Tyrone Corbin

Tyrone Corbin To Join Magic’s Coaching Staff

Tyrone Corbin will be the next addition to Steve Clifford’s coaching staff in Orlando, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel.

Corbin had been with the Suns for the past two years and was promoted to lead assistant under Jay Triano when Earl Watson was fired in October. Corbin began his coaching career with the Jazz in 2004 and later became head coach in Utah, compiling a 112-146 record in a little more than three seasons. He also had a brief stint as head coach of the Kings, posting a 7-21 mark in 2014/15.

Before turning to coaching, the 55-year-old had a 16-year playing career that included time with nine NBA franchises.

Corbin will be the fifth assistant named by Clifford since he was hired as Magic head coach in late May. The others — Mike Batiste, Pat Delany, Steve Hetzel and Bruce Kreutzer — all worked with him in Charlotte.

Suns Notes: Assistants, Watson, McDonough, Bledsoe

Three Suns assistants were fired Sunday along with head coach Earl Watson, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPNNate Bjorkgren, Mehmet Okur and Jason Fraser were all dismissed after a meeting with management Sunday night. Bjorkgren served as a bench coach, while Okur and Fraser were part of player development.

Bjorkgren is a former G League head coach and an original member of Watson’s staff. Okur, who played 10 years in the NBA, joined the Phoenix staff at the start of last season. Fraser had been with the team since 2015.

Tyrone Corbin will be promoted to lead assistant under interim coach Jay Triano. A former head coach with the Jazz and Kings, Corbin is in his second season on the Suns’ staff.

There’s more news this morning out of Phoenix:

  • Watson had a tumultuous relationship with GM Ryan McDonough during his two and a half seasons as head coach, Wojanarowski writes in the same story. They clashed frequently over a variety of topics, and owner Robert Sarver ultimately sided with McDonough. Watson, who leaves with an 87-142 record, offered a farewell message to the team and his fans. “Thank you to my Suns family, the Phoenix community and everyone who has supported me through this journey,” he said. “Life has unpredictable pivots that I embrace humbly and with great purpose.”
  • Suns star Eric Bledsoe received a lot of attention for Sunday’s tweet that read, “I don’t wanna be here,” but it wasn’t the first time he expressed a desire to get out of Phoenix, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link). The eighth-year guard met with with management before the season started to tell them he wanted to be dealt. On top of the losing, Bledsoe was unhappy when the team decided to shut him down because of soreness in his knees last March.
  • Bledsoe was excited about the possibility of being traded to Cleveland over the summer as part of a rumored deal for Kyrie Irving, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops. The teams were close to completing the trade and Bledsoe was “depressed” when it fell through, a source tells Amico.
  • The Suns’ problems stem more from the roster McDonough put together than Watson’s coaching, writes Mitch Lawrence of Forbes. Phoenix is trying to compete with four rookies and four second-year players, including a 19-year-old in Dragan Bender and three 20-year-olds. Lawrence states that Bledsoe and fellow veteran Tyson Chandler aren’t pleased with the youth movement. He also notes that McDonough hasn’t been able to find a franchise player despite picking fourth twice, fifth and eighth in the past five drafts.
  • Former Suns stars Steve Nash and Dan Majerle are among the potential replacements for Watson suggested by Jordan Greer of The Sporting News. Others are Adrian Griffin, Ime Udoka, Monty Williams, Sean Miller, Jerry Stackhouse, Mark Jackson and Brent Barry.

Pacific Notes: Gay, Pierce, Calathes, Kings, Suns

After Rudy Gay made some interesting comments that conveyed his dissatisfaction with his situation in Sacramento, Kings general manager Vlade Divac was asked about the disgruntled forward. As James Ham of CSN California details, Divac downplayed Gay’s comments about a lack of communication between him and the Kings as trade rumors swirl.

“He has my number,” the Kings GM said. “If I do something, I will call him. Obviously, if I didn’t call him, we didn’t do anything. … I was a player, 16-17 years in the league, nobody called me everyday and tell me what management is doing. Management was doing their job. If something big happened, they called and told me. Obviously, nothing big happened (so) I’m not going to call anybody.”

