Former San Antonio Spurs assistant coach and former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers Mike Brown is a reportedly a candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching position:
The Los Angeles Lakers are taking a deliberate approach to their search for a successor to Phil Jackson, but NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com the team has added Mike Brown to its list of candidates.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers coach, now working as an analyst for ESPN, is expected to interview "soon" with the Lakers, sources say. (espn.com)
Brown became part of the Spurs coaching staff in 2000 and after the Spurs won the 2003 NBA championship, he left to become an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers. He would eventually become the head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005 and enjoy success with the Cavs and LeBron James. He met his former team - Spurs - in the 2007 NBA championship but would lose in four games. Brown won the 2009 NBA Coach of the Year but after regular season successand poor playoff performance, Brown was eventually fired as head coach of the Cavs in 2010.
He is now an ESPN basketball analyst and has been reported to be a candidate for the head coaching spot for the Golden State Warriors.
As I was walking inthe NBA Entertainment Studios, I spot Houston Rockets' Kyle Lowry standing in the back of the hospitality tent. Lowry was being interviewed by media, as he was there to represent Houston at the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery who ended up with the 14 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
As soon as he finished, I approached him to ask if he had time for a quick talk with Project Spurs. He agreed and we shared a few laughs over the food and beverages being served.
In this Q&A, Lowry shares his thoughts on the NBA Draft, the departure of Rick Adelman, the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs and more.
Jeff: If you were the General Manager for Houston, what kind of player would you want the team to draft?
Kyle: If I was the GM, I probably wouldn't be here (laughs).
In the draft, there's good players in every position. You know you got the kid (Derek) Williams out at Arizona, you got Kyrie Irving, you know you got the kid (Kawhi) Leonard, there's a lot of great talent in that class. I think whoever you get in this draft will be a solid player in this league and a great talent as an addition to a team.
What do you say to those who say this draft is not strong?
That's what they said about a lot of drafts. You always seem to find those diamond in the rough type players. You know I don't think any draft is a weak draft. I think every draft is a strong enough draft. You got potential pro players. You're obviously getting drafted as a pro, so you're obviously good enough.
Houston was knocking on the door of the playoffs this season but didn't make it. Looking for positive things from the Rockets next season?
At the dawn of the NBA season, the most anticipated addition to the 2010-2011 San Antonio Spurs was unquestionably the Spanish league's most valuable player, Tiago Splitter.
However, the unexpected performance of undrafted rookie Gary Neal (call me Nostradamus) quickly out-shadowed the Splitter hype. We wrote extensively, and perhaps prematurely (hey, it was a slow summer, what do you want from me?) about Splitter's expectations in the lead up to the season but now it's time to check his report card.
Splitter's transition to the NBA was less than stellar as the season kicked off and this was disappointing to many fans. He suffered from injuries during the summer with the Brazilian national team, was hit with more injuires during training camp, and a lack of playing time early on may be to blame for his slow start.
Averaging around ten minutes a game through the first three months of the year, spending several entire games on the bench through the month of February, Splitter averaged only 4.2 points per game and nearly a turnover and pulling down less than three rebounds a game before the All-Star Break.
After the break, a much more assertive Splitter emerged. Increasing his minutes to nearly fifteen per game, Splitter increased his offensive production by two points in each contest shooting nearly 56% from the field and pulling down 4.7 rebounds per game.
It is often hard to quantify a player's defensive play in the aggregate, but suffice it to say that there was a noticeable difference in the physicality of Splitter's defensive presence as the season progressed. This may be an answer to one of the biggest concerns for Splitter coming into the season: how would he react the the demonstrably more physical play of the NBA as compared to the Spanish league and international basketball.
• Bizjournal.com asks if the San Antonio Spurs should have statues at the AT&T Center of some of the Spurs greatest players:
Why shouldn’t the Spurs, who have won four NBA championships, commission a local artist or artists to create metal or stone figures representing the players who have meant so much to this franchise and to this city?
Start with George Gervin and David Robinson.
When he retires, add Tim Duncan to the walk of fame.
• Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is tied for fifth of highest paid coaches in pro sports:
Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs), Mike D'Antoni (New York Knicks) and Lovie Smith (Chicago Bears) are tied for fifth with a $6 million salary. (theindychannel.com)
• Express News' Tim Griffin talks about the best and worst players from the Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls Game 2.
• Spurs Brasil talks about which Spurs players have a secured spot on the team roster.
David Lighty, a 6-5 shooting guard from Ohio State, is gaining some interest from the San Antonio Spurs, according to Glenn Moore of the Dugout Sports Show.
Moore, a friend of Project Spurs, is in Chicago at the NBA Draft Combine and spoke to Lighty earlier today, who said the Spurs have shown interest in him.
Lighty, who has played with Evan Turner, Kousta Koufos, Greg Oden and Mike Conley for the Buckeyes, is an athletic slasher and defender. He's very explosive when attacking the rim, is capable of defending point guards, shooting guards and small forwards, and was used as Ohio State's defensive stopper. Lighty is also a very good rebounder for his position and size.
In his senior season at Ohio State, Lighty averaged 12.1 points, four rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
While three-point shooting had been one of his bigger weaknesses in years past, Lighty shot a much improved 42 percent from beyond the arch as a senior.
In most mock drafts, Lighty is slotted about midway through the second round.
While the Spurs are stockpiled with shooting guards, the Spurs will be sure to take a hard look at him due to his defensive prowess.
