Larry Brown

And-Ones: Wanamaker, Jeanne, Crawford, G League

The Celtics are giving strong consideration to signing Euroleague star Brad Wanamaker, international basketball journalist David Pick tweets. Wanamaker, the MVP of the Turkish finals with Fenerbahce, is a 28-year-old, 6’4” shooting guard who went undrafted in 2011. He has spent most of his pro career overseas, though he had a stint in 2012 with the G League’s Austin Toros. The Magic, Nets, Sixers and Heat have also expressed interest in him, according to Pick. However, Wanamaker has a $3.8MM contract with Barcelona that runs through 2020, so he may stay in Europe, Pick adds in another tweet.

In other news on the domestic and international front:

  • Jonathan Jeanne, who was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, has been cleared by his doctor to play, his agent told Sportando. Jeanne, a 7’1” center from France, was considered a potential first-round prospect before the diagnosis was made last June. He went undrafted and now will explore all international possibilities, Sportando adds.
  • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford is looking for the best fit in free agency after deciding to opt out, he told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Crawford insisted he wasn’t unhappy with the Timberwolves, despite leaving $4.5MM on the table. “For me, it’s just fit. I don’t think anything’s wrong (in Minnesota),” Crawford told Krawczynski. “There’s nothing wrong that’s not wrong anywhere else. It’s the NBA. Everybody’s not going to get along every second. That’s not realistic.”
  • The G League Expansion Draft will be held August 22, tweets 2 Ways & 10 Days. The only team utilizing the draft is the Capital City Go-Go, the new affiliate of the Wizards.
  • How does a swap of Chander Parsons and the Grizzlies’ picks at No. 4 and No. 32 for the Clippers’ lottery picks at No. 12 and No. 13 plus Danilo Gallinari sound? ESPN’s Insiders throws out a number of trade scenarios heading into the draft.
  • Longtime NBA coach Larry Brown officially signed his contract to coach Fiat Torino in Italy, Sportando relays.

And-Ones: Brown, Motiejunas, Broekhoff, USA Basketball

Longtime NBA coach Larry Brown will sign his contract to become the head coach of the Euroleague’s Fiat Torino on Sunday, according to a Sportando report. Brown’s agent, Massimo Rizzo, said his client has already signed a letter of intent to coach the club but won’t ink the official contract until his press conference this weekend, the report adds. The 77-year-old will be taking his first head coaching position since resigning from Southern Methodist two years ago.

We have more international and domestic basketball news:

  • Forward Donatas Motiejunas will remain in China next season, Sportando relays. He re-signed with Shandong for approximately $3MM, the report adds. Motiejunas played 34 games with the Pelicans in 2016/17 after beginning his career with the Rockets, but long-terms concerns over the soundness of his back sidetracked his NBA career.
  • Australian swingman Ryan Broekhoff has visited several teams this week hoping to land an NBA contract, HoopsHype tweets. Broekhoff, who went undrafted out of Valparaiso in 2013, was scheduled to visit and work out for the Wizards, Timberwolves, Bucks and Nets, HoopsHype adds.
  • Reggie Hearn, Jonathan Holmes, Amile Jefferson, David Stockton and Xavier Munford are among the 14 players who will be on the training camp roster for the USA World Cup Qualifying Team, according a USA Basketball press release. Training camp begins on Wednesday and the final roster will be pared to 12 players.  In the FIBA World Cup Qualifying games, the U.S. will face Mexico on June 28th in Mexico City and Cuba on July 1st in Havana.
  • The Hornets and Raptors are interested in adding Sergio Scariolo, who is currently the head coach of the Spanish national team, to their staffs, according to another Sportando post.

Larry Brown Gets Job Offer In Italy

Former NBA coach Larry Brown has received an offer to become a senior assistant with Fiat Torino, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando.

The 77-year-old hasn’t coached since resigning at Southern Methodist two years ago. Fiat head coach Paolo Galbiati hopes to add someone with experience to his staff and sees Brown as a good fit, according to reports from La Stampa and Tuttosport.

Brown is expected to make a decision on the offer soon, but seems more interested in another head coaching opportunity than becoming an assistant, Cauchi relays. He has been linked to the Italian league before, being contacted by Pallacanestro Cantù.

During a coaching career that spanned more than 40 years, Brown became famous for helping his teams become successful, then quickly leaving for other jobs. He led the Pistons to a championship in 2004 and compiled a 1327-1011 record as head coach of nine NBA teams and two ABA squads.

Brown also made his mark in the college ranks, coaching at UCLA and Kansas before coming to SMU. He guided the Jayhawks to a national title in 1988, then left two months later for a job with the Spurs, shortly before the NCAA sanctioned the program.

Coaching Notes: Thompson, Ewing, Calipari, L. Brown

After 13 seasons at Georgetown, John Thompson III is out as the team’s head coach, the school confirmed today (Twitter link via Gene Wang of The Washington Post). With the Hoyas’ job now open, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical notes (via Twitter) that Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing has never had much interest in NCAA jobs, but it’s possible that the Georgetown job “gives him pause.” According to Wojnarowski (Twitter links), Ewing remains close and loyal to the Thompson family, and came close to landing an NBA job last offseason, so he may very well continue to focus on landing an NBA head coaching job.

Let’s round up a few more coaching-related odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • Kentucky head coach John Calipari signed another extension with the Wildcats, according to school, which announced in a press release that the two-year amendment to Calipari’s current contract locks him up through March 30, 2024. Calipari’s name occasionally pops up in NBA head coaching rumors, but it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere anytime soon.
  • Another former NBA coach appears to be seeking out a college job, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets that Larry Brown is trying to align himself as an assistant as part of Mike Woodson‘s candidacy for Indiana University’s job. Indiana isn’t interested, per Wojnarowski.
  • Meanwhile, Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports reports that LIU-Brooklyn reached out to Brown about the school’s head coaching job, and the two sides are expected to meet soon. However, a source tells ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that the interest is from Brown’s side, and LIU-Brooklyn doesn’t consider him a “viable candidate.”
  • This could be the first NBA season in more than 50 years in which no team makes an in-season coaching change, which amazes Magic head coach Frank Vogel, as John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com details. “The fact that no one has, it’s a shock,” Vogel said. “It’s been overly volatile and unreasonably so, quite frankly, over the last five-to-10 years in particular. (No firings) is something that is great for our profession. I think teams need to understand that continuity is important. Everybody wants to win now, but there is strength in continuity.”

Olympics Notes: Anthony, Popovich, Jokic

After capturing his third gold medal, the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony confirmed that his international career is complete, relays Sam Amick of USA Today. Anthony played on the 2004 team that settled for bronze before being part of the last three gold medal winners. He holds Team USA career records for games played and points scored, and today moved into the lead in total rebounds. “As much as I’m going to miss it, it’s time to pass it on to some of the guys who were on the team this year, and also the younger guys [not on the team],” he said after today’s win over Serbia in the gold medal contest. Anthony said he and his teammates “locked in” after some close games early in the competition.

There’s more news out of Rio on the final day of the Summer Olympics:

  • Anthony was the only basketball player nominated to be named Male Athlete of the Games for the United States, tweets Chris Washburn of The Boston Globe. The other nominees were swimmer Michael Phelps, cyclist Connor Fields, wrestler Kyle Snyder and runner Matthew Centrowitz Jr.
  • Gregg Popovich will take over as the next coach of Team USA, but he might have had the job years ago if not for the disappointing performance of the 2004 Olympic team, writes Jackie MacMullen of ESPN.com. Popovich was an assistant to Larry Brown on that team, which brought home a bronze medal from Athens. “We didn’t have a chance to build a team,” Brown says. “We threw those kids into a terrible situation. Pop and I talk about it all the time. I say to him, ‘What could I have done better?’ What I hate most about it is I think it cost Pop his chance at the job.” In the wake of that outing, Jerry Colangelo, head of USA Basketball, picked Duke’s Mike Krzyzewksi to be the new national team coach and started a rift with Popovich that lasted until he was offered the job last spring.
  • Serbia’s Nikola Jokic cemented his reputation as a rising star with his Olympic performance, according to Jonathan Huang of NBA.com. The 21-year-old Nuggets center had a memorable Olympics, including 25 points in an early matchup with Team USA, as he helped his nation reach the gold medal game.

