Doug Collins

Vince Carter, Chauncey Billups Among Hall Of Fame Finalists

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 14 finalists for 2024 on Friday evening (via Twitter), with former NBA stars Vince Carter and Chauncey Billups among the nominees. Billups is currently head coach of the Trail Blazers.

Here’s the full list of finalists:

  • Chauncey Billups — Five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA, two-time All-Defense, one-time champion, 2003/04 Finals MVP (Pistons)
  • Vince Carter — NBA-record 22 seasons, 25,728 career points (23rd in NBA/ABA history), eight-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA, 1998/99 Rookie of the Year
  • Michael Cooper — Five-time NBA champion, eight-time All-Defense, 1986/87 Defensive Player of the Year (all with the Lakers)
  • Walter Davis — Six-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA, 1977/78 Rookie of the Year, Suns‘ all-time leading scorer
  • Bo Ryan — Former head coach of Wisconsin, four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year
  • Charles Smith — Winningest high school head coach in Louisiana history
  • Seimone Augustus — Four-time WNBA champion, eight-time All-Star, 2006 Rookie of the Year
  • Marian Washington — Longtime former head coach of Kansas (women’s)
  • Dick Barnett — Two-time NBA champion, one-time All-Star, three-time NAIA champion at Tennessee A&I
  • Harley Redin — Former men’s and women’s coach of Wayland Baptist University (Texas)
  • Michele Timms — One-time WNBA All-Star, Olympic bronze and silver medals with Australian national team
  • Doug Collins — Former NBA player, coach and broadcaster *
  • Herb Simon Pacers owner *
  • Jerry West — Four NBA championships as an executive with the Lakers (he’s already in the Hall of Fame as a player) *

* Nominated as contributors

The Class of 2024 will be unveiled on Saturday, April 6 during the NCAA’s Final Four. The enshrinement ceremony for 2024’s Hall of Fame inductees will take place on Saturday, August 17.

Unbelievable,” Carter said of being a finalist, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “You look in the crowd, you see Hall of Famers, and the opportunity … I mean, you can’t beat that. You can’t beat that. It’s a proud moment.”

Everybody that enters the NBA … it’s their dream. It’s basically basketball heaven to be in the Hall of Fame,” Billups told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter links). “That was never my goal when I was playing. I just wanted to try to win and be the best teammate I could be. … I’m just humbled by today. Just being close to it is an honor. I know I’m not there, but I’m closer. It’s a straight honor.”

According to Reynolds, four others were honored by the Hall of Fame as well. JoAn Scott, the NCAA’s vice president of men’s basketball, received the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. J.A. Adande and Debbie Antonelli received the Curt Gowdy Awards for print and electronic journalism, respectively, while Slam Magazine and the television show “NBA Inside Stuff” received the award for transformative media.

And-Ones: Hall Of Fame Nominees, G League, Extensions, More

Longtime Celtics forward Paul Pierce and former NBA player and head coach Doug Collins are among those eligible for the first time to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, writes ESPN’s Royce Young.

Pierce and Collins are joined as this year’s first-time nominees by former Defensive Player of the Year Michael Cooper and three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson, along with Howard Garfinkel, Lou Henson, Val Ackerman, and Yolanda Griffith. Those new nominees will be added to a list of returning candidates that includes Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, and Becky Hammon, among others.

While the 2020 Hall of Fame class – headlined by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett – won’t be enshrined until May due to coronavirus-related delays, the 2021 class is scheduled to be unveiled in early April, with a September induction ceremony to follow.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link) hears from a source that the NBA G League may be targeting February 8 for the start of its shortened season. Training camps would begin at a bubble site – possibly in Atlanta – on January 29 in that scenario, Bondy adds.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) examines what’s next for the players who didn’t sign rookie scale extensions on Monday and takes a look at some players who will still be candidates for veteran extensions during the season, including new Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Rockets forward P.J. Tucker.
  • The NBA’s decision to rescind the Bucks‘ 2022 second-round pick after finding evidence that they jumped the gun on negotiations with Bogdan Bogdanovic last month is a relative slap on the wrist, but still represents a noticeable step up over past penalties for tampering, Jared Weiss writes for The Athletic. The league made it a priority starting in 2019 to crack down on such violations.
  • Basketball junkies will enjoy the 2020/21 version of Niku Mistry’s annual NBA Almanac, a 300-page guide that recaps last season’s results – along with each offseason transaction – and includes team-by-team breakdowns for the coming year.

