Mike Brown

Pacific Notes: Carter, Kings, Brown, Warriors, Clippers

Vince Carter is 40 years old and in his 20th NBA season but he can still evoke memories of the explosive player who was once regarded as one of the NBA’s best. Carter pitched in a season-high 24 points in the Kings‘ win over the Cavaliers on Wednesday and LeBron James had a raving review, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes.

“He made some bombs,” James said. “He’s a Hall of Famer for a reason, let’s not take that for granted. Once he got going, we couldn’t slow him down.”

There have been talks that Sacramento should distribute Carter’s minutes to younger players as the team rebuilds. However, Carter is only averaging a career-low 14.6 minutes per game to go along with 3.9 PPG. His job is no longer to be the offensive leader, but just a leader. The longtime Raptor and Nets has embraced the role.

“It’s not really about the points, it’s making a difference for our team in a positive matter,” Carter said. “… I just want to assess myself as, did I help our team or the second unit? Did we close a deficit or extend a lead in our time in the game? That’s usually how you get minutes or earn more minutes and opportunities. That’s just my approach.”

Check out other news from the Pacific Division below:

  • In a separate article, Jason Jones from the Sacramento Bee writes that after a recent loss to the Spurs, the Kings’ coaching staff and players view the Spurs’ model as their blueprint for success. The Spurs have been a contender for the past two decades, whereas the Kings have not sniffed the postseason since 2007.
  • In an in-depth and insightful feature (via USA TODAY Sports), assistant coach Mike Brown‘s contributions to the Warriors over the last three seasons are highlighted. Brown has spoken glowingly of the Golden State organization and the love has been reciprocated from head coach Steve Kerr – who Brown filled in for last season — and the players.
  • Speaking of the Warriors, the team’s current foundation is currently held together by having four All-Star talents leading the team. However, the key to keeping that foundation intact may rest with the team’s new arena that is currently being built, Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports writes.
  • Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register looks at the Clippers’ uncertain future and whether or not the team is likely to stay in Los Angeles.

Mike Brown Not Expected To Have Interest In OSU Job

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott has reportedly turned down an opportunity to become Ohio State’s new coach, which means the Buckeyes are still looking for someone to fill the position. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter), Warriors assistant Mike Brown is on Ohio State’s radar as a potential candidate.

Despite the program’s interest in Brown, no contact has been made, and Wojnarowski hears that NCAA basketball doesn’t really intrigue Brown for now (Twitter link). As Wojnarowski points out, Brown has one of the NBA’s best coaching jobs as Golden State’s top assistant (and acting head coach, when necessary) and isn’t lacking for money, having worked as a head coach for multiple NBA teams.

Brown was born in Columbus, Ohio and coached the Cavs for several years, so he has ties to the area and makes sense as a potential target for OSU. However, he’s “incredibly happy” with the Warriors, tweets Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News.

Ohio State parted ways with longtime head coach Thad Matta earlier this week and has been seeking a replacement. Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg was reportedly among the school’s targets, but like Brown, he’s not believed to have interest in the position.

Warriors Notes: Kerr, Brown, Irving, Luxury Tax

Steve Kerr hasn’t decided if he will try to coach the Warriors during the NBA Finals, according to Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News. Kerr’s physical condition has improved since he took a leave of absence from the team midway through the first round of the playoffs. He was able to run practice Monday and Tuesday and handled the coach’s media session Monday. However, he is still well short of being 100% and is being cautious about returning to the team in such an important situation.

