Lindsey Harding

Kings Officially Announce Mike Brown’s Coaching Staff

The Kings have finalized their coaching staff for Mike Brown‘s first season in Sacramento, according to a press release from the team.

As previously reported, former Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez is joining the Kings as associate head coach after working with Brown on the Nigerian national team. Jay Triano, Doug Christie, Luke Loucks, and Leandro Barbosa will also be assistant coaches on Brown’s staff, as anticipated.

Dutch Gaitley and Lindsey Harding will be assistants as well, with Gaitley serving as director of player development. Harding and Deividas Dulkys, whose hiring was previously reported, will be player development coaches.

Robbie Lemons (senior director of coaching analytics and strategy), Charles Allen (head video coordinator/special assistant to the head coach), and Garrius Adams (assistant video coordinator) will fill out the staff, which Brown referred to as a “diverse and talented group.”

Roy Rana, Mike Longabardi, and Rico Hines are among the veteran assistants on former head coach Alvin Gentry‘s staff who won’t be returning to Sacramento for the 2022/23 season. Longabardi joined the Hawks, Hines joined the Raptors, and Rana got a job coaching a team in Japan.

Wolves Notes: Edwards, Beverley, Simmons, Harding

Anthony Edwards has grown two inches in the past year and it may affect the way the Timberwolves use him, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Edwards, who finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, was 6’4″ when Minnesota selected him with the top pick in the 2020 draft. He’s now 6’6″ and may be even more versatile than he was last season.

Edwards averaged 4.7 rebounds per game as a rookie, but Hine notes that figure increased to 5.4 over the final 20 games as the Wolves asked him to put more emphasis on attacking the backboards. Coach Chris Finch is now considering using Edwards as a power forward in smaller lineups.

“He’s an extremely unique player and has all this raw ability, but he’s very literal when you coach him. Like I say to him, ‘I need you to go out and do X,’ he’ll do it,” Finch said. “We discovered in the last part of the season (when I’d tell him), ‘I need you to get seven rebounds tonight.’ We gave him goals almost every game or every period of time, so you give him stuff to focus on and he went out and did that.” 

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Finch is looking forward to reuniting with Patrick Beverley, whom he coached several years ago as an assistant with the Rockets, Hine adds. Finch expects Beverley, who was acquired in a trade with the Grizzlies, to serve as a leader on defense. “He’s going to bring a lot of toughness, tenacious defense,” Finch said. “It gives our defense a bit of a personality. Defenses are always best when they start on the ball with the type of approach and aggressiveness he brings. I think one of the most encouraging things about bringing Patrick here is not how excited we are he’s coming, but he’s really excited. He knows he’s exactly the type of piece we need.”
  • Beverley appears to be on board with the Wolves’ pursuit of Ben Simmons. Responding to a tweet from NBA writer Ben Stinar suggesting that Simmons, Edwards, D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns would be a contender in the West, Beverley wrote “Facts” (Twitter link). Of course, as Stan Van Gundy noted in a reply to Stinar’s tweet, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Minnesota could land Simmons without giving up any of those three players.
  • Before hiring Elston Turner as an assistant on Finch’s staff, Minnesota considered Kings player development coach Lindsey Harding, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Harding began her WNBA career with the Minnesota Lynx.

Western Notes: Mitchell, Popovich, Kings, Brewer

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell confirmed that he was shocked by the team’s decision to hold him out of Game 1 when he thought he’d be playing, as Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune writes.

“I was frustrated and upset,” said Mitchell, who has missed over a month with a right ankle sprain. “I was ready to go. I was ready to go.”

s tell Tony Jones and Sam Amick of The Athletic that Mitchell had hoped to make his return late in the regular season and was already irritated by the delay, so Sunday’s decision only exacerbated his frustration. The Jazz, who didn’t want to risk a re-aggravation of the injury, felt that holding him out for one more game – resulting in three extra days of rest – was the best move for Mitchell’s health and safety, per Jones and Amick.

Having been cleared to play in Game 2, Mitchell said on Monday that he’s ready to move past the situation, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Still, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his latest Hoop Collective podcast that some damage has been done to the relationship between the Jazz and their All-Star guard.

“Is it damaged to the point where it can’t be repaired? I’m not saying that,” Windhorst said, per RealGM. “Is it something that they’ll get past and he’ll just move on and it will just be a blip on the radar screen? Maybe. Maybe they’re in The Finals in two months and who cares? Maybe they win the next four games and it’s totally forgotten. But right now, Donovan is hurting. He’s really hurting the way this happened.”

