Monthly Archives: May 2010

Bulls must weigh if they want James … and Calipari

In the first 24 hours after the Celtics eliminated the Cavaliers on
Thursday, the Bulls sold more than 500 new full season tickets and a
team official estimated incoming call volume to their sales office stood
roughly 50 times normal levels.

The question now is whether the allure of LeBron James will have a
similar effect on Bulls management.

League sources said Sunday that noted NBA power broker William Wesley
continues to work back channels to sell John Calipari and James as a
package deal to franchises such as the Bulls, Nets and Clippers with
coaching vacancies and salary cap room.

Three-star scenarios are within reach for Heat

Miami would be pleased if it can re-sign Dwyane Wade, pair Chris Bosh or
Amare Stoudemire with him and add a $7.5 million starter. But Pat
Riley, who wants to build a "dynasty," is thinking big, and NBA people
expect he will try to persuade two star players to join Wade here. So
how can Miami facilitate that within salary-cap rules?

With another team’s help, Miami can position itself to sign Wade and two
other max-salary players. But some scenarios are more do-able than
others because first-year max salaries vary. Here’s how some three-star
combos could happen:

Knicks' D'Antoni already busting at seams with LeBron possibility

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is feeling good these days about the Knicks’
future, feeling almost like a King.

The sense throughout the Knick organization is the Cavaliers’ stunning
second-round ouster against Boston puts them on a level playing field
with Cleveland in signing free agent LeBron James in July.

"I feel good about the possibility of being a very good team next year,"
D’Antoni told The Post yesterday. "I don’t know anything yet about the
main guy [James]. I really don’t have a clue and I don’t think anyone
knows. But I am confident we can make it right. I do feel we’re in a
good position — either way."

Shaq might say 'da' with Nets in Newark

Cavaliers free agent center Shaquille O’Neal, a Newark native, told The
Post he would consider the Nets as a destination this summer —
intrigued because they now reside in his hometown.

O’Neal, the Cavs "other" free agent, praised the new Prudential Center
as being an NBA hotspot and said he would rather them not move to
Brooklyn in 2013.

"I think it’s better than most arenas, I think it’s one of the best
arenas in the country," O’Neal told The Post following the Cavaliers’
stunning second-round elimination against Boston on Thursday night.
"Hopefully they can stay there forever. I don’t know what’s going on
with the Brooklyn situation, but it says a lot for the city of Newark."

Coaching search moving slowly

JOHN JACKSON, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

CHICAGO — About the only significant development in the Bulls’ coaching
search in the nearly two weeks since Vinny Del Negro was fired is that
more teams are looking for coaches.

The Atlanta Hawks fired Mike Woodson on Friday, and the Cleveland
Cavaliers soon might do the same with Mike Brown, increasing the number
of teams with openings.

Nets Reach Out to Avery Johnson

Just one day after the sale of the New Jersey Nets to Russian tycoon
Mikhail Prokhorov was approved by the NBA, team president Rod Thorn
quietly started the team’s coaching search.

League sources told FanHouse that Thorn inquired about Avery Johnson and
his interest in the Nets job through his representatives on Wednesday.
The former Dallas coach has already interviewed for openings in
Philadelphia and New Orleans and loo

Signs point to LeBron leaving Cleveland

CLEVELAND — At the final buzzer Thursday night, LeBron James and Kevin
Garnett were seen whispering in each other’s ears. Garnett may have told
James: "Get out now!"

That’s what Garnett believes James should do.

"Loyalty is something that hurts you at times because you can’t get
youth back," Garnett said regarding James’ big decision following
Boston’s stunning ouster of the Cavaliers. Garnett added if he had to do
it all over again with Minnesota, "I’d have done it a little sooner."

All signs are pointing toward a Cleveland exit for James — with the
Knicks gaining confidence at having a legitimate shot at landing "The
Chosen One" on July 1 when free-agency begins.

Just imagine LeBron, Dirk playing on same team

LeBron to Dallas talk starts in 3, 2… now.

Actually started, past tense. Thursday. About 10 p.m., or seconds after
King James and his Cavs crashed and burned in yet another playoffs. Best
NBA record apparently guarantees jack squat. Boston advanced somewhat
easily to the East Finals, and Team LeBron walked into yet another
off-season without a ring.

Only this time he has choices. Stay in Cleveland? Or go to New York or
Chicago (or, dare I say, Dallas?), via a nifty little opt-out clause in
his contract?

Disappointed Shaquille O'Neal wants to keep playing

Shaquille O’Neal arrived in Cleveland in June amid much fanfare and
proclaimed he wanted to "Win a ring for The King."

But he came up short as the Cavaliers lost to the Boston Celtics, 94-85,
on Thursday night in TD Garden to lose the best-of-seven Eastern
Conference semifinals, four games to two.

"Obviously everyone is disappointed, but as a person and as a
professional, I think I did everything they asked me to do," said
O’Neal, who missed the final six weeks of the regular season after
tearing a ligament in his right thumb. "I got injured, came back in
better shape. I did everything they asked me to do."

Bulls' search still could include Van Gundy

When the Bulls’ coaching search officially began Tuesday, general
manager Gar Forman said he would take his time in finding a replacement
for Vinny Del Negro.

So far, that’s true. Thursday was quiet except for the news that Del
Negro is packed up and planned to head back to Arizona this morning. His
future, though, is as uncertain as the search for his successor.