Let’s check in on a few other items from out of the Pacific division…

  • Paul Pierce has yet to formally announce a decision one way or the other about his future, and a source tells Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter links) that the veteran forward will take a few more weeks to weigh his options and make a final call. However, another source suggests to Turner that Pierce is planning to return to the Clippers for one more season.
  • As we heard earlier this week, the Kings made an effort to land Nick Calathes, but the former Grizzlies guard is “bound to return” to Panathinakos in Greece, according to international journalist David Pick.
  • The Suns have officially announced Earl Watson‘s coaching staff, confirming in a press release that Tyrone Corbin and Nate Bjorkgren will be assistants, with former Raptors coach Jay Triano serving as the club’s associate head coach.
  • After signing a three-year deal with the Suns, Jared Dudley has penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune about returning “home” and aiming to get the Suns back to their “2010 vibe.”

And-Ones: Whiteside, Brown, Williamson, Griffin

Hassan Whiteside hopes to make a decision on his future on Friday, the first day teams can negotiate with free agents, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The 27-year-old center says several factors will affect his ultimate choice, but a sense of loyalty to the Heat won’t be among them. “I really don’t think it’s about loyalty,” Whiteside said. “I think it’s just about the best situation for myself and that’s what I think it is.” Whiteside said he had a “good” meeting with team president Pat Riley recently to discuss his future in Miami. “So it’s not that I’m really counting the Heat off or I’m counting on another team,” Whiteside said. “It’s just open.”

There’s more news tonight from around the league:

  • Former NBA head coach Mike Brown is a “strong contender” to become an assistant coach with the Warriors, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Brown and Tyrone Corbin were believed to be the finalists for the position, but Corbin will join Earl Watson’s staff in Phoenix. Brown has a 347-216 record as head coach of the Cavaliers and Lakers.
  • The Magic interviewed Corliss Williamson Friday about becoming an assistant to new coach Frank Vogel, tweets Chris Mannix of The Vertical. Williamson is still a member of the Kings‘ coaching staff, so no decision has been made, tweets James Ham of CSNBayArea.
  • Cavaliers GM David Griffin doesn’t expect to make any major changes to the NBA champs this summer, Stein tweets. “We intend to keep this group together and see what we’re capable of,” Griffin said today during an appearance on ESPN Radio.
  • The Spurs will consider bringing over 6’10” Slovenian power forward Erazem Lorbek this summer, according to Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio acquired the rights to the 32-year-old in a 2011 deal that sent George Hill to the Pacers. At one time, Lorbek was among the best big men in the Euroleague, but he sat out last season and the Spurs aren’t sure if he is in NBA shape.

Tyrone Corbin To Join Suns’ Coaching Staff

The Suns will hire Tyrone Corbin as an assistant to head coach Earl Watson, tweets Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com. This is Corbin’s first coaching job since he was dismissed as head coach of the Kings midway through the 2014/15 season.

He started his coaching career in 2004/05 as an assistant with the Jazz. He was promoted to head coach in the middle of the 2010/11 season and compiled a 112-146 record in three and a half seasons.

Corbin landed an assistant’s job in Sacramento in 2014/15 and was appointed interim head coach when Michael Malone was fired. He held that position for 28 games, posting a 7-21 record, until the Kings hired George Karl.

Earlier this month, Corbin was mentioned as a candidate for the lead assistant’s position with Golden State.

Warriors Consider Tyrone Corbin, Mike Brown

Tyrone Corbin has emerged along with Mike Brown as the top candidates to be the lead assistant in Golden State next season, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Brown has been linked to the position before, but Corbin, a former teammate of Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, is a new name in the mix. (Twitter link).

Corbin is a former head coach with the Kings and Jazz and has been out of coaching since being relieved of his interim position with Sacramento when George Karl was hired in 2015. He has been working as an adviser to the Kings’ front office ever since.