There’s more Warriors news on the eve of the NBA Finals:

  • Kerr states in the same interview that he definitely plans to coach again next season. He remains optimistic about his long-term physical condition and has no plans to step aside. “You know, it’s a little trickier, since this has been going on,” Kerr explained. “I sort of assumed all last year that by the summer I’d get this thing knocked out. It’s been kind of a mystery and that’s what so frustrating. But I have every intention to coach for a long time. It’s scary stuff and still hoping for a better resolution to it.”
  • Interim coach Mike Brown doesn’t view this series as a shot at revenge, even though the Cavaliers fired him twice, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Brown served as head coach in Cleveland for five seasons before being let go in 2010. He was rehired in 2013, but was fired again after just one season, reportedly with $12MM in guaranteed money left on his contract. Despite his history, Brown said he has no ill feelings toward owner Dan Gilbert or the city of Cleveland. “My son goes to school back there, I still have a house back there, I have fond memories back there,” Brown said at today’s “media day” at Oracle Arena. “And went back there a second time with a good buddy of mine, [former Cavs GM] Chris Grant, and saw them put this plan into motion that is going on now.”
  • Kyrie Irving regrets the rocky relationship he had with Brown when they were together for his rookie season, relays Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Irving called it a “learning experience,” as things got so bad that Brown recommended that the front office try to trade Irving. “I understand that things happen in this league sometimes, whether controlled or uncontrolled,” Irving said. “I was a 21-year-old kid, just trying to lead a franchise, and he was a new head coach that I had to get introduced to a new offense, new players, as well as new system.”
  • Once Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are re-signed this summer, the Warriors will be headed for uncharted territory in their salary and luxury tax bills, tweets Bobby Marks of The Vertical. Golden State could wind up paying more in tax penalties than salary for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, and the total could be more than $600MM over the two years.

Pacific Notes: Ball, Kings, Brown

The Lakers aren’t afraid to draft Lonzo Ball just because of his father, Jeff Goodman of ESPN writes. Team president Magic Johnson recently told the media that LaVar Ball will have “no effect at all” on his son’s draft stock.

This Tuesday, the Lakers will have a 46.9% chance of landing a top-three pick (and thus retaining the pick) but have just a 15.6% chance of landing the first overall pick. Should they get lucky, the eldest Ball child could be the latest highly-touted prospect to don purple and gold.

To his credit, Lonzo Ball is seen by scouts as level-headed and unassuming, Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Daily News adds, suggesting that if given the opportunity, the Lakers will look to draft the UCLA product regardless of any possible complications related to his dad.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • As we wrote about earlier, a lousy reputation hasn’t exactly helped the Kings land talent. This year, however, the franchise is looking to use the combine as a way of chipping away at the “anywhere but Sacramento” mentality, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes.
  • Assistant-turned-temporary head coach Mike Brown has seen his career revitalized with the Warriors and Anthony Slater of the Mercury News has all of the details of the former Cavaliers bench boss’ journey in a must-read feature.
  • Put simply, David West turned down over $10MM last season, instead opting for the chance to compete for a title with the Spurs. Now with the Warriors, Daniel Brown of the Mercury News writes, West is at the doorstep of the NBA Finals.

Cavaliers Notes: Lue, Brown, Blatt, Defense

A broken hand suffered by reserve center Edy Tavares has reinforced Tyronn Lue’s decision not to scrimmage during the Cavaliers’ long break, writes Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. Lue is working to keep the Cavs focused during a nine-day layoff as they await the winner of the Celtics-Wizards series. Lue admits the team is “itching to play” as he guides the players through walkthroughs, but he won’t consider scrimmages because of the injury risk. Point guard Kyrie Irving supports the decision. “An incident happened in practice where somebody got hit in the hand and it just wasn’t good,” Irving said. “I was about to come out and play five-on-five and the incident happened three seconds later as T-Lue comes out of the door. Naw, I’m not for scrimmaging right now until the game.”

