Larry Brown

Pacific Notes: Curry, Beal, Rondo, Kokoskov

Warriors point guard and two-time MVP Stephen Curry could be back in action this week, according to an NBA.com post. He will go through a full practice on Tuesday with the possibility of playing against the Raptors on Thursday, coach Steve Kerr told the media. Curry has missed 10 consecutive games with a left groin strain.

We have more news from around the Pacific Division:

  • Any potential Lakers trade for Wizards guard Bradley Beal would likely have Brandon Ingram as its centerpiece, according to Eric Pincus in a Bleacher Report column. Los Angeles probably wouldn’t agree to deal Ingram plus either Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma or Josh Hart, Pincus opines. However, a package of Ingram, Rajon Rondo and Michael Beasley would add up to enough salary to absorb Beal’s hefty contract. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope couldn’t be substituted for Rondo unless he agreed to the deal, due to a quirk in rules regarding players who re-sign one-year contracts, Pincus adds.
  • The Lakers’ offense has suffered without Rondo, who is currently out with a broken hand, Joey Ramirez of the team’s website reports. The Lakers ranked fourth in scoring (116.9 ppg) and fifth in assists (26.0) before Rondo’s injury, but are 22nd in points (106.6) and 29th in assists (18.6) in the first five games without him. Rondo has been cleared for non-basketball activities but is still several weeks away from returning, Ramirez adds.
  • Suns first-year coach Igor Kokoskov believes his days as an assistant in Detroit were pivotal in his coaching career, as he explained to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. He was a young coach with the Pistons when they reached the Eastern Conference Finals on a regular basis. “I had the privilege of being with Larry Brown for two years and Flip Saunders for three years,” Kokoskov told McCosky. “I was very fortunate to learn from those great coaches and those great players. Just being a part of that group, with those guys all in their prime, I had a chance to steal the best from those guys. I learned a lot. Especially when you are winning.”

And-Ones: Brown, Davis, Paul, Williamson

Longtime NBA coach Larry Brown is having a rough time coaching the Euroleague’s Fiat Torino in Italy. The team has lost 10 straight and Brown is on the hot seat, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Brown was hired over the summer, his first head coaching job since leaving his position at Southern Methodist two years ago.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA big man Glen Davis has drawn interest from multiple teams in Asia and Israel, according to a Sportando report. Davis briefly played for a Croatian team this season. His last taste of the NBA came in 2014/15, when he played 74 games with the Clippers.
  • Brandon Paul is in serious talks with Greece’s Olympiacos, according to another Sportando report. Paul was waived by the Spurs in late July and failed to hook on to another NBA club. The shooting guard made his league debut last season and appeared in 64 games, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.1 RPG in just 9.0 MPG.
  • Duke forward Zion Williamson has emerged as the favorite to be the top pick in next year’s draft, according to ESPN’s Mike Schmitz. He’s passed freshmen teammates RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish because of his unique skill set and it’s hard to imagine a rebuilding team choosing anyone else, Schmitz adds.
  • NBA prospect Akok Akok has withdrawn from Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut and will enroll in college in January, he told Adam Zagoria of 247Sports.com. Akok, a 6’10” power forward, has graduated high school and is eligible for the draft. He is considering Connecticut, Georgetown, Providence, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

And-Ones: Barkley, J. Smith, D. Johnson, L. Brown

TNT analyst Charles Barkley has been outspoken about his desire to run an NBA team and he said in a recent interview that he thought the Magic were going to give him a chance last year, relays Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. Barkley told radio station 98.7 FM Arizona that he was hoping for an interview in Orlando before the organization decided on Jeff Weltman as president of basketball operations and John Hammond as GM.

“They hired another one of those analytical idiots instead of just getting the best players,” Barkley said.

Barkley expressed interest in taking over the Sixers‘ front office in 2012 and the Suns‘ in both 2010 and 2013. Barkley didn’t indicate whether he wants to be a candidate to replace Phoenix GM Ryan McDonough, who was fired earlier this week.

There’s more NBA-related news to pass along:

  • At age 32, Josh Smith hasn’t give up hope of an NBA comeback, tweets Ben Stinar of AmicoHoops. Smith played three games for the Pelicans last year, but otherwise hasn’t been in the league since the end of the 2015/16 season. However, a source tells Stinar that Smith is working out and waiting for an opportunity.
  • Most teams made their final roster cuts before yesterday’s waiver deadline at 5pm Eastern, but a few still have decisions to make, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN. Players with non-guaranteed salaries have begun to receive daily payments that will count against their teams’ salary caps. The Suns, for instance, will owe Isaiah Canaan $19,858 if they wait until Monday to waive him.
  • The NBA has changed the way it will count days of service for two-way players, tweets ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Travel days to and from the G League will no longer count against the 45-day limit.
  • Former Thunder center Dakari Johnson has opted to remain with Qingdao in China, contrary to a report earlier this week that he planned to leave, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The team’s GM confirmed Johnson’s decision.
  • Former NBA and NCAA coach Larry Brown recently traveled to the United States for minor surgery, Carchia tweets. Brown currently coaches Fiat Torino and will be re-evaluated by doctors next week to determine when he can return to Italy.

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.”