The Brooklyn Nets need a new permanent head coach after Avery Johnson’s dismissal. P.J. Carlesimo is a solid stop-gap but he’s more known for being on the receiving end of the most abusive coach-player relationship in league history and for flaming out as Durant and Westbrook’s first NBA head coach. But instead of whittling down the pros and cons of the prospective coaches, let’s take a trip back to Christmas morning for a little anecdotal truth.
Courtside during the Los Angeles Lakers’ Christmas clash with the New York Knicks, an interesting footnote in pop culture history was taking place as Chris Breezy and Rihanna were schmoozing courtside in public for the first time since Brown brutally assaulted his girlfriend nearly four years ago. It was a TMZ moment but it holds hoops significance.
No, Carlesimo is not going to put Latrell Sprewell on his coaching staff or reconcile with his attacker. However, if Rihanna can forgive Chris Breezy, why can’t Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams scale back their respective egos and (Brooklyn) bridge their differences?
Seconds out! Round three of New York’s Battle of the Boroughs takes place tonight at Madison Square Garden (7pm ET, ESPN) and, with the season series tied at one win apiece, tickets prices for the game are historically high.
The other day as I was listening to sports radio in New York, the topic of conversation came up about how the Mike D’Antoni New York Knicks era was considered a massive failure. While Michael Kay, one of the hosts disagreed, citing that originally D’Antoni was never put in a position to succeed; fans were calling into the show to lambast the former Knicks, and current Lakers coach. While D’Antoni never won a playoff game with the Knicks, and in the end ended up quitting on the team, the Mike D’Antoni era in New York was far from a failure, in fact, it accomplished everything it set out to.
On the radio, Michael Kay argued that for the first two years of his tenure as Knicks Head Coach, D’Antoni was never even given a chance to succeed. Team president Donnie Walsh was brought in to New York with one job, to clear cap space so the Knicks could make a run at Lebron James during the summer of 2010. As Kay said, every time the Knicks found a player that was becoming productive under the D’Antoni system, they would trade him to clear cap space, therefore D’Antoni never had a good team at his disposal.
There are few things funnier than this late July story about Knicks GM Glen Grunwald refusing to open his Las Vegas hotel door because a Houston official was waiting on the other side with the Jeremy Lin offer sheet. In Grunwald's defense, this incident apparently happened only a few hours after the Knicks GM completed a trade with the Rockets to get back former Knick, Marcus Camby. Listen, I'd go into hiding too if I traded away Toney Douglas to a person who not only knew where I lived, but would also soon realize, "I started the off-season with Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry as my two point guards. Now, my backcourt belongs to this guy."