Eastern Notes: Jackson, LeBron, Bazemore

Team president Phil Jackson won’t be coaching the Knicks in any fashion next season, as he told confidant Charley Rosen, who in turn told Marc Berman of the New York Post. There was talk that Jackson might coach at home and let Kurt Rambis coach on the road next season, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reported last week. Even though the 70-year-old has lost weight and has more energy than usual, as Shelburne also wrote, coaching would be too physically demanding for Jackson, a league source told Berman. Carmelo Anthony didn’t seem too keen on the idea of the Zen Master coaching, leading Frank Isola of the New York Daily News to wonder if ‘Melo spiked the idea (Twitter link).

See more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Cavaliers weren’t exactly comfortable with LeBron James‘ unexplained decision to unfollow their official Twitter account Monday, but a source who spoke with Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com said James told him he unfollowed the Cavs, among others, so that he could start to narrow his focus in advance of the playoffs. That still leaves several questions unanswered, as Vardon explores, pointing out that James skipped a media session Monday for the first time since he returned to Cleveland, barring occasions when he was sick or wasn’t playing. A healthy James posted a triple-double against the Nuggets on Monday night.
  • Kent Bazemore is a lock to get overpaid this summer when he hits free agency, contends Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The question is whether it’ll be Atlanta footing the bloated bill, as Lowe examines amid a larger piece on the Hawks. The team could open nearly $20MM in cap room if it lets Bazemore walk, but the Hawks speak highly of the value of continuity, Lowe writes.
  • The Bulls essentially spent five draft picks on Doug McDermott, considering the two first-rounders and a second-rounder they used to trade up for him and the two second-rounders they used to clear cap room in a related move, observes Mark Schanowski of CSN Chicago. The moves finally appear to be paying off, and it’s conceivable the team will use McDermott as a starter as soon as next season, Schanowski writes.

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