Brown served as head coach of the Cavaliers and Lakers and has been out of coaching since Cleveland fired him after the 2013/14 season. Brown reportedly turned down an assistant’s position in Memphis last week.

The Warriors’ lead assistant job will be open once the NBA Finals are done and Luke Walton leaves to become head coach of the Lakers. He held the position in Golden State for one season, taking over when Alvin Gentry left to take the reins in New Orleans.

Kings Eye McMillan, Ewing, McHale, Blatt, Others

1:27pm: McHale appears unlikely to take the Kings job, and Del Negro is the most realistic candidate, Mannix suggests.

THURSDAY, 1:02pm: Nate McMillan is also in the mix, sources told Stein (Twitter link).

10:15pm: The possibility of hiring McHale is gaining traction within the Kings organization, Chris Mannix of The Vertical tweets. Sacramento is intrigued by the possibility of McHale working with DeMarcus Cousins, Mannix adds.

3:09pm: The Kings are also considering Patrick Ewing, league sources tell Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

12:40pm: Kevin McHale and Mark Jackson are also under consideration, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). The Kings do have strong interest in Thibodeau and Brooks but acknowledge they’ll be tough gets, Stein adds. McHale is just a few months removed from having been fired by the Rockets, while Jackson last coached in 2013/14 with the Warriors.

WEDNESDAY, 11:53am: The Kings, poised to fire George Karl, will consider a group of candidates that includes David Blatt, Vinny Del Negro, Jeff Hornacek, Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga and Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks, who frequently draw mention as top NBA coaching candidates, are uninterested in the job, as Wojnarowski hears from league sources.

Blatt, whom the Cavs fired as their head coach in January, is also reportedly under consideration from the Knicks, though he’s reportedly a long shot for that job. The Nets have reportedly been eyeing him as well, and he has ties to the Brooklyn organization, having coached the Russian national team, which received significant financial backing from Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

Sacramento reportedly contacted Del Negro about its head coaching job in December 2014, when the team fired Michael Malone. Del Negro, a former Kings player, hasn’t coached in the NBA since the 2012/13 season with the Clippers, but Wojnarowski reported that he interviewed for the Pelicans job last summer.

Chatter about Hornacek has been quiet since the Suns fired him in February, though he earned respect around the league when he led Phoenix to a 48-34 record in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season during his first year as an NBA head coach. The Suns have regressed since then, and Hornacek wound up 101-112 overall in Phoenix. He was an assistant under former Kings coach Tyrone Corbin on the Jazz.

Wojnarowski wrote in February that Larranaga and Atkinson weren’t particularly eager to land the Kings job if it were to open. The assistants both reportedly interviewed for the Sixers job three years ago and have drawn frequent mention as a possible NBA head coaching candidate since. Larranaga was reportedly a contender for the recent opening at Georgia Tech that Josh Pastner ultimately filled.

Western Notes: Kings, Clippers, Rockets, Warriors

The Kings will try to make defensive improvements at the trade deadline, GM Vlade Divac said on “The Grant Napear Show” on CBS Sports 1140 in Sacramento, tweets James Ham of CSN California. The Rockets would prefer to add a shooter via trade, Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link). The Clippers are expected to assess their need for a backup point guard with Austin Rivers injured, according to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). The Warriors, meanwhile, aren’t looking to fix what isn’t broken, as GM Bob Myers said in a radio appearance on 95.7 The Game, as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group relays (Twitter link).

“It’d have to be something unbelievable to really mess with the chem & the personnel on the team,” Myers said.

