The Cleveland Cavaliers have made it clear that they’ll do everything it takes to keep LeBron in the Mistake By the Lake, including firing the deceptively successful Mike Brown, despite open criticism of the front office from other Cavs stars like the tall guy and the one who passes the ball. Brown was the NBA Coach of the Year for the 2008-09 season and won more than 60 games in each of the last two seasons. However, the Cavs were upset in the playoffs this year and last, mostly due to Brown’s inability to coach beyond his theory: 1. Give it to LeBron. 2. ??? 3. Win a title!
The list of potential new coaches for Cleveland is short but prominent, with Phil Jackson and Mike Krzyzewski at the top, and John Calipari still lingering amidst rumors that he’s kissing William Wesley’s powerful butt. Coach K has already turned down the advances of the
Russian Mafia New Jersey Nets, and representatives of Duke have said he’s not going anywhere. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has vowed to open his wallet for the right coach, but there’s a better chance of Coach K giving birth to Asian triplets than leaving ultimate 100 percent job security and man-of-legend status at Duke.
Poke that hornet nest with a stick, Yahoo! Sports:
Calipari also says he’s not leaving Kentucky but, as of June 1, his representation is about to change to be William Wesley, who is a pal of LeBron’s. The word is that Wesley has been trying to sell teams on taking Calipari and James as a package.
Whoever it is, a new coach isn’t likely to be named until after July 1 when the free-agent window flies open. And if one is, it’s likely LeBron has given his affirmation and is planning to return to the Cavs.
The Chicago Bulls have also upped their ante for LeBron as they’ve reportedly used back channels to contact Jackson about returning to the coaching gig that made him famous. Cold War tactics aside, Jackson has given no indication as to his coaching future, other than a brief mention of retirement last week. Andrew Bynum certainly doesn’t appreciate the distraction while he’s playing in the Finals against the Celtics. On the moon. In front of the galactic emperor.
Elsewhere, perennial hungry man Charles Barkley weighed in on LeBronzapalooza on ESPN Radio’s Galloway & Co., telling the hosts I’ve never heard of that there’s no chance James will go to Dallas, despite Mark Cuban’s best efforts. From The Dallas Morning News:
“If they do a sign and trade, they have to get rid of their old team and keep Dirk. And him and Dirk alone wouldn’t be enough to win the championship. Those two guys would be a good team, clearly, but I guarantee that LeBron James isn’t going to Dallas. To me, it’s either New York, Cleveland or Chicago, from a basketball standpoint.”
Cuban, of course, was recently fined $100,000 for violating the NBA anti-tampering rules, while Phoenix Suns GM Steve Kerr was also fined $10,000 for a joke he made on a radio show about signing LeBron for the mid-level exemption. In related news, I’m having leftover Ramen noodles and chopped up hot dogs for lunch today.