Tag: NBA

Isaiah Austin

Isaiah Austin has a job with the NBA once he finishes degree at Baylor


Days before the NBA Draft, former Baylor center Isaiah Austin revealed his playing career was over after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. This led to the most touching moment of draft night, when NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the league had selected Austin.

That wasn’t just for show either. Austin told TMZ.com that he has a job waiting for him with the NBA, once he graduates from Baylor University.

Austin — who was ceremonially drafted by the NBA at the Draft back in June — tells us Silver already hooked him up with a part-time gig with the league’s NBA Cares program … and promised full-time work once he gets his degree.

The 7-foot-1 center was a projected second round pick, but heads back to Waco to finish up classes in August. In two seasons with Baylor, he averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. In February, Austin shared his inspirational story, playing blind in his right eye since he was a child. Despite the heartbreaking news, Austin has continued to inspire others by selling T-shirts on his website in an effort to raise money for Marfan syndrome research.

He has also helped spread awareness of the inherited disorder that 1 in 5,000 people have. According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, visitors to marfan.org and donations to the foundation have spiked since June. The Marfan Foundation’s annual conference set had a record turnout, which included Austin.

[h/t ProBasketballTalk]

Report: Lakers might talk to Larry Brown about coaching vacancy

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Larry Brown hasn’t coached in the NBA since 2010, but that hasn’t stopped his name from being thrown around as a potential candidate for vacancies.

The Los Angeles Lakers have talked about the possibility of contacting the Hall of Fame coach, according to a report filed earlier this week by Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com.

The Lakers, sources add, have also internally discussed reaching out to Scott Skiles and former NBA championship-winning coach Larry Brown, who has spent the past two seasons in the college game at SMU.

At this point, his name is merely being tossed around along with others. The Lakers are in a wide-ranging coaching search, having interviewed or discussed the position with six former NBA coaches so far. In 2004, Brown, who is now 73, became the first coach to win an NBA and NCAA title when his Detroit Pistons knocked off the Lakers in the Finals.

Brown, the basketball coaching nomad, made his return to the college ranks in 2012 when he revived the SMU program. In only his second season, Brown almost got the Mustangs back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1993. However, a weak strength of schedule left them on the cutting room floor on Selection Sunday.

The Ponies have the bulk of their roster returning, including leading scorer Nic Moore and top rebounder Markus Kennedy, in addition to the arrival of Emmanuel Mudiay, the No. 2 overall recruit in the Class of 2014, according to Rivals. SMU is arguably a top-10 team heading into the 2014-2015 season.

Mike D’Antoni resigned as the Lakers’ coach in late April. He was linked to the opening at his alma mater, Marshall. His brother, Dan D’Antoni, was hired by the Thundering Herd on April 24.

[h/t ProBasketballTalk]

Billy Donovan not guaranteeing a return to Florida

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Florida head coach Billy Donovan, along with UConn’s Kevin Ollie and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, is on a short list of college coaches who are being targeted for NBA coaching vacancies this offseason.

Last Thursday, it was reported that Donovan, who for agreed to coach the Orlando Magic in 2007 before reversing his decision and returning to UF, had been contacted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team with the top pick in next month’s NBA Draft. With SEC Spring Meetings taking place this week, Donovan explained to reporters on Tuesday why he hasn’t ruled out a possible jump to the NBA, offering no guarantee about his future in Gainesville.

From the Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel:

“I think when you start making guarantees about life and start making guarantees about where you’re going to be, that’s not good,” he said. “If for some reason I ever change my mind and did something, I wouldn’t want (people) saying, ‘Well, he promised, he guaranteed, he said this on record.’ I just think when you start doing that, that’s a mistake.

“I’ve seen a lot of coaches over the years come out and say, ‘No, no, no, no, I’m not going anywere, I’m not going anywhere,’ and then all of a sudden they go somewhere and it’s like, ‘Well, this guy is a complete liar.’ I don’t want to get into that situation. There’s been some teams that have called, but that’s really it.”

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning (video above), mainly to discuss his column on Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera. But in the final minute of the interview, Patrick asked Mannix to provide a coaching update for teams around the NBA. Cleveland is looking for a college coach, said Mannix, and based on what Cleveland can offer Donovan, Mannix believes the longtime Gators coach could still head to the NBA.

Donovan has won 451 games in his 18 seasons at Florida. In March, he signed an extension through 2019. The Gators are projected to finish at the top of the SEC once again, along with likely preseason No. 1 Kentucky.