STORY OF THE DAY:
It was reported last week that the divorce between Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank was brewing since the beginning of the season. Mike Mazzeo of ESPN came up with a few more details on what exactly went down:
Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd allegedly used “a 13-letter word” against assistant Lawrence Frank during a blow-up at some point following the team’s loss in Orlando on Nov. 3.
In an expletive-laced rant, Kidd told Frank to sit down and be quiet.
“I’m the coach of this [13-letter word] team,” Kidd said, according to NBA.com.
Frank was told at one point by somebody in the organization to curb his behavior on the bench during games and not be as active and demonstrative as he was earlier in the season, sources told ESPNNewYork.com. The week before he learned he would not be helping run practices or sit on the bench during games, it was definitely noticeable that Frank wasn’t doing as much.
After losing to the New York Knicks by 30 points last week, Kidd pretty much said he should be evaluated as a coach when he has a full team. He may get close to having a full roster on Tuesday when Deron Williams and maybe even Paul Pierce returns to the lineup, from Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game:
Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams told reporters he’ll definitely play against the Boston Celtics tomorrow, marking the first time he’ll see the floor since November 20th against the Charlotte Bobcats. Williams hasn’t played in a full game since November 13th, a blowout loss to the Sacramento Kings, and was expected to return today.
More interestingly, the other Nets starter out of the rotation said he might make a return. Forward Paul Pierce, who was ruled out for 2-4 weeks with a broken bone in his right hand sustained on November 29th, practiced with the team today and told reporters that he might make a return tomorrow against his former team, ten days after the original diagnosis.
It should be an interesting contest against the Boston Celtics, who destroyed the Knicks by 41 points on Sunday.
NO MORE DIVISIONS?
While the Western Conference is hogging all the good teams, the Eastern Conference has been toiling in mediocrity or worse for much of the season. There are currently five teams on track to make the playoffs in the East and none are worse than the Boston Celtics, who would have homecourt advantage with a 10-12 record for leading the pathetic Atlantic Division. Due to this strange situation, the league may be considering the idea of getting rid of divisions. Zeff Zillgitt of USA Today has details:
“One thing I have learned from David (Stern) over all those years … is every day we should wake up and take a fresh look at everything we do. Divisions fall into that category,” said Silver, who will take over for Stern as NBA commissioner in February. “Historically, based on geography in terms of ways to schedule and convenience of travel, the goal was to enhance rivalries and I’m not sure if that’s still what’s happening.
“That’s something I’m sure the competition committee might when they next meet will be taking a fresh look at it.”
TOO MUCH HYPE FOR KOBE RETURN:
Before Kobe Bryant made his return to the court on Sunday, there was much hype on his anticipated return with good reason. No one was quite sure of when the guard would play his first game this season, so it was great news for the league to have him back. Unfortunately, the results weren’t what many may have hoped for against a depleted Toronto Raptors team, from Melissa Rohlin of Los Angeles Times:
“We probably hyped it up too much,” D’Antoni said of Bryant’s return. “He hasn’t played in eight months, and it’s going to take a while to get back on par, but he’ll get there.”
In Bryant’s first game back since suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon last season, the superstar finished with an unimpressive nine points on two-for-nine shooting in the team’s 106-94 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. He also had eight turnovers.
D’Antoni stressed that it’s going to take time before Bryant returns to playing at the level people expect of him.
“They thought he was going to come in and rain something on everybody, but it takes him a little while, it takes everybody [a little while] to get back in the groove,” he said. “He’s got to get his legs. I think it was a good outing, but he’ll definitely be better every time he goes out.”
HELP ON THE WAY FOR THE CLIPS:
The Los Angeles Clippers have been thin at the wing position this season due to injuries, and perhaps general under-performance from Jared Dudley. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Stephen Jackson may be a primary candidate to join the team to provide them with some toughness:
The Los Angeles Clippers are strongly considering the signing of former San Antonio Spursswingman Stephen Jackson to fill their growing need on the wing, according to sources familiar with the team’s thinking.
Sources told ESPN.com that Jackson, who has been searching for a new team since his sudden release by the Spurs shortly before last season’s playoffs in April, has emerged as a prime candidate for the Clippers to sign as early as this week after a series of injuries have decimated L.A.’s depth.
Injuries suffered by starting guard J.J. Redick, top reserve Matt Barnes and rookie forwardReggie Bullock prompted Clippers coach Doc Rivers to announce after Saturday’s loss in Cleveland that the Clippers essentially “have to look somewhere” for reinforcements.
And in fact, Jackson will join the Clippers, from Chris Broussard of ESPN:
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) December 9, 2013
This is generally good news for the Clippers. It’s a low risk, high reward situation. Lets just hope that Jackson doesn’t go on a rant about how much better he is than Redick and Dudley.
OTHER NEWS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE: