Dan Majerle: No as Suns Head Coach, Yes as Assistant

With the news of Mike D’Antoni (no apostrophe necessary) going to the Knicks, that leaves the Suns with a nice big vacancy at their head coaching position. Veterans like Rick Carlisle, Scott Skiles, and my buddy LB are off the board, so who’s left for the Suns to pursue? That’s been a big question, and one name that has appeared as a potential replacement is former Suns player, Dan Majerle. Well much to my surprise, Majerle was a guest on FSN Arizona’s telecast of the D-Backs/Rockies game Tuesday night in the top of the 5th inning. Daron Sutton wasted no time getting to business asking if Majerle would be the next coach of the Suns and who he thought were candidates for the job. Majerle’s response:

In a word, no. At this point in my life I am not interested in being a head coach. I would not say that I would not want to be an assistant or some kind of assistant for the Suns. I would entertain those kind of ideas because I always thought maybe I could be a good coach.

I know that Jeff Hornacek has surfaced, Marc Jackson has surfaced, a couple of assistants — the guy from Boston — guys like that.

Jeff Hornacek? Where’d that come from? And it sounds to me like Majerle could become a head coach in time and that he could wind up on the staff at some point. Majerle also said that he was against the Shaq trade because he wanted to see the team get another chance to win the title since he felt they were so close. We agree on that point, largely because I didn’t see any positives to adding Shaquille. So to answer those questions, Majerle behind the bench is a possibility, just not as head coach.

LeBron Puts His Mom in Check

If you saw Game 4 last night between the Cavs and Celtics, you surely remember the play where Paul Pierce bear-hugged LeBron James to keep him from scoring. If you haven’t, this video will get you up to speed. And even if you have, keep in mind that the lady getting in between LeBron and Pierce is LeBron’s mom. Make sure you’re watching LBJ’s lips:

Since I’m guessing the video will be pulled before long, LeBron tells his mom, “Sit your ass down” after she gets in the middle of things. That is priceless, and not much of a surprise since it wouldn’t be the first time she was getting The King in trouble. Good thing the game wasn’t played on Sunday!

Kobe the Only Injured Player in the NBA

If you ever wanted to know the deep-down reasons behind my disgust of one Kobe Bryant, you don’t need to look any farther than this very post (wearing sunglasses to his “going pro” announcement in high school would do the trick, too). Out of all the stars that are hurt, get hurt, and play hurt, why is it that Kobe’s the one who seems to make a bigger deal than anyone else about it? Why don’t I remember Tim Duncan making comments after his horrendous Game 1 debacle in New Orleans that he wasn’t feeling well because he had the flu and that’s why he played so poorly? Why didn’t Tom Brady blame all the sacks and the Super Bowl loss on his foot? Why is it that Kobe makes it a point to let the media know in his post-game comments that his back was hindering him and that’s why he didn’t do well down the stretch? (And why is it that speaking at the podium isn’t good enough for Kobe, he has to grab the mic and walk around, too?). I respect Kobe for playing through his pinkie injury during the season and winning the MVP award, but man, this guy doesn’t fail to remind me why I can’t stand him and why he’s such a baby.

Instead of handling matters like a professional, he always has to let everybody know exactly how he’s feeling at that moment. “Guys, guys, if you really want to know why I didn’t play well, it’s because of my back. You should know that, write about that. Make sure you follow it in between games.” That’s not Kobe’s job to do. He shouldn’t be publicizing his injury and using it as an excuse — that’s the media’s job. Let us talk about how hurt he was and how courageous he is. Let us blame a loss on Kobe’s back. You don’t need to do that for us. Why is it that he already seems to be building himself a great excuse in the case of a disappointing loss to the Jazz? Now it’s win-win for Kobe: either Lakers win and he’s the hero for playing hurt, or they lose and he’s absolved because he’s told everyone he’s injured. Gosh I can’t stand the way this guy operates.

Going to Knicks Right Move for D’Antoni

At first I agreed with with most of the comments I was hearing from pundits — going to Chicago would be the best move for Mike D’Antoni. But now that I’ve thought about things since he’s agreed to become the next coach of the Knicks, I’m convinced that going to New York is the right move for Mike D’Antoni. Assuming he wasn’t getting along with Suns’ management and that it was time for him to move on, going to NYC makes sense. As it’s being reported, D’Antoni’s going to be making $24 million over four years from the Knicks. That’s nothing to sneeze it. Long as the Knicks are willing to dish it, why not take it, right? So from a financial perspective, he’s capitalizing on his worth.

Next up, D’Antoni doesn’t have very high expectations. He’s taking over a team at its absolute low point — it can’t possibly get any worse or embarrassing for the Knicks. They’ve had a horrible record and they’ve been just as big of a joke off the court as they have on it. All D’Antoni really has to do is revive the program — get them to .500 and into the playoffs. Shouldn’t be too hard to do if he has four years in the Eastern Conference. And from all accounts, they just want him to excite the fans — recharge interest in Knicks basketball. The way I see it, it’s a win-win for D’Antoni.