As the Jazz look to even the series in Game 2 on Wednesday, Mitchell said there have been no discussions yet about him facing a minutes limit in his first game since April 16. The 24-year-old said he wants to be smart, but added that he’s prepared to play all 48 minutes if necessary, tweets Jones.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • It remains unclear whether Gregg Popovich will decide to continue coaching the Spurs in 2021/22, writes Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News. As Finger details, the longtime Spurs coach said last week that there would be “a lot of time” to figure out what’s next, so it could still be weeks or months before the team makes an announcement.
  • The Stockton Kings, in search of a new head coach, are interviewing candidates from Sacramento’s coaching staff , per Sean Cunningham of ABC10 Sacramento (Twitter link). Bobby Jackson, Lindsey Harding, and Jonah Herscu are receiving consideration to coach the Kings’ G League team, sources tell Cunningham.
  • Former NBA wing Corey Brewer, who joined the Pelicans as a player development coach last fall, wrote for BasketballNews.com about transitioning from playing to coaching and what he learned in his first year in the new role. Brewer also shared some thoughts on several of New Orleans’ young players.

Kings Notes: Bagley, Fox, Harding, D. Jones

The Kings‘ decision to let Marvin Bagley III stay away from the team while he recovered from a broken bone in his left hand raises questions about his future with the organization, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Bagley, who hasn’t played since March 15 when he suffered a fracture of his fourth metacarpal, rejoined his teammates Thursday on their road trip.

Jones states that letting Bagley be on his own for so long with an injury that wasn’t season ending appears to be “more of the coddling and enabling of players” that the Kings have gotten a reputation for. Team officials stayed in touch with Bagley during his absence, but Jones suggests he could have benefited from taking part in game preparation and other day-to-day activities.

Bagley still has a splint on his hand and is not close to returning to action, according to coach Luke Walton (Twitter link). When he does return, his performance over the remainder of the season may help the Kings determine his future. Bagley will be eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, but he has only played 50 combined games over the past two seasons. League sources tell Jones that Sacramento made Bagley available before this year’s trade deadline, but the front office didn’t receive any offers it liked.

There’s more on the Kings:

  • De’Aaron Fox has been the one constant on a Sacramento team that has posted a five-game winning streak and a pair of nine-game losing streaks this season, notes Spencer Davies of Basketball News. Fox is carrying the Kings’ offense every night and averaging a career best 25.2 PPG. “Just from the hours that he puts in and watching him this summer, (we knew) that something different was about to happen — we saw how locked in he was,” teammate Richaun Holmes said. “It’s honestly been amazing to watch. … He’s so vocal on and off the floor, and just his mindset is to attack.”
  • Lindsey Harding, who is in her second season as an assistant with the Kings, has been named head coach of the South Sudan Federation women’s team, Jones tweets.
  • In case you missed it, the Kings have signed Damian Jones to a second 10-day contract. His first one expired Friday night. With Holmes injured, Jones has been the team’s starting center in the past two games.

Duke Hires Celtics Assistant Kara Lawson

Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson has reached an agreement with Duke to take over the women’s basketball program, writes Steve Wiseman of The Raleigh News & Observer. The university confirmed the hiring on Twitter.

Lawson, 39, is with the Celtics in Orlando, where she participated in a practice this morning. She had a virtual meeting with her new Blue Devils players later in the day.

A former star at Tennessee and in the WNBA, Lawson joined Boston’s coaching staff last summer. She will be the first Black coach in the history of Duke women’s basketball, taking over a program that went 18-12 last season with a 12-6 record in the ACC.

Lindsey Harding, a player development coach with the Kings and a former star at Duke, also interviewed for the job, according to Wiseman.

Pacific Notes: Kerr/Davis, Rubio, Harding, Vogel

As if the Pacific Division wasn’t already exciting enough after a summer that saw Kevin Durant leave and Anthony Davis, Paul George, and 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard arrive to join LeBron James and Stephen Curry, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr added some fuel to the divisional fire today when he criticized Davis’ public trade demand out of New Orleans.

Appearing on NBC Sports’ Warriors Insider Podcast (h/t to ESPN), Kerr said there is a troubling trend in the NBA right now wherein players who are healthy and still have a couple of years left on their deal (e.g. Davis) publicly request a trade. Kerr said that situations like that are both a “real problem” and “bad for the league.”

“I’m talking more about the Anthony Davis situation… where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, ‘I want to leave.’ That’s a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with.”

“When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans… (and) if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract… (Now) If you come to an agreement with the team that, ‘Hey, it’s probably best for us to part ways,’ that’s one thing, (b)ut the Davis stuff was really kind of groundbreaking — and hopefully not a trend, because it’s bad for the league.”

There’s more out of the Pacific Division this evening:

  • The Suns have been searching for a point guard to help lead them back up from the bottom of the Western Conference standings for years now, and the three qualities that veteran Ricky Rubio possesses that makes Phoenix think he’s the guy are playmaking, defense, and leadership, writes Cody Cunningham of Suns.com.
  • Lindsey Harding, recently hired as an assistant coach for the Kings under head coach Luke Walton, says that fear of the unknown is more of a factor than a lack of respect for women coaches when it comes to the absence of a female head coach in the NBA today (per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN).
  • New Lakers head coach Frank Vogel plans to incorporate a similar style of play incorporated by Walton, telling Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated that he will continue preaching pace, attacking the basket, and shooting a lot of free throws. But more importantly, Vogel’s goal will be to put shooters at all four positions around James, including center, a la Brook Lopez surrounding Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.

