May 21, 2013, 2:02 AM EDT
From the start, there was one thing most likely to keep Mike D’Antoni from returning as Lakers coach — free agent Dwight Howard.
It may not have been that direct — and it may not change who is the Lakers coach next season — but apparently Howard let Lakers management know exactly how he feels about D’Antoni.
During the Lakers exit interview after they were eliminated by the Spurs, players met with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and D’Antoni, but then had the chance to speak to Kupchak without D’Antoni in the room.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, part of the discussion between Howard and Kupchak centered around Howard’s frustration with D’Antoni — particularly how the center felt marginalized as the coach looked to Bryant and Steve for leadership and suggestions and discounted Howard’s voice….
D’Antoni chose not to retain assistant coach Chuck Person, a Howard confidant, on his staff for next season. Also, Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford, who was with Howard in Orlando for five seasons before both of them came to L.A. last year, has become a hot head coaching candidate, interviewing with Milwaukee and receiving interest from Charlotte.
One source described the potential departure of Clifford, coupled with the loss of Person as “removing the buffers,” between Howard and D’Antoni, “which is a bad thing.”
If Howard is trying to dig out of the PR mess he created in Orlando and repair his image, this is not helping. At all. The leaks over the last week make him look petty and indecisive again. Also, if only Kupchak and Howard were in that meeting then the leak came from one of two sides here. You think it was the tight-lipped Kupchak?
When D’Antoni arrived to the Lakers he tried to fit the square pegs of the Lakers’ roster into the round holes of his offense. It didn’t work and it wasn’t pretty. The Lakers didn’t defend well for him, either, and they struggled. But by the end of the season the Lakers had moved away from what D’Antoni prefers to more traditional NBA sets. The Lakers also became more dependent on Kobe as the defacto point guard running the offense.
Is there enough frustration there for Howard to turn down $30.4 million more guaranteed? The Lakers can offer one more guaranteed year and slightly larger raises than other teams which all adds up to that sum (how much that extra guaranteed year matters to Howard only he can answer). Howard is reportedly intrigued by the Rockets and Mavericks — two teams in Texas where there is no state income tax. That can make up some of the money but Los Angeles presents more endorsement opportunities.
But is it all about money for Howard? Or was his frustration with D’Antoni, Kobe Bryant and the entire year in Los Angeles have him thinking Houston looks pretty good.
Smart money still is on Howard re-signing with the Lakers. But it is no lock.
Mar 17, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT
In the final minutes of the Clippers blowout win over Cleveland Sunday night, Spencer Hawes got himself ejected, probably so he could get in the shower before everyone else showed up. The Clippers didn’t need the points, so they sent DeAndre Jordan to the free throw line. The guy shooting 45.3 percent from the stripe…
Mar 17, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT
The Celtics dropped a game to the Pelicans on Sunday that required overtime to be decided, and was really anyone’s game down the stretch of both regulation and the extra session. Rajon Rondo didn’t do a lot offensively to contribute to his team’s chances, finishing just 3-of-14 from the field in 45 minutes on the…
Mar 17, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
Anthony Davis was a beast Sunday night as New Orleans hosted Boston. He had 40 points on 22 shots, including a key free throw line jumper that looked like it might be a game winner (you can see that below, it looked like the game winner until Kris Humphries tied it up again… yes, Kris…
Mar 17, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
Rodney Hood transferred to Duke from Mississippi State seeking a fresh start. The move worked so well, he’ll probably start anew in another league next season. At least that’s what his coach, who’d be in position to know, expects. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, via Daniel Carp of The Chronicle: “I wish we had him for…
Mar 17, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT
The 2012 draft already looks like it will go down as one of the NBA’s stronger ones ever. Andre Drummond is incredibly promising. Damian Lillard won Rookie of the Year and is even better this season. But there’s no doubt, if the draft were re-done, Anthony Davis would remain the No. 1 pick. Days like…
Mar 17, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT
Stephen Curry is just fun to watch. He and Klay Thompson were making it rain in the fourth quarter (each had 15 points in the frame) and while we all focused on the Thompson three that was the game winner there was also this impressive play. Curry crossed up Mathews pretty fierce. When the Warriors…
Mar 17, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
This season in the NBA, slightly more than one in four shots taken is a three. Even though you know that’s the way the league is going, the number is kind of stunning. And yes, it is a record. It’s also just the start. The NBA stole the three point line from the ABA and…
Mar 17, 2014, 3:00 AM EDT
The Cleveland Cavaliers made the playoff their firm goal, started poorly, traded for Luol Deng, fired their general manager, re-affirmed their playoff priority and backed it up by trading for Spencer Hawes. By winning the first two games of their current road trip – at Phoenix, at Golden State – the Cavaliers finally looked like…
Mar 17, 2014, 2:57 AM EDT
Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while watching the King of the Hill/True Detective mashup… Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors. Early in the third quarter Houston took an 18 point lead over Golden State and seemed to be in complete control. Then the shots from Warriors backcourt started to…
Mar 17, 2014, 1:00 AM EDT
Golden State and Portland are in the packed middle of the Western Conference playoff race, coming into the game the Warriors were the six seed, 2.5 games back of the Trail Blazers. Both teams needed a win and this game had a real playoff feel, with the Trail Blazers leading by 18 and the Warriors…
Mar 16, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT
The Cavaliers have made quite a mess out of this season. They attempted to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by adding free agents in Jarrett Jack, Earl Clark and Andrew Bynum, but none of them had anywhere near the desired impact. Bynum has since been traded, and Luol Deng was brought…
Mar 16, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
DeMar DeRozan expressed his displeasure over a non-call by kicking the ball away from a referee — a move which guaranteed him a quick whistle in the form of a technical foul.
Mar 16, 2014, 7:41 PM EDT
Midway through the third quarter you had to like how the Rockets were playing against the Heat in Miami. Tied 92-92, the Rockets got what seemed like their 5,347th floater in the lane of the night, this time it was Chandler Parsons over Chris Andersen. The Rockets players did not fear the Heat shot blockers…
Mar 16, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
Patrick Beverley leaves LeBron James in the dust, before attacking the rim and throwing down a huge slam on Chris Bosh.
Mar 16, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
LeBron takes a nice pass from Wade and elevates over Dwight Howard for the vicious first quarter slam.
Mar 16, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
Jarrett Jack believes custom fitting players with the sleeved jerseys would reduce the complaints. But he still doesn’t like the way they look, regardless of how they do or do not impact performance. “We’re like the Beach Police,” Jack said.
Mar 16, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT
How I wish “Brian” were real. Alas, this is a faux documentary on former NBA player Brian Scalabrine is not real. Still, the trailer is brilliant. An actual documentary following Scalabrine, now an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, would be interesting. He’s long been one of the better interviews around the NBA, his…
Mar 16, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Jim Cleamons is currently an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks, but he was a member of Phil Jackson’s coaching staff both in Chicago and Los Angeles, and has nine championship rings to show for it. The Bucks happened to be in town to face the Knicks on Saturday, just one day after the news…
Mar 16, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Doc Rivers, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan all recently explained why they’re against the NBA raising its age limit. But there are valid reasons on the argument’s other side.
Mar 16, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
John Wall splits two defenders near mid-court before putting the exclamation point on a win over the Nets with a thunderous slam.
- The Extra Pass: This season’s record number of threes is just the start 4
- Sunday NBA grades: Golden State’s Curry, Thompson put on a show 4
- Heat execute in final minutes, Rockets still learning, fall in Miami 20
- Doc Rivers, Clippers players oppose raising NBA’s age limit 25
- Report: LeBron ‘will look at’ Knicks in free agency now that Phil Jackson is in place 69