See more from the Western Conference:

  • Divac acknowledged that he was thinking about making a coaching change and had full authority to do so, but simply decided against it, as he said in an appearance on “The Grant Napear Show” on CBSports 1140 in Sacramento, notes Sean Cunningham of KXTV-TV in Sacramento (Twitter link). However, the resistance that Kings minority-share owners put up against eating the rest of George Karl‘s salary also played into the decision to keep the coach, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com said today in an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show (audio link), and as RealGM transcribes. That jibes with an earlier suggestion from Sam Amick of USA Today. Vivek Ranadive owns a controlling share of the team, but it doesn’t constitute a majority of the franchise, Windhorst points out.
  • Communication with management didn’t go smoothly for former Kings coach Tyrone Corbin last season, as he said this week on SiriusXM NBA Radio’s “NBA Today” show (Twitter link; audio link). “It was a mess. The organization was kind of playing it both ways,” Corbin said.
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones and the Pelicans have only slightly different figures in mind, Scott Kushner of The New Orleans Advocate hears, advancing his earlier report that the rookie shooting guard is in talks with the Pels and other teams (Twitter links). The shooting guard is seeking a two- or three-year deal following the expiration of his second 10-day contract with New Orleans on Wednesday, Kushner adds. The Pelicans are ineligible to sign him to any more 10-day deals.
  • The Rockets offered Josh Smith more money in free agency last summer than the minimum-salary deal he signed with the Clippers, Rockets GM Daryl Morey said on the “Chad, Joe & Lo” show on 95.7 The Game in the Bay Area (audio link; transcription via HoopsHype). Smith wound up with the Rockets anyway via trade.

Kings Remove Tyrone Corbin, Hire George Karl

FEBRUARY 17TH: The team has followed with a formal announcement of Karl’s hiring after acknowledging the agreement earlier.

“We’re fortunate to be taking a step towards returning this franchise to prominence with one of the best coaches in basketball on our sideline,” D’Alessandro said in the statement. “George knows how to win, as evidenced by a lifetime track record of success and ability to maintain consistency throughout his three decades in the game. We’re excited to welcome him to Sacramento.”

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Indiana PacersFEBRUARY 12TH: The Kings have acknowledged that they’ve reached an agreement in principle with George Karl for their head coaching position, as the team announced in a statement. Sacramento has reassigned Tyrone Corbin, who had occupied the position since the Kings fired Michael Malone in December, the team also announced. Corbin will serve as an adviser to the front office, the Kings say.

“I have the utmost respect for Tyrone as a coach and person,” D’Alessandro said in the statement regarding Corbin. “He’s a man of great integrity, a consummate professional that managed a difficult situation with class and professionalism. I look forward to continuing to work with Tyrone moving forward.”

D’Alessandro didn’t address Karl in either of the team’s statements. Sources told Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday that Karl had struck a deal to become the team’s next head coach, at about the same time that Bee colleague Ailene Voisin indicated the deal was done (All Twitter links here). Sources later that day insisted to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that there was no deal as the sides haggled over terms including potential compensation in case of a lockout in 2017 (Twitter link). A source told Antonio Gonzalez of The Associated Press that there was an agreement in principle even though the sides were still negotiating, and Wojnarowski reported early Thursday that the sides had finally struck a deal.

Karl will make his debut when the Kings return from the All-Star break on February 20th, and he’ll receive $1.25MM for the rest of this season, according to Wojnarowski. The contract calls for him to make $3.25MM in 2015/16 and $5MM in each of the final two seasons, with the last year of the deal partially guaranteed for $1.5MM, Wojnarowski hears.

It’s the second coaching change in two months for the Kings, who fired Michael Malone in mid-December. GM Pete D’Alessandro had said that he would keep Corbin, whom the team elevated from assistant coach to the head coaching position upon Malone’s dismissal for the season. The abrupt turnaround alarmed Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana, the agents for DeMarcus Cousins, though Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that they weren’t opposed to the idea of bringing Karl aboard. Still, Cousins seemed upset with the turmoil as he spoke with reporters on Sunday, and issued a statement Tuesday saying that he would support Karl but hoped the team would quickly resolve the situation. Still, Jones heard Monday that multiple Kings players would oppose the hiring of Karl.

That same day, owner Vivek Ranadive reportedly gave D’Alessandro the authorization to make whatever coaching move he saw fit. Ranadive wanted to bring in a coach other than Corbin at the time of Malone’s dismissal, but the front office talked him out of it, as Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher reported last month, and the owner asked D’Alessandro to meet with Karl last week, Jones reported within the past couple of days. Still, D’Alessandro and Karl have close ties from their time together with the Nuggets.