Bulls Notes: White, Harrison, Boylen, Collins

Bulls coach Jim Boylen is reversing his stance on not starting rookie guard Coby White for the rest of the season, according to Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. With the playoffs out of reach, White may be inserted into the starting lineup soon as the team focuses on developing players for next season.

“I think that day is probably coming,” Boylen said after practice this morning. “We’ve talked all year about developing and winning. Is that day coming? I would say, ‘Yes, probably.’ When, I’m not exactly sure.”

White is making a strong case for a starting role with his recent performance. He is averaging 27.7 points and 3.9 assists over the past seven games, and Schaefer notes that his defense and decision making have improved.

“He’s been great, man,” Zach LaVine said. “Just seeing his growth over the last month, he’s getting better every game. Even if it’s not like he’s getting 30 like he was, he’s still doing things that we’re progressing on. He’s growing every game.”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Shaquille Harrison used his new-found 3-point stroke to put up a career-high 25 points last night, Schaefer writes in a separate story. He has made nine of his last 11 from beyond the arc after shooting 27.7% on 3-pointers for his career. With restricted free agency looming this summer, Harrison is looking for any edge he can find to prove his worth. “I was undrafted, I had a couple offers coming out of high school,” he said. “I’ve always been that last guy they’re looking at, and I knew I had to make an impression that one opportunity or chance I get. So, it’s usual for me, it’s nothing new. I take pride in that, a lot of guys can’t do that.”
  • Boylen is denying reports of a rift with senior advisor Doug Collins, relays K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. The dispute reportedly involves Collins’ presence at coaching staff meetings. “All my interaction with Doug has been very positive. He’s been in my meetings and on the floor with the team,” Boylen said. “I don’t control his schedule or if he’s here or not here. We’ve had a very good, close relationship since he’s been here.”
  • Despite another disappointing season, Boylen continues to have strong backing from ownership and executive vice president John Paxson, Johnson writes in another piece.

Bulls Preparing For Front Office Changes

7:57pm: K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago echoes many of Cowley’s points in his own report, writing that talk has been “rampant throughout All-Star weekend” about the changes the Bulls are expected to make to their front office. The team is seeking someone to take on the day-to-day basketball operations and become a “fresh voice and face of the franchise,” writes Johnson.

7:21pm: The Bulls are in the early stages of adding a new executive to their front office, sources tell Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. According to Cowley, vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and COO Michael Reinsdorf have begun to do legwork – through back channels – on potential candidates.

Cowley, who suggests the Bulls are in the market for a general manager “with a louder voice,” writes that the search is expected to be widespread. Gar Forman still holds the GM role in Chicago for now, but senior advisor Doug Collins is among those who are in favor of a change, according to Cowley.

As Cowley explains, the idea would be for Paxson to “slip into the background” as the new general manager assumes media duties. Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf likes the model employed by the Chicago White Sox, with Ken Williams in the background as the VP while Rick Hahn has been more empowered in his GM role. For the Bulls, Paxson would take on a Williams-esque role, with the new GM playing Hahn’s part.

Forman, meanwhile, would likely be reassigned to a scouting position rather than being fired, per Cowley, who notes that the team wants to build up its scouting department this spring.

Paxson and Forman have headed the Bulls’ front office for over a decade, much to the chagrin of a significant faction of Bulls fans. During Friday’s episode of ESPN’s First Take, when guard Zach LaVine was asked whether he has confidence in Chicago’s decision-makers, the fans in attendance began to boo and a chant of “Fire GarPax!” broke out (link via Madeline Kenney of The Chicago Sun-Times).

Assuming the Bulls do move forward with the front office changes Cowley outlines in his report, it’ll be interesting to see whether the club sticks with head coach Jim Boylen, who has received the full support of the current group. Boylen’s current contract isn’t a long-term deal, so it’s possible a new GM would be given the go-ahead to make the call on his future.

Central Notes: Thompson, Cavaliers, LaVine, Collins, Pistons

Before the Knicks traded Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder, the Cavaliers were another potential suitor for his services. New York wanted Cleveland center Tristan Thompson in a deal for Anthony but the Cavaliers rejected that offer, according to Joe Vardon of

The Knicks wanted cost-friendly, young, and productive assets in exchange for Anthony. Thompson, 26, is under contract for three seasons but will make a hefty salary, starting with $16.4MM in 2017/18. Vardon reports that Cleveland was willing to part with other sizeable contracts on the roster — primarily Iman Shumpert and his $11MM salary — but no deal was reached.

