Mike Brown

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Wiseman, Atkinson, Brown, Draft

Recovering Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson isn’t participating in full contact workouts yet, but he’s “starting to really get movement on the court,” head coach Steve Kerr told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Thompson continues to rehab from an Achilles tear he suffered in November 2020.

“He’s still a ways away from actually playing basketball in a 5-on-5 setting,” Kerr said. “But there’s a big step with the Achilles when you can actually start running again. It’s a huge psychological boost. The rest of the body gets going, you start feeling the soreness and aches and pains that actually feel good when you’ve been out for a while. He’s at that point.”

Kerr addressed a few other topics of note during his conversation with Slater. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Coming off knee surgery that ended his rookie season, James Wiseman is “right on schedule for everything,” according to Kerr, who says the expectation is still that the young center will be ready for training camp.
  • Discussing the addition of Kenny Atkinson as an assistant coach, Kerr said he was worried about “groupthink” with the current staff and believes Atkinson will bring a new perspective to the group. “Very clever. Very analytically driven,” Kerr said of Atkinson. “We’ve had a lot of basketball conversations over the years and I’ve always been impressed with the way he sees and feels the game. In a way, it’s different from me.”
  • Mike Brown has been Kerr’s associate head coach for the last several years, making him the lead assistant on the staff. Atkinson has a claim to that role too, but neither coach is concerned about the title, according to Kerr. “I talked to Kenny about titles. He didn’t care. I talked to Mike, said I was interviewing Kenny and hadn’t talked title. Mike said, ‘I don’t care either,'” Kerr told Slater. “To me, they’re just both assistant coach. Both guys are comfortable in their own skin.”
  • Kerr said he isn’t as involved this year in scouting and evaluating draft prospects because of the Olympics and his commitment to Team USA, but he’s excited about what the Warriors will be able to do with the seventh and 14th overall picks. “Based on what I’ve watched on tape, I’ve seen a few guys who can play right now,” Kerr said. “You can go that route or go the younger route, get a prospect. Maybe you get one of each. Get one guy who is ready now and one guy who may pop in a few years. Who knows. But I think we’re in a really good position asset-wise to look at everything.”

Southeast Notes: Crowder, Heat, Mosley, Wizards

The Heat made a key personnel decision that could have adversely impacted their 2020/21 season in letting Jae Crowder walk as a free agent during the 2020 offseason, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The club opted to not sign Crowder to a long-term deal so that it could keep its coffers open for the summer of 2021, when Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was scheduled to be a free agent. Of course, Antetokounmpo then signed a lucrative extension with Milwaukee, and the Bucks would go on to sweep the Heat 4-0 in the first round of the 2021 postseason.

Crowder, meanwhile, signed a three-year, $29.2MM deal with the Suns. Though Crowder’s statistical numbers may be modest, Winderman notes that his toughness and versatility would have significantly aided Miami’s 2020/21 season. Crowder is now bringing those same attributes to bear for the Suns in the NBA Finals. The club is up 2-0 against the Bucks.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Team Nigeria head coach Mike Brown sang the praises of Heat forwards Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala after they contributed to Team Nigeria’s 90-87 exhibition match upset over Team USA in an Olympics tuneup game, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Achiuwa and Okpala’s contributions went beyond their minor offensive output. Their Miami teammate Gabe Vincent, meanwhile, enjoyed a stellar offensive game for Nigeria, scoring a team-high 21 points on 66.7% field goal shooting.
  • Several current and former Magic players expressed their excitement when the news broke today that Orlando would be hiring Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley to be the club’s new head coach, writes Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel. “I’m happy for him,” Magic forward Jonathan Isaac told Hays. “He’s been faithful to the grind and the league for many years.” Former Magic guard J.J. Redick, who was coached by Mosley in Dallas this season, tweeted “Love this!!”
  • The Wizards, who have the No. 15 pick in the 2021 draft, will hold pre-draft workouts for six draft candidates on Monday, per a team press release. Richmond guard Blake Francis, Florida guard Tre Mann, Avtodor Saratov forward Nikita Mikhailovskii, Tennessee swingman Yves Pons, Stanford forward Oscar Da Silva, and Coppin State wing Koby Thomas will all get a look from Washington’s brain trust.