Draft Rumors: Towns, Payne, Mudiay

People close to No. 1 overall pick contender Karl-Anthony Towns deny a report that he won’t work out for any teams, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, who writes in an NBA PM piece. Towns isn’t trying to convince the Timberwolves to pass on him so that the Lakers can take him at No. 2, Kyler also hears. There’s plenty more from the draft, including some pretty hefty names, as we pass along here:

  • Sources suggested to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders last month that point guard Cameron Payne has a promise from a team, and that indeed appears to be the case, Kyler writes in the same piece. There’s a decent chance it’s from a team picking higher than the Thunder, whom Chad Ford of ESPN.com linked to him at No. 14, Kyler adds.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay is expected to work out for the Knicks, Lakers and Sixers, Mudiay’s would-be college coach Larry Brown tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link), but for now, he won’t work out for the Timberwolves, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (on Twitter).
  • French swingman Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot will pull out of the draft by the June 15th deadline to do so if he doesn’t receive a first-round guarantee from a team, a league source tells NetsDaily.
  • UNLV shooting guard Rashad Vaughn is working out with the Warriors today and the Lakers on Wednesday, Zagoria tweets, correcting an earlier report. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities adds the Bulls and the Wizards to the list of teams previous reported to have workouts with Vaughn on their schedule (Twitter link).

Larry Brown Not Interested In Coaching Lakers

Former NBA head coach Larry Brown told Sam Amick of USA Today that he isn’t interested in coaching the Lakers and stressed his desire to continue coaching at Southern Methodist University. Yesterday, we heard that the Lakers were planning to reach out to Brown at some point.

“I’ve always kept in touch with (Mitch Kupchack); I admire the (heck) out of him…(But) we’re not talking about coaching the Lakers. I’ve read some of the names. They’ve got a long list of good people to choose from, and I’m here at SMU. I want to win a national championship.”

After winning a championship with the Pistons in 2003/04 and pushing the Spurs to a Game 7 in the 2004/05 NBA Finals, Brown was never able to reach the same plateau of success during his next stops in New York and Charlotte. The dregs of a 23-59 season in 2005/06 were exacerbated by tension that boiled over between Brown and the Knicks organization that summer, ultimately leading to Brown’s bitter exit from the team after just one year. Brown later found his way to the Bobcats in 2008, and led the team to their first playoff berth in franchise history in 2009/10. Things didn’t necessarily end well there either, as Brown and his entire coaching staff parted ways with Charlotte only 28 games into the 2010/11 season.

Since being hired as SMU’s head basketball coach, Brown seems to have found his comfort zone again. Following a 15-17 record in 2012/13, the 73-year-old coach led the Mustangs to a 23-9 record in addition to an appearance in the NIT championship game.

“I’m just so thankful SMU gave me this chance…We have made such progress. We’ve got a bunch of young kids already committed for the future and I’d love to finish it out here. … I’d love to see (the Lakers) get a great coach, because I love Mitch and I love that franchise. But I’m thrilled where I am. I feel so fortunate I’ve had this chance…We’re moving forward (at SMU), so I’m OK.”

Coaching Rumors: Rambis, Brown, Dolan

Within their story on the Knicks and Lakers coaching situations, Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com categorize the Lakers’ previously reported interview with Kurt Rambis as mere “discussions” along the same lines of the team’s informal phone call with George Karl. Still, a formal interview might not be necessary, since Rambis is already a Lakers assistant and has plenty of history with the Lakers franchise.

As noted yesterday, the Lakers also reportedly have Larry Brown on their radar. The former NBA and current SMU head coach spoke with Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer and offered some general comments about coaching in the NBA, but did not specifically mention anything about the L.A.’s interest. However, Brown implied what would be important to him if he were to consider a return to the Association.

“We can see the way the NBA is now…If you’re not really connecting with the owner, you’ve got no shot. I was so fortunate to be around (former 76ers owner) Mr. (Ed) Snider. I look now and I think it’s so simple: If the coach, the president, and the owner are all on the same page, it seems to me there’s no way you can fail. I don’t see that. When I look back at my life in pro sports, whenever I’ve been involved with an owner who cared about me and was there for me, it made it pretty easy.”