New York still acquired a young, controllable center for Anthony as Enes Kanter came to New York in the deal. Kanter will take in nearly $20.6MM this upcoming season and holds an $18.6MM player option for 2018/19.

Read more news from the Central Division:

  • In his latest mailbag, Vardon answered several questions about the Cavaliers ahead of training camp. Vardon believes it is possible that the team trades Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick (acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade) for an elite talent.
  • Zach LaVine, who was acquired from the Timberwolves in the Jimmy Butler deal, is coming off a serious injury as he prepares for his first season in Chicago. However, former Bulls head coach and current Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau feels that LaVine, still just 22 years old, has tremendous upside, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes.
  • During a recent podcast, Cowley spoke about what the hiring of Doug Collins as a senior adviser for the Bulls means for the team.
  •’s Sam Smith previews the Bulls’ 2017/18 season by examining how the team’s mostly young core will develop.
  •’s Keith Langlois looks at several storylines entering the Pistons‘ season. Among those storylines include Avery Bradley adjusting to Detroit, Luke Kennard‘s first impressions, and Reggie Jackson returning to form.

Central Notes: Bucks, Mirotic, Bulls, Collins, Love

The Bucks are looking to improve on their 42-win campaign and they’re banking on continuity to give them a boost in the standings, Matt Velazquez of the Journal Sentinel writes. Milwaukee has hardly made any changes to its roster this offseason, with 13 of 15 players who finished last season with the team still under contract.

“[Continuity is] going to be huge, I think, with training camp being a little shorter,” Bucks head coach Jason Kidd said. “The veteran teams are going to have the advantage — there’s not a lot of time before your first game. Just understanding that continuity is big for us. We’re still young, but hopefully, we feel we’re going in the right direction. Hopefully, we can use that to our advantage early on in the season.”

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Nikola Mirotic remains on the market, albeit as a restricted free agent, and executive Bulls VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson indicates that the power forward’s qualifying offer is still on the table, as Nick Friedell of tweets. The power forward will make approximately $7.23MM this upcoming season should he accept his qualifying offer, and has until October 1 to do so.
  • The Bulls hired Doug Collins as a senior advisor on Tuesday, and he expects to do just that — advise. During his introductory press conference, the former head coach indicated that he won’t return to the sidelines to coach the Bulls “under any circumstances,” and stressed that he won’t have decision-making power in the front office (Twitter links via K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune).
  • Tyronn Lue won’t commit to Kevin Love as his starting center, though the Cavaliers coach said the UCLA product will be more involved in the offense this upcoming season.“Right now we’re just trying to get all of our pieces together and right now Tristan [Thompson]‘s our starter,” Lue tells Joe Vardon of “I’m just thinking we’re going to run a lot more stuff through Kevin, more at the elbows, like we’ve done the last year and a half. Just trying to figure out with our new pieces and our new players and just see what works best for us.”

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Bulls Hire Doug Collins As Senior Advisor

The Bulls have hired former NBA head coach Doug Collins to a front office role, announcing today in a press release that Collins is joining the organization as a senior advisor of basketball operations. Collins will report to Bulls executive VP of basketball ops John Paxson, according to the team.

“Doug will be great in this capacity for our organization. The position of ‘senior advisor’ has proven to work well around the NBA in recent years, and I am confident the same will hold true with the Bulls,” Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “The fact that our relationship goes back more than 30 years certainly helps, but he is especially qualified to assist our leadership in rebuilding the Bulls.”

In a statement of his own, Paxson suggested that Collins will “regularly contribute observations, insights and suggestions” to the Bulls’ front office, with Vincent Goodwill of (Twitter link) likening Collins’ new role to the one that Jerry West previously held with the Warriors — and now holds with the Clippers.

Collins, of course, began his NBA coaching career more than three decades ago for the Bulls. He was named Chicago’s head coach in 1986, and held that position until 1989. Collins later went on to coach the Pistons, Wizards, and Sixers, with his most recent coaching stint in Philadelphia coming to an end in 2013. He has served as an ESPN analyst in recent years.

Lakers Plan To Interview David Blatt

The Lakers plan to interview David Blatt for their coaching vacancy, sources tell Marc Stein of, who writes within a story on the Warriors granting the Lakers permission to interview assistant Luke Walton. L.A. is also interested in Doug Collins, Stein reveals, additionally confirming the team’s interest in Kevin Ollie.

