Hello and welcome to the Evening News.
As the playoffs are under way, we’ll keep you updated every evening. What’s happening today?
Here’s the latest news from around the league:
Phil Jackson will listen to the Raptors’ pitch
CBS Sports’ Ken Berger reports that Phil Jackson will listen to a pitch from the Toronto Raptors to become their president of basketball operations. Even after hearing the pitch, Jackson plans to keep his other options open for the time being.
According to sources close to Jackson, the 11-time champion coach would prefer an advisory role like Jerry West’s in Golden State rather than a more active role like Pat Riley’s in Miami.
While rumors have been spread that Michael Jordan would be interested in bringing Jackson in as an executive for the Bobcats, Jackson has little interest in the position in Charlotte.
For Jackson, the opportunity to hire a head coach and implement his vision on a team is the most important factor in his decision.
Pau Gasol’s future is not tied to Dwight Howard’s
Realgm.com’s staff reports that Mitch Kupchak told Pau Gasol that his future with the Lakers is not directly tied to Dwight Howard’s future with the team.
Howard’s decision will be the biggest storyline of the NBA’s offseason. For Chris Sheridan’s latest take on Dwight Howard’s future, click here.
Gasol told the media that he wants to stay in Los Angeles, “I prefer to stay, but I’m prepared if I’m not.”
The four-time All Star also said that he thinks that his injury woes from this season will be sorted out before the start of next season.
If Gasol does indeed return to Los Angeles, he will need to develop a better rapport Mike D’Antoni.”I think we have to understand each other a lot better,” admitted Gasol.
D’Antoni’s return has yet to be confirmed by the Lakers’ front office but appears very likely.
Pistons set to interview McMillan and Hunter this week
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Detroit Pistons will interview Nate McMillan for the head coaching position today. Stein also reports that Suns’ interim coach Lindsey Hunter — who will likely be replaced in Phoenix — will be interviewed for the Pistons’ position this week as well.
McMillan is considered the favorite for the job. In 2008-09, McMillan guided the Portland Trail Blazers to a 54-28 record.
Hunter, meanwhile, was the Pistons’ first round pick in 1993 and played 12 seasons in Detroit over two separate stints with the team. As the interim coach in Phoenix this season, Hunter posted a forgettable 12-29 record.
Rockets’ assistant coach Kelvin Sampson also figures to be in the mix for the Pistons’ position. Sources claim Sampson will also be strongly considered for Milwaukee’s coaching position.