Remember when the Sacramento Kings pretty much fired coach George Karl right before the All-Star break? Remember when they suddenly decided not to? That was a weird time to be a King, and — guess what? — it did not affect the team in a positive way. Sacramento forward Caron Butler appeared on ESPN’s First Take on Friday and spilled the beans, saying that the team never addressed Karl trying to get DeMarcus Cousins traded and the last part of the season was a slog.
“As players, from All-Star break and everything, I mean, as far as we knew, he was fired,” Butler said. “We’re in Philadelphia a game before All-Star break and all of a sudden it’s like, ‘You’re not moving [on], I’m coming back.’ It was deflating to the locker room, it was deflating to the guys, and we tried to move forward and tried to do the best that we possibly could. But that was deflating to the team, it was a big blow and it was tough to move forward.”
Source: James Herbert of CBS Sports
Sources: Spurs Hold Players-Only Meeting to Discuss Kawhi Leonard’s Status
The San Antonio Spurs held a players-only meeting to implore All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard to return to the lineup and help the team in its push for the playoffs, league sources told ESPN.
Spurs guard Tony Parker, a four-time NBA champion, quarterbacked the meeting after the team’s victory over Minnesota on Saturday night. Non-players were asked to leave the locker room, a source told Michael C. Wright.
The conversation was described as tense and emotional at times. Several teammates spoke up, expressing frustration and confusion over a growing divide that has created significant tension between Leonard and the Spurs. Outside the Spurs locker room, players’ voices could be heard through the door, sources said.
Leonard remained resolute in his response, insisting that he has good reason to continue sitting out because he still isn’t fully healthy, sources said. Leonard told his teammates that he planned to return once he felt able to do so, sources said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Report: Suns Begin Search for Head Coach, to Consider Jay Triano
The Phoenix Suns are beginning their search for a new head coach now, a process that will include interim coach Jay Triano, general manager Ryan McDonough told ESPN.
In a coaching market that could be expansive with openings this spring, the Suns want to get a start on connecting with available candidates now and leap into the rest of the coaching market in mid-April when the regular season ends, McDonough said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Report: Robert Williams to Declare for 2018 NBA Draft
Texas A&M sophomore forward Robert Williams is turning pro.
Williams announced his decision to enter the NBA draft and bypass his final two seasons of eligibility after the seventh-seeded Aggies lost to third-seeded Michigan 99-72 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night.
“It’s something I’ve been dreaming about – the next step,” said Williams, who scored 12 points and added six rebounds, three assists and three blocks in his final game with the Aggies.
Williams, 19 years old and listed at 6-10, will finish the semester at Texas A&M before pursuing his dream of playing in the NBA.
“It’s just a blessing,” Williams said as he stood in a locker room in the bowels of the Staples Center, home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. “Every kid dreams of going pro in a sport they love.