Blatt, the ex-Cavs coach, apparently met Monday with Knicks president Phil Jackson about New York’s coaching vacancy, and the Kings have reportedly reached out to him about their job, too. The 56-year-old Blatt has less than two seasons of NBA experience at any level, though he put up an 83-40 regular-season record with the Cavs, who fired him in January, just seven months after he coached them in the finals.

Collins, 64, has been an ESPN broadcaster since the end of his coaching stint with the Sixers in 2013. He’s 442-407 in parts of 11 seasons with the Bulls, Pistons and Wizards as well as Philadelphia.

The Lakers have strong interest in Ollie, Stein hears, and that appears to be mutual. The 43-year-old has never been an NBA coach but won an NCAA title at Connecticut and was an NBA player for 14 seasons, the last of which with Oklahoma City, where he was teammates with 2016 free agent Kevin Durant and 2017 free agent Russell Westbrook.

Jeff Van Gundy, Ettore Messina, Jeff Hornacek, Roy Williams, John Calipari, Jay Wright and Tom Izzo are others in whom the Lakers have interest, according to previous reports. The Lakers would like to make a hire before the draft and want their next coach to be able to attract marquee free agents, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reported earlier this week and as Stein confirms.

Pacific Notes: Kings, Heslip, Kobe, Vujacic

It seems as though the top eight teams in the Western Conference are in many ways already set, but the Kings aren’t giving up on the idea that they can find a way into the playoffs this year, Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck writes. Sacramento will add an impact player if an opportunity arises, according to Beck.

“This league, it’s a league of injuries, it’s a league of things that happen, chemistry,” Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro told Beck. “And you’ve seen things happen really fast in this league. So I don’t think we buy into the notion of, ‘Well, it’s locked to eight.’ We really don’t believe that. From our perspective, it’s: How are we getting better? How are we pursuing that spot?”

The Kings are 13-18, four games behind the Suns for the last playoff spot. There’s another Kings-related item amid the latest from the Pacific Division:

  • Brady Heslip has decided against signing with Banvit of Turkey because he believes he’s close to joining an NBA team, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter link). David Pick of reported earlier this week that Heslip, who’s been playing for Sacramento’s D-League affiliate, had a deal with the Turkish team. The Kings and Clippers have reportedly held interest in adding the sharpshooter to their NBA rosters.
  • Kobe Bryant still doesn’t rule out playing beyond his current contract, which expires in 2016, but for now he plans to retire after next season, as he said Tuesday to reporters, including Bill Oram of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). “If you asked me if I’m going to play beyond that, right now the answer is no,” Bryant said.
  • Sasha Vujacic is leaving Laboral Kuxta Vitoria (aka Saski Baskonia) of Spain, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). He’s next headed to play for Turkey’s Istanbul BSB, Carchia writes. Vujacic, who spent time on a 10-day contract with the Clippers last season, is one of several among 2013/14 10-day signees who are now playing overseas, as I noted Tuesday.
  • Warriors backup center Marreese Speights said he was especially motivated to beat the Sixers, as Golden State did Tuesday, not because of anyone with the team at current but because he harbors ill will toward Doug Collins, tweets Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. Speights saw a career low 11.5 minutes per game under the former Sixers coach in 2010/11.

Atlantic Notes: Love, Teletovic, Sixers, Raptors

While some rumors popped up last night suggesting that a Steve Nash trade between the Lakers and Raptors is a possiblity, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld is skeptical that such a deal is realistic. As Kyler notes (Twitter links), Toronto’s old regime had interest in Nash, having pursued him during the summer of 2012, but there hasn’t been any indication that the team’s new leadership group has that same level of interest.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Following up on Kevin Love‘s assertion that he “loves” New York City, Zach Braziller of the New York Post points out that Love will likely hit free agency in the summer of 2015, at the same time the Knicks will free up a ton of cap space.
  • Mirza Teletovic acknowledged to Bosnian newspaper Daily Azaz that the thought of returning to Europe has crossed his mind, but says he still hopes to succeed in the NBA with the Nets. NetsDaily has the details on Teletovic’s early-season frustrations.
  • Tom Ziller of argues that as long as the Sixers keep winning, there’s nothing GM Sam Hinkie can do. In Ziller’s view, Hinkie can’t and won’t seriously attempt to move veterans like Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes until the team starts to struggle.
  • League sources tell Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio that former coach Doug Collins may have been a reason that Andrew Bynum never wanted to be a Sixer.
  • Doug Smith of the Toronto Star answers a handful of Raptors-related questions in his latest mailbag.