There’s more news today as the wait continues in Cleveland:

  • Mike Brown and David Blatt have both prospered since being fired by the Cavaliers, notes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. Brown took two years off after his dismissal, passing on chances to become a lead assistant with the Thunder and head coach at Nevada-Las Vegas. Last summer, he became the Warriors’ top assistant and has assumed head coaching duties with Steve Kerr sidelined for health reasons. Brown could wind up coaching against the Cavs in the NBA Finals. Blatt, who was fired midway through last year’s championship season, is the highest-paid coach in Europe, guiding Darussafaka Dogus in the Turkish League. He led the club to its first-ever Euroleague playoff berth.
  • After struggling on defense all season, the Cavaliers have improved on that end in the playoffs, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The Cavs ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency during the season, but are fourth since the postseason began. Still, Lue jokes that he wishes the players could remember their defensive assignments as well as they remember their pre-game handshake routines.
  • The Cavaliers are among the teams showing interest in Arizona shooting guard Rawle Alkins, according to Sam Amico of Amicohoops. Cleveland doesn’t have a pick in this year’s draft, but could buy a late selection like it did last year to obtain Kay Felder. The Cavaliers, Thunder, Pelicans and Heat have all contacted Alkins’ high school coach to get more information, according to Adam Zagoria of Fanrag Sports (Twitter link).

Latest On Steve Kerr

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr remains out indefinitely, and is extremely unlikely to return to the team’s bench before the end of Golden State’s series against the Jazz, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. Mike Brown will continue to coach the Warriors in the interim.

According to Shelburne, Kerr is seeing a specialist at Duke University Medical Center on Friday and is receiving treatment aimed at alleviating the symptoms that have been ailing him as of late. Kerr, who underwent surgery on his back two years ago, continues to experience the effects of complications from that procedure, including severe headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

While the Warriors would love to see Kerr back on the sideline, the team’s players are moving forward with the expectation that Brown will be the head coach for the rest of the playoffs, as we heard earlier this week.

As Shelburne tweets, Kerr was adamant during his first leave of absence last season that he didn’t want to return to the Warriors until he was healed and ready to coach full-time. That’s even more important this time around, Shelburne notes.

Warriors Not Counting On Postseason Return For Kerr

Steve Kerr is battling complications stemming from back surgery and it has forced him to miss Golden State’s last two playoff games. Mike Brown took over duties in his place and the Warriors are preparing as if Brown will lead them for the rest of the postseason.

“We plan on Steve not to come back,” Draymond Green said (via Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Gate. “That’s the way we’re approaching this thing. We’re not going to sit around and say, ‘Oh, man, if we can get to the conference finals Steve may be back!’ Nah. Mike Brown is our coach.”

Kerr remains involved in the team’s strategy, though it’s unclear exactly how much input he is giving. Brown, who has been friends with Kerr for nearly 17 years, is preparing to be the head coach for as long as Golden State has basketball left to play, but he’s doing so by communicating regularly with the 2015/16 Coach of the Year.

“My whole deal is I’m going to coach the team until Bob [Myers] and Steve tell me otherwise,” Brown said. “I’m not putting a timetable on it, just taking it one day at a time. The reality of it is, Steve and I talk a couple times a day.”

Warriors Notes: Fraser, Kerr, Barnes, Livingston

Having to get by without Steve Kerr for the first 43 games of last season has made the transition easier this year, assistant coach Bruce Fraser tells Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News. Ongoing complications from Kerr’s 2015 back surgery forced him to miss Games 3 and 4 of the Trail Blazers series and have put his availability in question for the next round and beyond. Former NBA coach Mike Brown has taken over the team on an interim basis and “has been really good with letting our culture stay intact,” Fraser said.

Fraser adds that helping Kerr get healthy is the organization’s primary concern. “I used to ask him a lot at the beginning how he was doing and I could tell after a while he just didn’t like that question,” Fraser said. “He hides it from everyone. I’m no different. But he also doesn’t want you to feel sorry for him. He doesn’t want it to be a crutch for himself or a hindrance to the team or us. He learned how to manage it pretty well. So he was really good with it all–some moments better than others. It just got worse. We just need to get him back.”