Now if he were to go to Chicago, there would be higher expectations; the Bulls were a playoff team winning 50 games not long ago. He’d be charged with the responsibility of getting them back to that point, and be getting paid handsomely to do so. There would be a lot more pressure in Chicago, even if the team is better and easier to work with. And here’s the best part of taking the Knicks job: when in doubt, blame it on Isiah. That’s right, D’Antoni is following such a messy act, that when in doubt, everyone will blame it on Isiah. Honestly, how much better can it get for D’Antoni?

Hornets Signify Changing of NBA Guard?

Despite their excellent regular season, the Hornets were a popular pick to bust in the playoffs. Lots of experts had the Mavericks beating them in the playoffs, figuring experience would be a huge factor. Though I had New Orleans winning their first round series, I didn’t think they’d be able to get past the second round. Come on, how many people would figure they could have beaten the Spurs or Suns? They haven’t advanced to the Conference Finals just yet, but they’ve looked more than impressive blitzing San Antonio in the 2nd half of both Game 1 and Game 2 in New Orleans. Peja has been hot, hitting over 61% on his three-pointers in the playoffs, and 48% on all his shots. Chris Paul has been incredible handling and shooting the ball, making 50% of his shots, and turning the ball over just three times in two games against the Spurs. They’ve been incredibly impressive, beating down San Antonio just like they did Dallas in the first two games.

I’m not expecting the same result by any means once the series goes to San Antonio. In fact, I’d expect to see things get evened up. But New Orleans is looking like they’re going to win this series, and I think that is monumental. To knock off San Antonio would be a huge deal — it would prove the Hornets have truly arrived. Perhaps what’s been most impressive in the series is how they’ve held down Tim Duncan. Duncan went just 5 and 3 in the first game, making only one of nine shots. He only grabbed eight boards in Game 2, and the Spurs were down by a combined 32 points while he was on the floor. Yikes. West and Chandler have done a great job defensively. We’ll see if they can keep it up because they’ve looked great thus far.

Kobe Bryant to Win MVP? Deserves it

Mike Bresnahan at the LA Times says sources told him Kobe Bryant will be presented with the MVP trophy next week in Los Angeles, answering one of the most popular questions of the year. I’m sure some praise of Kobe is about the last thing you ever expected out of me, but I am even-handed enough to recognize reality. First off, I’m not buying the argument that Kobe “deserves” to finally win one after being shut out all these years. If another player is more valuable, than he should win the award. It shouldn’t be a lifetime achievement award. Take Chris Paul for instance: between points and assists, Paul accounts for the most points of any individual in the league, and he led a moribund Hornets team to the second seed in the Conference. I could make an excellent case for CP3 as MVP and it wouldn’t be wrong if he won it. But Kobe Bryant nearly matched Paul’s production, yet Kobe I believe did it with an inferior supporting cast (until Pau came along).

If you were reading LBS waaaay back in the day, you might remember in February of 2007 when I incorrectly predicted the Hornets would surge into the playoffs. I made that prediction anticipating a healthy Hornets team, when they actually went back to being injured. The bottom line is that I recognized a long time ago New Orleans was a very talented team that was only slowed by injuries. That reality became clear this year. But the Lakers have a collection of what I deem to be garbage-type players like Luke Walton, Kwame Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Vlad Radmonivic. Before the ridiculous Pau trade, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the Lakers winning games against playoff teams like Phoenix, Utah, Houston, Denver, and New Orleans, some of which even came on the road. Obviously Andrew Bynum had developed into a powerful big man, Lamar Odom was a quality option since he was healthy, and the addition of Derek Fisher was crucial, but still, the team they were trotting out there pre-Gasol didn’t strike me as any too good.

Maybe I’ve erred because I’ve underestimated the Lakers as a whole, primarily their bench. But I think Kobe deserves the MVP because he had the Lakers as one of the top teams in the Western Conference even before they acquired Pau, and to me, that was quite impressive. And once they did acquire Pau, they surged to the top of the standings as they rightfully should have, proving they maximized their talents which is no easy feat. Sure Kobe has flaws in his game and he is an incredibly unlikable, phony, childish, and sickening person, but he is an excellent player and he deserved to win the MVP award this year.

Karl Malone Impregnated 13-Year-Old?

Apparently The Mailman was delivering his goods to local middle schools while he was at Louisiana Tech. Many people missed the story over the weekend of Demetrius Bell, a 7th round pick by the Buffalo Bills. Bell is the son of Karl Malone, though The Mailman had no role in his life and told him it was too late to be his father when the two finally spoke a few years ago. Well if you thought this story was pretty bad, then you haven’t heard the whole thing. A report from The Buffalo News presented by MDS at FanHouse suggests that Bell’s mother was only 13 when Malone got her pregnant. That is freaking disgusting.

Yeah, I heard about Andrew Bynum dipping onto campuses for his action, but at least we’re talking about a college campus, not a freaking middle school. This is gross. Disgusting. And why am I not surprised that the same guy having sex with youngins is a deadbeat dad? Seems to go hand in hand. This dude is giving Travis Henry a run for his money, and Henry had like nine kids from nine women or something. Now what’s worse: a 13-year-old having sex, Malone nailing a young kid while he’s in college, or Malone being a deadbeat dad? Whatever your answer, somewhere Roger Clemens is smiling.