  • Knicks owner James Dolan told WFAN that Phil Jackson is in charge of the team’s coaching search, adding that he “has no idea who (Jackson’s) talked to” (Al Iannazonne of Newsday via Twitter).
  • In an appearance on ESPN 700, Yahoo’s Marc J. Spears said not to “sleep on Jim Boylen” becoming the next head coach of the Jazz (hat tip to David J. Smith of Salt City Hoops via Twitter).
  • University of Michigan’s John Beilein was unmoved by recent rumors linking him to the NBA’s head coaching carousel and plans to fulfill his current commitment to the Wolverines, reports Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press. Beilein – whose contract with Michigan expires in 2019 – has drawn some attention with his program’s recent performance in the NCAA tournament as well as the success he’s had in coaching future NBA players.
  • College coach Tony Bennett reached a new deal with the University of Virginia that runs through 2021, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Pacific Notes: Ballmer, Fisher, Sterling

The impact of Steve Ballmer‘s $2 billion purchase of the Clippers is causing a ripple effect throughout the league, writes NBA.com’s David Aldridge.  Aldridge runs down the “winners” of the pending transaction, in order.  At the top, of course, is the Microsoft magnate himself.  After that, it’s the NBA owners, LeBron James, and then the Players Association. Here’s more out of the Pacific..

  • The Lakers do plan to reach out to Derek Fisher this week as well as Larry Brown and Scott Skiles at some point about their coaching vacancy, but their search is proceeding slowly, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter links).  The Lakers are focused more on player evaluation at present.
  • In an email to Shelburne (Twitter link), Max Blecher, the lawyer for Clippers owner Donald Sterling said, “We are still considering our options,” with regard to legal action versus the NBA and Shelly Sterling.
  • The Kings are without a second-round pick, but they’re on the lookout for one via trade, GM Pete D’Alessandro said, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee details. “Our ownership group has put their money where their mouth is,” D’Alessandro said.“For us there would be no need to look at second-round pick (talent) if there was no real option, and that is an option.” Some second-round prospects have avoided Sacramento, given the lack of a pick, but that hasn’t been the case with all of them, and D’Alessandro isn’t dismayed, Jones notes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Odds & Ends: Odom, Brown, Mudiay, Mavs

A number of outlets have relayed the TMZ report last night that 33-year-old free agent forward Lamar Odom has been battling a "hardcore" drug addiction for the past two years. Odom hasn't failed an NBA-mandated drug test since 2001, but the report claims he entered a drug treatment facility in San Diego last summer and was clean during the 2012/13 season with the Clippers before beginning to use again this summer.

Odom averaged a career low 4.0 PPG and 1.7 APG in 19.7 MPG while appearing in all 82 games with the Clippers last season. Here's what else is happening around the league during a quiet, late-August Saturday night:

  • Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer spent the day with new Sixers coach Brett Brown's family in Portland, Maine.
  • Adam Zongoria of Zagsblog.com describes how SMU coach Larry Brown landed the top class of 2014 high school point guard, Emmanuel Mudiay, who announced his decision at halftime of Brooklyn's Elite 24 game tonight. Zongoria opines that Mudiay will be a one-and-done player and a likely lottery pick in the 2015 draft. 
  • The Trail Blazers made a lot of moves to improve their league-worst bench from last season. One of those additionsDorell Wright, is profiled by the Oregonian's John Canzano
  • HoopsWorld's senior NBA writer Bill Ingram tweets that the rumors Dwight Howard issued an ultimatum that Mike D'Antoni be fired and Kobe Bryant amnestied in order to re-sign with the Lakers "seem silly" since Howard chose the Rockets early on. Ingram also wonders, via Twitter, what it says about Howard (assuming the reports are accurate) for him to think he has anything on Bryant.
  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban answered questions on the new "Fox Sports Live" program last night, as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News. He discusses flip-flopping on wanting Dwight Howard in free agency this summer, whether the Mavs are rebuilding this coming year, and the health of 35-year-old franchise star Dirk Nowitzki.
  • The Mavs are also one of the eight teams wearing the new GPS tracking devices, reports The Dallas Morning News.
  • ESPNNewYork.com's Jared Zwerling tweets that former St. John's star Justin Burrell, who has played overseas since graduating in 2011, will play for Italy's Montepaschi Siena this coming season.