Each week, our writers will sound off on one topic of the week with short audio takes. If you are a Spurscast subscriber, you'll also be seeing podcasts with all of our takes together along with your weekly Spurscast.
This week we asked our writers to talk about a few free agents the San Antonio Spurs front office should take a look at this summer.
Michael De Leon, Founder -
Paul Garcia, Lead Writer -
Jake Faunce, Staff Writer -
So those are our takes for the week. Feel free to use our comments section to give us your takes on potential free agent additions to the Spurs.
The Golden State Warriors entered the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery with a 0.8% chance at winning the number one spot. And like true to lottery form, the Warriors did not win the lottery and will be drafting at number 11.
While I was at the lottery, I had a chance to go one-on-one with Warriors owner Joe Lacob before and after the lottery. In this interview, Lacob spoke on the 2011 NBA Draft, his vision for the Warriors next season, San Antonio Spurs' assistant coach Mike Budenholzer, his thoughts on the draft lottery results for the Warriors and more.
As I walked though the hospitality tent, I caught up with Mr. Lacob before the lottery began:
Jeff: Many say this upcoming draft class is not as strong. Do you beg to differ?
Mr. Lacob: No I don't think I would beg to differ. It doesn't look, at least on the surface, like it's going to be one of the stronger drafts. My personnel guys are saying that, I think you're reading it generally. However, I don't know that we always know for sure. There are a number of players every year, for instance are drafted in the second round even, that turn out to be quite successful. So I think it's an important and probably the best source of acquiring new talent is the draft. I think we all have to pay attention and do the best job we can to try to figure out who the players are going to be.
For the Warriors in the draft, are you targeting a specific positional type player or best available when it's your turn to select?
I think it's really best available. I just think, regardless of position, you have to find who you think is going to be the best player out there at your draft position. We clearly have a couple of needs we feel, I think it's been widely reported, and it's very obvious we need some more size inside, we need some more depth on the team as well but so we would prefer to get a great, big interior presence as an addition to the team. But we really can't focus on that exclusively. It really depends on where we're going to pick, and what's available at the time. So again we'll pick the best player we can.
What's the latest on the coaching situation for the Warriors?
As is reported, in multiple media outlets, we are interviewing a number of candidates and trying to arrive at a final list which then I will also get involved in the process and begin to interview those folks.
Reportedly, one of the candidates was San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer. Was he one of your more preferred candidates?
This year's NBA draft doesn't have multiple franchise players like in previous years but it is very evenly spread out in terms of talent. A team can find a starter late in the 1st round and decent rotation players in the second round in this draft.
There is plenty of talent to be had just out of the pool of American prospects, and having a late first round pick won't preclude the San Antonio Spurs from getting a potential starter or all-star. The Spurs have already begun working out targeted prospects, some make you scratch your head (Matt Howard) and some are really intriguing like Justin Harper. What we know going into this process is the Spurs will do their homework on any guy in their draft range they have targeted and will make a wise selection. Any player they pick you should wisely presume will turn out to be a solid NBA player.
Based on need, presumed availability, and skill, I've compiled a list and brief profile on American college players that would be a good fit for San Antonio.
Chris Singleton - SF/PF, Florida State, 6'9'', 225 lbs.
A shutdown defender at the college level. He is very athletic and because of this athleticism, Singleton can defend both forward positions and is a very good rebounder. A blue collar type.
He made Kyle Singler's life hell in Florida State's victory over Duke in January, forcing him into a lot of tough shots, propelling Florida State to victory. He was perhaps the most complete defensive player in college basketball this year with his ability to defend the post and the wing. He can shoot the ball pretty well out to three point range but the rest of his offensive game is fairly limited as he doesn't really have a post game and can't create his own shot due to his lack of ball handling skills.
Singleton had surgery on a fractured foot in February and could slip in the draft depending on the outcome of medical tests. Right now he is projected as a mid to late first round pick with most projections having him land somewhere in the teens. If he fell to the Spurs, it could be another savvy draft steal for the San Antonio front office.
JaJuan Johnson - PF, Purdue, 6'10'', 221 lbs.
• The San Antonio Spurs' season may be over but do not let that stop you from winning free lower level tickets at the AT&T Center next season from San Antonio's News 4 WOAI:
San Antonio’s only 6:30 evening newscast is giving away a pair of lower level Spurs season tickets. Watch every evening at 6:30pm for Don’s Spurs Trivia question. Starting with the 14th caller the first person to get the correct answer becomes a finalist. One finalist will be picked each day from May 18, 2011 to May 26, 2011. A drawing will be held on May 27, 2011 with the winner receiving a pair of lower level Spurs season tickets. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
• Bizjournals.com says a budding Dallas Mavericks-Oklahoma City Thunder rivalry could supplant the rivalry between the Spurs and Mavericks:
By the time this Western Conference Finals war between Dallas and Oklahoma City is over, San Antonio may be the odd town out in the I-35 rivalry.
• Texas A&M basketball coach Bill Kennedy has ties to the Spurs:
While at A&M as a young assistant, Kennedy earned $100 a pop to scout Rockets games and write up reports for the Spurs. From those reports came a close relationship with San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford and coach Gregg Popovich. He still sees them a few times a year. (chron.com)
• Express News' Tim Griffin talks about who played well in the Maverick-Thunder series.
• MVPTexas.com asks if it's the year of the Mavs.
• Pounding the Rock puts the Spurs centers under the microscope.