There’s more Warriors news this morning:

  • Brown brings a different tone to Golden State’s huddles, but he is maintaining the same philosophies that Kerr employs, Kevin Durant says in the same piece. “They’re two different voices, two different personalities,” Durant said. “They work well with each other and they learn from each other I can tell. But we play a certain way and we’ve been playing that way the whole season. It’s not like coach Brown is coming in trying to change anything up. He’s coaching us within the flow of the game and whatever he sees he’s going to help us out.”
  • The Warriors are hoping to have Matt Barnes and Shaun Livingston available when their second-round series starts Tuesday, relays the Associated Press. Barnes, who has been out since April 8th with a foot injury, has been upgraded to probable for Game 1. Livingston remains questionable with a sprained finger on his right hand that he suffered in the opener against Portland. Durant is expected to play without the minutes restriction that was imposed when he returned from a strained left calf for Game 4 against the Blazers.
  • Center Zaza Pachulia talks the experience of being surrounded by mega-stars in the “Warriors Plus-Minus” podcast with Kawakami.

Steve Kerr’s Condition Continues to Worsen

The physical problems that caused Warriors coach Steve Kerr to miss the final two games of the first-round series have gotten worse over the past week, reports Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News. Kerr’s indefinite absence from the team may stretch well into the second round or even beyond.

Kerr was at Stanford Medical Center today getting further tests and had to miss the first practice in preparation for the next round of playoffs. Interim coach Mike Brown was in charge and said he will plan to coach the rest of the postseason unless GM Bob Myers tells him differently.

Brown talked to Kerr Tuesday night about strategies for facing the Jazz or Clippers in the next round. Brown refused to comment on Kerr’s condition, referring all those questions to Myers.

Kerr is still dealing with the effects of surgery that he had in the summer of 2015 to repair a ruptured disk in his back. That created a fluid leak in his spine, and a follow-up operation was needed. Kerr missed the first 43 games of last season and still hasn’t returned to full health.

Myers addressed his coach’s condition after today’s practice in an interview on 95.7 The Game. He said the organization hasn’t set a timetable for a return, and he wants to see Kerr have several good days in a row before he comes back to the bench.

“For him to live the life that he wants to live, we need to figure it out,” Myers said. “I think we will.

The Warriors won’t play again until Sunday, and maybe not until Tuesday if the Jazz-Clippers series goes to a seventh game. Brown plans to continue having strategy sessions with Kerr and will try to handle his absence as smoothly as possible.

“You hope it’s seamless,” Brown said. “I’ve been coaching a long time and even though Steve’s older than me — a lot older than me (laughs) — he’s been coaching for three years now and I’ve learned a ton from him. Not just X’s and O’s. Maybe [Gregg Popovich] rivals it, but he’s by far the best communicator I’ve been around. There’s no way I’ll be able to emulate that. Just being here a year, having the veterans we have, the staff we have, it’s made it, in my opinion, seamless.”

Steve Kerr May Miss The Rest Of First-Round Series

The Warriors are concerned about the health of head coach Steve Kerr, who may not be available for the remainder of their first-round series, writes Marcus Thompson II of The San Jose Mercury News.

Golden State won Saturday’s Game 3 without Kerr, who was held out with an illness that was only described in vague terms. A source tells Thompson that Kerr has been ailing since the series started. He has been suffering excruciating pain and at times can barely walk.Kerr’s health has been an issue since he underwent surgery in July of 2015 to fix a ruptured disk in his back. That operation created a fluid leak in his spine, and he needed a second procedure two months later.

He missed the first 43 games of last season before returning to his spot on the Warriors’ bench, but his health problems never fully went away. Thompson writes that the spinal fluid leak left him with “debilitating headaches and nausea,” along with other ailments.

The team hired Mike Brown as its lead assistant over the offseason because of his extensive experience as an NBA head coach. Thompson notes that the Warriors passed over younger candidates such as Stephen Silas because of fears that Kerr might not be able to coach the entire season.

Kerr was able to gameplan with Brown before Saturday’s game, but it remains uncertain when he might coach again. Kerr will undoubtedly want to return as soon as possible, but GM Bob Myers may insist that his friend get healthier first.

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