Bernucca: Jackson’s Resume Alone Not Nearly Enough To Fix Knicks


220px-Isiah_ThomasPhil Jackson won’t be awful as president of the New York Knicks. He certainly won’t be as bad as Isiah Thomas was in running the club. And he will almost certainly be better than David Kahn, Bryan Colangelo, Joe Dumars, Otis Smith and Geoff Petrie have been in recent years.

But Phil Jackson isn’t Isiah Thomas, or David Kahn, or Bryan Colangelo. He’s Phil Jackson, with a reputation of all things basketball that he touches turning to gold.

And that’s exactly what Knicks fans – now with three generations of folks waiting for another NBA title – will expect from Jackson.

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Bernucca: NBA Buyout Season’s Winners and Losers


I’m kinda high on what the Charlotte Bobcats did with Ben Gordon.220px-Gordon7_20091204

The Bobcats waived Gordon on Sunday, preventing him from appearing in the postseason should he sign with another team. While they may have alienated his agent – not a trifle thing in the business world of the NBA – two things should be pointed out.

1. When teams waive or buy out players at this time of the season, they are essentially establishing a price they are willing to pay to that player to not play for them.

2. In this case, the Bobcats made it impossible for Gordon to come back to haunt them in the playoffs.

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Russell Westbrook has knee surgery again, out until after the All-Star break

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westbrookPreviously indestructible Russell Westbrook had another arthroscopic procedure on his right knee Friday – his third surgery in the last eight months – and is out until after the All-Star break.

The Thunder made the announcement in a press release that included a quote from GM Sam Presti.

“Russell has been playing pain free, but recently had experienced increased swelling,” Presti said.

Five Things to Watch: Oklahoma City Thunder


Russell WestbrookWe’re entering Year Six of Thundermania here in Oklahoma City, and the level of expectation surrounding the team is as high as it has ever been. But with that expectation comes a certain degree of uncertainty.

After all the years of hearing about how the Thunder were an organization based around a true “team” concept, fans are now coming to accept that the Thunder are a two-headed horse. There’s simply no way that this team could hoist a championship banner without a healthy Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

But last season’s collapse in the conference semifinals can’t be blamed on Westbrook’s injury alone. Serge Ibaka was a huge part of it, disappearing offensively once he didn’t have anybody to feed him the ball. Kevin Martin also played a large role, perpetually disappointing Thunder fans with his inconsistent shot. And I would be remiss to forget the performance of Kendrick Perkins, who went from serviceable to useless, even when he was in his element against the “Grit ‘n’ Grind” Grizzlies.

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Bernucca: Kobe Bryant is the ideal amnesty candidate


There is a sneaky, devious way that the Los Angeles Lakers can re-sign Dwight kobeinjuryHoward, continue to pay Kobe Bryant the NBA’s highest salary and create even more cap room for this summer and next summer.

Use the amnesty provision on Bryant.

Yes, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said in the days after Bryant tore his Achilles tendon that using the one-time provision – which 15 teams still have at their disposal – on the face of the franchise was not under consideration. But maybe it should be.

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