Olympics Notes: Team USA, Brown, Agada, Scola

Team USA is still be the favorite to capture the gold medal in Tokyo, but there are plenty of questions after Saturday’s 90-87 loss to Nigeria in exhibition play, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Coached by Mike Brown and sporting seven current NBA players on its roster, Nigeria led throughout the fourth quarter and held off American rallies with a combination of physical defense and three-point shooting, hitting 20 of 42 from beyond the arc.

“That’s a talented group of players. It’s not a bunch of people off the street playing basketball,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said. “Every year, teams are better and better, and every year, one or two or three more NBA players are on their teams, so they’re a quality team. Mike’s done a great job with them, and they’re as athletic as anybody. They’re very physical, and they’ve been practicing for three weeks.”

Team USA is loaded with All-Stars, but just began practicing together this week in Las Vegas. A lack of continuity could be a concern, as it was with the last major international tournament, the 2019 FIBA World Cup, where the Americans lost to France and Serbia and wound up finishing seventh.

“None of us have ever played with each other, we’re just trying to figure it out,” Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said. “We don’t have three to four weeks. This is good for us, we’ll learn a lot from the film and we’ll regroup.”

There’s more Olympics-related news this morning:

  • Brown recognizes the significance of Saturday’s win, which was the first ever for an African team against the United States, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The Nigerians, who are aiming for the first Olympic basketball medal in African history, lost to the Americans by 83 points in the 2012 Olympics and by 44 in a 2016 exhibition game. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t mean much in the standings as far as where we’re trying to get to,” Brown said. “But it’s a good win for us. I don’t think any African team has been able to beat USA Basketball in an exhibition game or a real game. … We’re trying to get a little bit of momentum for Nigeria and for the continent of Africa.”
  • NBA interest has “spiked” in Nigeria’s Caleb Agada, who came off the bench to score 17 points in the upset, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. Agada recently had a workout with the Jazz and will play for the Nuggets‘ team in next month’s Summer League.
  • Former NBA forward Luis Scola scored 25 points for Argentina in a loss to Australia Saturday night. At age 41, Scola indicated he may keep playing once the Olympics are over. “I don’t even know if I’m going to retire after the tournament,” he said (Twitter link from Reynolds).

Fischer’s Latest: Celtics’ Front Office, Ainge, Billups, Brown, More

As the Celtics transition from the Danny Ainge era to the Brad Stevens (presidential) era, they will have a lot of decisions to make, both in regards to the front office and the coaching staff. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer suggests that two names to watch in regards to the front office are current assistant general manager Mike Zarren and director of player personnel Dave Lewin. Both are long-time members of the Celtics organization and seem set to move up the organizational hierarchy.

Fischer writes that Zarren has long been the primary voice in trade negotiations, and that there is belief that Stevens will out-rank him as a decision maker more in name than in practice. If Zarren is promoted to general manager, it’s believed that Lewin will be promoted to assistant general manager.

Another name Fischer mentions is Hawks assistant general manager Landry Fields, who has previously been cited as a potential front office candidate for the Celtics.

“All teams are monitoring Landry Fields,” said a Western Conference executive, “because he’s going to get a real shot here to run his own team soon.”

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • While the possibility of Ainge joining the Jazz has been previously reported, Fischer adds that Ainge has also been linked by league sources to the Trail Blazers in some capacity. The Blazers have already fired longtime coach Terry Stotts after the team’s first round exit, and more shake-ups may be on the way.
  • Chauncey Billups may not have experience as a head coach, but Fischer says Billups has been considered the lead candidate among league personnel to replace Stotts as the Trail Blazers‘ head coach for weeks now. The former Pistons point guard – and current Clippers assistant – is considered one of the top head coach candidates on the market.
  • Mike Brown is on the lookout for another head coaching job after five years as an assistant coach with the Warriors, according to Fischer’s sources. Brown is a veteran who has previously been the head coach for the Cavaliers and Lakers, but he hasn’t had a team of his own since the 2013-2014 season.
  • With so many options on the market, it seems unlikely that the Celtics head coach will come from the team’s bench, according to Fischer, who says people around the league don’t expect the Celtics to promote an assistant coach with no prior experience head coaching in the NBA.

And-Ones: Ferrell, G League, DeRozan, Brown, NBRA

Free agent guard Yogi Ferrell is still seeking NBA opportunities, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. His agent, Cervando Tejada, denied a report that he was negotiating with FC Barcelona in the EuroLeague. “Ferrell is in (the) U.S. working out and waiting for another NBA opportunity and no talks have happened with Barcelona as of now,” Tejeda told. Ferrell played for the Kings the past two seasons and appeared in 50 regular-season games as a reserve last season, averaging 4.4 PPG in 10.6 MPG.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • NBA teams are offering fewer Exhibit 10 contracts to players on their training camp rosters, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. There were 51 players on Exhibit 10 contracts as of Saturday, down from 128 two seasons ago. Players receive a $50K bonus if he spends 60 days with the G League affiliate of the team that signed him. But with the uncertainty regarding the G League’s season, such contracts have become less valuable, Marks adds.
  • Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan chased an intruder out of his house last month, according to a TMZ report. DeRozan confronted the man, who had made his way upstairs into a play area where at least one of DeMar’s kids was located. The intruder was arrested after attempting to get back into DeRozan’s gated community.
  • Warriors associate coach Mike Brown has aspirations of turning the Nigeria national basketball team into a powerhouse, Colin Udoh of ESPN writes. Brown has become Nigeria’s head coach and he believes there’s enough talent to earn a medal at next year’s Tokyo Olympics. “Our goal is to finish on the podium,” he said. “We want to show the world that we can compete with the best of them. And I think, with the talent that we have, it’s a realistic goal for us.”
  • The National Basketball Referees Association has ratified a Letter of Agreement which modifies its collective bargaining agreement with the NBA for the 2020/21 season, the NBRA tweets. The modifications address COVID-19 issues and provide for the officials’ waiver of certain work rules in order to implement those health and safety protocols.

Pacific Notes: Vassell, Brown, Williams, Gentry

The Warriors like Florida State’s Devin Vassell enough to consider him with the No. 2 pick and he would be their likely target if they decide to trade down, writes Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Multiple sources tell Letourneau that Golden State views Vassell as the best wing defender in the draft and a long-term replacement for Andre Iguodala.

Vassell is 6’7″ with a 7-foot wingspan and has the versatility to be an effective defender at four positions. Not only does he specialize in forcing turnovers, he’s also a reliable shooter, hitting 41.5% from 3-point range this season. Leonard Hamilton, Vassell’s college coach, compares him to Klay Thompson.

“I always tell people that he’s very similar to Thompson,” Hamilton said. “If you look at his shooting stats at Washington State, they’re similar to Devin’s. He’s long, lean, athletic.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors assistant Mike Brown “made a strong impression” during his interview with the Clippers and has become “an emerging candidate” to be the team’s next head coach, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.
  • The Suns turned out to be the perfect opportunity for Monty Williams, who hadn’t been a head coach since 2014/15, notes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Williams led the team to a 34-39 record, including a perfect 8-0 mark after the restart. “When I got the opportunity in Phoenix, it was a lot of things that went into it,” Williams said. “It wasn’t just a basketball fit for me. It was a fit for my family because I had moved them around from New Orleans to Oklahoma City, back to San Antonio and then we go to Philly and I’m going to move them again. So I was looking for a family fit. I needed, obviously for me, to pray about it and make sure I had the peace that I needed to take on another job because it requires a lot of energy, a ton of time and I had to have a peace about doing it again.”
  • New associate head coach Alvin Gentry fits in perfectly with the Kings‘ up-tempo philosophy, writes Tracee Jay of NBA.com. Under Gentry, the Pelicans led the league in pace in 2017/18 and were second in 2018/19.

Mike Brown Interviewed For Clippers’ Coaching Job

Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown interviewed in recent days for the Clippers‘ head coaching position, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Brown has served as an NBA coach for more than two decades, holding assistant roles in Washington, San Antonio, and Indiana to start his career. He became the Cavaliers’ head coach in 2005 and led the team to a 305-187 (.620) record over the next five seasons, earning a spot in the 2007 Finals and winning a Coach of the Year award in 2009.

After departing the Cavs in 2010, Brown over as head coach of the Lakers for the lockout season of 2011/12, leading the team to a 41-25 (.621) record. He was let go just five games into the following season when L.A. got off to a 1-4 start, and rejoined the Cavs for a single season in 2013/14.

Since 2016, Brown has been a top assistant on Steve Kerr‘s staff in Golden State. Brown, who has also interviewed this year for the Knicks’ and Pacers’ head coaching jobs, is set to coach the Nigerian national team that will compete in next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

The Clippers have also met with Tyronn Lue about their open coaching job. According to Wojnarowski, Lue is still in a strong position to be promoted after serving as an assistant on Doc Rivers‘ staff, but the club is conducting a full search for Rivers’ replacement.

