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6.10 The Cooler

Kobe’s next game, LeBron’s next coach, and D-Wade’s next sidekick

By 06.10.10

We’re getting toward that time of the NBA offseason (at least for the 28 teams not playing) where every potential hint is blown out of proportion and it’s hard to decipher rumors from legit reports. For example, Wednesday’s big story was that Tom Izzo had accepted the Cavs’ head coaching job. That stemmed from a meeting Izzo had with his Michigan State players where he supposedly told them he was leaving, but then other sources claimed Izzo only told the players he’d talked to the Cavs but hadn’t yet made a decision … If Izzo does take the job, does he know something we don’t about LeBron‘s summer plans? Surely he’s not walking away from a regular national championship contender and deity status in East Lansing just to draw up plays for J.J. Hickson and watch Mo Williams jack 28-footers in transition, right? … For what it’s worth, here’s what Dick Vitale said: “Tom Izzo will not leave the sideline for the Spartans. Why in the world, if you are an elite coach making millions, would you want three seasons in one, why would you want to go coach a hundred games and go where you could tarnish your resume? Just ask Pitino, Calipari — I don’t care if he has LeBron James, he is going to get fired in the NBA. A guy (Mike Brown) goes (61-21) and he gets fired.” … Avery Johnson taking the Nets coaching job is closer to fact; he’s agreed to a three-year contract that should conveniently give the team room to let him go if it’s not working out by the time they’re ready to move to Brooklyn. Devin Harris pushed the organization to consider Avery, so that relationship shouldn’t be a problem. Overall, good move for both sides … Also on that rumor/report mill, we hear the Heat have their free agency sights set on Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer, with the idea that one of them will be D-Wade‘s ideal sidekick. Bosh is part of Wade’s clique and is the best all-around talent of the available power forwards, but Boozer gives you more of that inside toughness, and Amar’e is the one with the most playoff experience. If you’re running the Heat, in what order would you go after those three? … The gigantic rookie sneaker deal was allegedly dead given the U.S. economy, but nobody told Reebok and John Wall. The soon-to-be No. 1 pick’s endorsement deal is worth an estimated $25 million, and word is Reebok is banking on Wall to be their marquee star now that Allen Iverson is pretty much out of the picture … Or is he? Just like Shaq, nobody has really talked about Iverson being a free agent this summer. Is there any chance he gets picked up at 35 years old, especially given what happened (and didn’t happen) with the Grizzlies and Sixers this season? … Going into tonight’s Lakers/Celtics Game 4 (9 p.m. EST, ABC), naturally all eyes will be on Kobe. Getting 29 points on 29 shots from Mamba isn’t the equation that translates into too many L.A. wins, though it worked well enough in Game 3 to eke out a W. Nobody on the Lakers ever wants to straight-up say Kobe is ball-hogging, but it’s not hard to read between the lines. “Sometimes we get a little stagnant and we don’t form our offense,” Lamar Odom said yesterday. Pau Gasol added, “Sometimes we do get away from getting the ball in the post and attacking the team from there. Sometimes we do; we tend to do that pretty often. Sometimes it’s good, some times, most times, I don’t think it helps a lot, especially when we have been as effective and both of our bigs are shooting over 57 percent in the whole playoffs. So you’ve got to make a conscious effort on getting the ball in there.” That was about as subtle as a baseball bat to the knee … We’re out like A.I. …


TOPICS#KOBE BRYANT#LeBron James
TAGSALLEN IVERSONAMARE STOUDEMIREAvery JohnsonCARLOS BOOZERCHRIS BOSHDEVIN HARRISDWYANE WADEJJ HicksonJOHN WALLLAMAR ODOMMO WILLIAMSPAU GASOLShaquille O'NealSmackTOM IZZO

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