Fast Break Thoughts

Phillip Barnett —  May 16, 2011

With the retirement of Phil Jackson, there have been myriad reports on who should replace him as the Lakers head man. Many pundits suggest that either Brian Shaw or Rick Adelman, however, Laker Nation’s Kevin Figgers thinks the Lakers should be looking in a different direction when he writes, “[…]but for a veteran team like the Lakers, with a number strong personalities, they need a veteran coach that will come in and command respect and preach accountability. No coach fits that mold better than Jerry Sloan.”

Brian Kamenetzky also has a short piece on Mike Dunleavy being on a short list of guys to replace PJax.

Both of Sunday’s games weren’t fun to watch come the fourth quarter, but both games featured fantastic individual plays. There was Taj Gibson’s garbage time tip-dunk, his lethal dunk on Dwyane Wade, and my personal favorite from this weekend — James Harden’s silky smooth tip back pass to Kevin Durant on the fast break. I’m probably in the minority in ranking these plays, but this pass is beautiful to me.

The following is an excerpt from Andy Kamenetzky’s post about the possibility of Dwight Howard becoming a Laker: Do you make a deal for Howard with Andrew Bynum as the centerpiece? In a nanosecond. Talented as Bynum is, Howard’s better, and his odds of attending games in a uniform rather than street clothes are considerably higher. He and Pau Gasol would complement each other exceptionally well, almost the perfect yin and yang. For that matter, Howard and Lamar Odom could co-exist nicely. Plus, I get the distinct sense Bynum desperately (and even understandably) wants to spread his wings, which may not be happening any time soon. The longer he maintains this role, the more dissatisfied he could grow, which could mean an eventual departure anyway. Throw in the legitimate questions about committing to a player with Bynum’s injury history, and Howard makes even more sense if feasible.

There are some players that some of us can’t seem to let go. Allen Iverson was one of those players for Kenny Masenda over at Ed the Sports Fan. Time and time again, Iverson stepped on the floor and did something that we hadn’t seen before, or if we had seen it, he did it in a way that was unique to his personal style. In this post, Kenny recounts the night Iverson gave the basketball world a 52-point playoff performance against the Toronto Raptors.

The New York Times Dan Barry has an exceptional feature on Rick Welts, an NBA Executive who has recently confessed to co-workers and friends about his homosexuality. Barry write that Welts wants to “be a mentor to gay people who harbor doubts about a sports career, whether on the court or in the front office.” The feature is largely about a conversation that has been largely off limits within the scope of professional sports, and may be the first step in the acceptance of everyone and another step forward toward equal rights in the sports world.

Phillip Barnett