Kings Hire Lindsey Harding, Stacey Augmon

3:34pm: The Kings have officially confirmed the hiring of Harding. In the same press release, the team also announces that it has hired veteran coach and former NBA player Stacey Augmon as an assistant.

Rico Hines, who had been the head coach of the Stockton Kings – Sacramento’s G League affiliate – was named a player development coach.

3:21pm: The Kings are hiring former WNBA star Lindsey Harding as an assistant coach on Luke Walton‘s staff, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN (Twitter link).

Lindsey is a rising star and I’m so excited to have her join our incredibly experienced team of coaches,” Walton said in a statement, per Shelburne (Twitter link). “Her basketball IQ and proven success on the court will be a valuable addition to our growing team.

The Sixers added Harding to their scouting department last August, hiring her as a full-time scout for the 2018/19 season. At the end of the season, Philadelphia adjusted her role, announcing that she’d be a player development coach going forward.

Instead, the former Duke Blue Devil will head to Sacramento, where she’ll get an opportunity to become the latest addition to a growing group of female assistants around the NBA. As Shelburne notes (via Twitter), Kara Lawson (Celtics), Becky Hammon (Spurs), Jenny Boucek (Mavericks), and Lindsay Gottlieb (Cavaliers) are among the other women who will be on teams’ benches in 2019/20.

The 76ers and Harding are parting ways “on great terms,” says Derek Bodner of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Brown, Williams, Harding

The playoffs opened with three upsets, but nobody had a worse day than the Sixers, writes Michael Lee of The Athletic. Philadelphia’s problems go beyond the final score, as nearly every fear about the team heading into the postseason came true. Joel Embiid‘s sore knee, Ben Simmons‘ limited shooting range, the lack of a bench, defensive concerns and chemistry issues were all on display as fans booed loudly in a loss to the Nets.

Some observers believe the Sixers compiled the most talented starting unit in the league by trading for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, but those five players only took the court together 10 times in the regular season. And with Butler, Harris and J.J. Redick all headed for free agency, the team could easily break apart if the postseason doesn’t go well.

An even greater concern might be Embiid’s physical condition. Bothered by tendinitis in his left knee that limited him to eight games after the All-Star break, Embiid wasn’t sure if he could play until 15 minutes before Saturday’s contest began. He lumbered up and down the court for much of the afternoon, settled for outside jumpers and was frequently targeted by the Nets on defense.

“I tell him all the time, it’s about him being healthy,” Butler said. “Yeah, he can help us but at the same time, he can hurt us if he gets worse. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely want Jo out there. But we want him healthy.”

There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:

  • Managing partner Josh Harris passed on a chance to give coach Brett Brown a vote of confidence before yesterday’s opener, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Harris has commented before that it could be “problematic” if the team doesn’t make a long playoff run. “What I meant by it is that all of us – Brett, [general manager] Elton [Brand], me, a lot of us, the players on the team. We have high expectations. So that is what I meant,” Harris said when asked about Brown’s future.
  • The Sixers won’t stand in the way of any assistant who gets a head coaching opportunity, Brand told Pompey in the same story. They granted permission yesterday for Monty Williams to interview for the open job with the Lakers, where he and Tyronn Lue appear to be the top candidates. “We respect that, the chance to have more responsibility and be a head coach,” Brand said. “For anyone on our staff to have a deeper role, we will honor that. We don’t want dysfunction, we don’t want distractions, but it is what it is.”
  • Lindsey Harding was promoted this week to player development coach, the team announced on its website. She joined the organization prior to this season as a pro personnel scout.

Sixers Hire Former WNBA Star Lindsey Harding As Full-Time Scout

The Sixers have hired Lindsey Harding as a full-time scout for the 2018/19 season, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reports. Harding was one of the best women’s basketball players in Duke history and was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in 2007.

“I think when you have this goal in mind, your gender shouldn’t even matter,” Harding said about landing the position. “It should be about if you can do it, if you’re good, you’re experienced, if you know what you’re doing and what you’re talking about.”

Harding spent last season in the NBA’s Basketball Operations Associates Program, She interviewed with several NBA teams with an eye on a role that would allow her to get exposure to the front office.

“I would love to be in the front office and really understand how to put a team together,” she said. “I still love being on the floor and having the opportunity to coach. But I really just wanted to get my foot in the door.”

Harding is the second former WNBA player to be hired in a full-time scouting role, as Jenny Boucek, who is now a Mavericks assistant coach, performed advanced scouting work for the SuperSonics in 2006.