income (BRI) from the system issues such as the cap, contract length, nature of exceptions and luxury tax. The decision to tackle the two major sticking points in the negotiations separately came after players threatened to walk out of the bargaining session Friday upon learning that the owners have not moved off of their standing economic proposal that would give the players a 46 percent share of BRI — down from the 57 percent they received under the agreement that expired July 1.

“We’re very far apart in BRI and made no progress in that,” NBPA lawyer Jeffrey Kessler said. “So we tried to see if we could make any progress in something else.”


Labor Pains … Here We Go!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — At least we can all agree on one thing where this lockout is concerned, no one — and we mean NO ONE — is happy about it!

The news out of New York Thursday afternoon prepared us all for what was to come, the NBA’s first lockout in 13 years commenced at 12:01 this morning. It didn’t take long for the feedback to start rolling in from the assembled punditry.

Here is a brief morning sampling of opinions from around the country …

Ian Thomsen of How long will this go on? Union chief Billy Hunter anticipated that another meeting will be called in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, he and union president Derek Fisher must consider the unlikely option of decertifying and putting their case into the court system, if they believe they can’t get a fair hearing from the owners.

The alternative is to continue to talk over the summer with the small goal of finding some minimal terms on which both sides can agree. As the next season approaches and both sides are confronted by real pain — a loss of income for the players, and a loss of fan support for the franchises should games be canceled — maybe then there will be a willingness to meet in the middle, with an understanding that their shared business must continue on, even if neither side is particularly happy with the terms.


The Knicks’ Mixed Signals

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The Knicks’ actions spoke much louder than their words last night as they ended their three-game slide with a win over the Hang Time Grizzlies.

That’s a good thing, too. Because if you spend any time examining what’s being said, you’ll need a some help deciphering what was intended, what was said, in what context it was said and what you actually heard.

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is preaching patience, as he did here to Roderick Boone of Newsday:

“Hang in there. We’re hanging in there. We are pedaling as fast as we can pedal,” D’Antoni said before last night’s game against the Grizzlies . You can see there are some deficiencies and some holes. Our defense has gotten a little worse and we’ve got to get better.

“We’ve got to work at it, and it’s going to take some sweat and some things . . . The biggest thing is not to exaggerate where we are, and hang in and keep working.”

A New Deadline For Melo?

LOS ANGELES — If you are willing to walk down this road with us for at least another day, or two or three, we’re going to dip our toes into these Carmelo Anthony rumor waters one more time.

We could have the most significant news in months on the ‘Melo-drama today, with this news from the New York Post that Anthony will decide whether or not he’ll sign that three-year, $65 million extension with the Nets to complete the deal that’s reportedly already in place:

After the face-to-face meeting finally took place Saturday between Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Anthony, initial reports suggested the Russian billionaire’s team was out of the hunt for the Nuggets star. Anthony was described as “non-committal,” maybe even unimpressed.

But other indications say the opposite. Prokhorov himself described the meeting as “fantastic” in an interview yesterday with CNBC and several league sources insisted the Nets are still in the running to land Denver’s star forward. One source claimed an “air of optimism” remained around the Nets.

“Don’t bury them yet,” a source involved in the process urged. Another suggested although there might not be anything significant at the moment, that could change.