Karl has been connected to the Kings job since the time that Malone was fired, and D’Alessandro admitted that he spoke to Karl around that time. Still, he was seemingly a secondary candidate at that point, as Wojnarowski wrote when the team was apparently considering the idea of shifting adviser Chris Mullin to coach, a move that Mullin proved reluctant to make. D’Alessandro denied that a meeting he had with Mullin, Cousins and Mark Jackson, another rumored candidate, had anything to do with the coaching position, and Jackson apparently had “no chance” at becoming coach, as Aaron Bruski of NBCSports.com reported in December.

Karl publicly campaigned for the Magic coaching job last week, and he’s kept a high profile as talks with the Kings have progressed, which perturbed some, according to Jones. It’s been a back-and-forth process for Karl and the Kings, spurred in part by the Magic’s opening, with opposition reportedly coming from owners who hold minority stakes in the team and negotiations seemingly petering out before picking up steam again. Alvin Gentry, Nate McMillan, Vinny Del Negro and Tom Thibodeau were other names connected to Sacramento’s opening.

Karl has been out of coaching since 2012/13, the 25th season that he spent at least part of as an NBA head coach and the only one in which he won the Coach of the Year award. He’s 63 and twice a cancer survivor, and Ranadive and D’Alessandro have sought assurances about his health. Still, Karl is one of only nine coaches to amass more than 1,000 regular season victories, compiling a record of 1,131-756 with the Cavs, Warriors, SuperSonics, Bucks and Nuggets. The Kings are expected to hire Sixers assistant Vance Walberg, who worked with Karl in Denver, for Karl’s staff, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported this week.

Corbin departs the coaching job after going 7-21 in his brief time in charge of the Kings. It’s the second time in less than 10 months that an NBA head coaching tenure has ended for Corbin, whom the Jazz elected not to re-sign after last season. The 52-year-old is 119-167 in parts of five seasons as an NBA head coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

And-Ones: Sanders, Johnson, Suns

Larry Sanders‘ league-imposed suspension for marijuana use has ended, Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Twitter link). The big man had been suspended without pay for a minimum of 10 games for a violation of the anti-drug policy, the NBA had announced back on January 16th. The league had stipulated that the suspension would remain in effect until Sanders fully complied with his treatment program. There has been no official announcement from the league or the Bucks regarding Sanders’ reinstatement as of yet. Sanders has missed a total of 12 games while on suspension, totaling $1.2MM in lost wages.

The end of the suspension makes it certain that the team will be unable to re-sign Jorge Gutierrez, whose 10-day contract will expire during the All-Star break, unless the Bucks unload one of their 15 players who are signed through the end of the season. Gutierrez has occupied the extra roster spot that Milwaukee’s has had thanks to the presence of Sanders on the suspended list.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • If Tyler Johnson remains on the Heat‘s roster past August 1st, half of his $845,059 salary for the 2015/16 season will become guaranteed, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes (Twitter link). Johnson was signed to a two-year deal by Miami after completing a pair of 10-day contracts with the team.
  • The Suns have recalled Archie Goodwin and Reggie Bullock from the Bakersfield Jam, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. This was the the fourth trek of the season for Goodwin to Bakersfield, and the second for Bullock.
  • Pistons president of basketball operations and coach Stan Van Gundy blasted the Kings for how they have treated interim coach Tyrone Corbin, David Mayo of MLive.com writes. Van Gundy took issue with the organization’s public courting of George Karl, who is reportedly finalizing an agreement to coach Sacramento, Mayo notes. “I think it’s an unfortunate situation, the way it’s been handled,” Van Gundy said. “I think Tyrone Corbin has been treated very, very poorly by their organization. I think the way they have treated him is unfortunate and inexcusable for one of the real class acts in our business.
  • While Jahlil Okafor remains the consensus No. 1 overall pick in June’s NBA draft, the player likely to be selected No. 2 remains a tight race between Emmanuel Mudiay, Karl-Anthony Towns, and D’Angelo Russell, Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) notes.