Pacers To Interview Mike Brown For Head Coaching Vacancy

The Pacers will interview Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown for the team’s head coaching vacancy, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link).

Indiana’s head coaching search has yielded numerous names but Brown, 50, is as experienced a coach available this fall as multiple teams seek to fill openings.

Since 2016, Brown has been an assistant to Steve Kerr, helping the team win three NBA championships. Before that, the 2009 NBA Coach of the Year led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007 during a five-year run as Cleveland’s head coach.

After he was dismissed from Cleveland, Brown replaced Phil Jackson in Los Angeles for the 2010/11 campaign but the Lakers were eliminated early in the postseason his season at the helm. Brown was fired just five games into the 2011/12 season after a sluggish start.

The Cavaliers rehired Brown in 2013 but was fired after just one season following a losing season.

Brown has previous experience in Indiana when he served as an assistant coach to Rick Carlisle from 2003-05. The team made the postseason in both of Brown’s season as an assistant.

Brown joins a long list of names receiving consideration for the Pacers’ opening, which includes a blend of experienced assistants, ex-head coaches and even a potential first-timer in Chauncey Billups. Additionally, now-former Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni could be an option for Indiana.

Coaching Rumors: Lue, Pelicans, Nets, Sixers, Ham, Brown

Former Cavaliers coach and current Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue is expected to be one of the NBA’s most popular head coaching candidates this offseason, and he’s unlikely to come at a discount, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

Vardon says that when Lue talked to the Lakers about their top job during the spring of 2019, he was seeking $7MM annually on a five-year contract. L.A.’s best offer was $20MM over three years, per The Athletic.

The Lakers won’t be in the market for a head coach this year, but there are several intriguing openings potentially in play for Lue, including the Nets, Sixers, and Pelicans jobs. Vardon notes that the Rockets could also join that list of Lue suitors if they decide to move on from Mike D’Antoni.

According to Vardon, there were frustrations within the Pelicans organization with Alvin Gentry around Christmas time in 2019, and if Lue had been available at that time – rather than working as a Clippers assistant – New Orleans may have moved on from Gentry and hired Lue during the season. However, sources tell Vardon that the Pelicans aren’t looking to spend more than about $5.5MM per year on their new head coach, so the competition for Lue may price them out.

Here are more head coaching notes and rumors from around the NBA:

  • Lue expects to receive an offer from the Nets, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). While Gregg Popovich may be Brooklyn’s dream candidate, Lue looks like a better bet to ultimately claim the Nets’ coaching job, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • Lue is also viewed as the Sixerstop candidate. However, some agents have wondered if team ownership will be willing to pay big money for Lue while Brett Brown‘s salary is still on the books for two more years, per Jabari Young of CNBC.com. Young adds Bucks assistant Darvin Ham to the list of candidates believed to be in the mix for the 76ers’ job.
  • Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown is receiving consideration from the Sixers for their coaching vacancy, though it remains to seen whether he’ll be interviewed, Pompey reports for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Knicks To Interview Mike Brown For Head Coach Job

The Knicks will interview Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown for their head coaching vacancy, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). New York’s list of coaching candidates has now cracked double-digits, with Brown representing the club’s 10th known interviewee.

Brown has served as an NBA coach for more than two decades, holding assistant roles in Washington, San Antonio, and Indiana to start his career. He became the Cavaliers’ head coach in 2005 and led the team to a 305-187 (.620) record over the next five seasons, earning a spot in the 2007 Finals and winning a Coach of the Year award in 2009.

After departing the Cavs in 2010, Brown over as head coach of the Lakers for the lockout season of 2011/12, leading the team to a 41-25 (.621) record. He was let go just five games into the following season when L.A. got off to a 1-4 start, and rejoined the Cavs for a single season in 2013/14.

Since 2016, Brown has been a top assistant on Steve Kerr‘s staff in Golden State. Brown, who interviewed with the Knicks in 2018 before they hired David Fizdale, is also coaching the Nigerian national team that will compete in next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

The full list of the 10 known candidates for the Knicks’ head coaching position can be found within our tracker. According to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link), the team started conducting phone calls with those candidates last week.