NBA Lockout News, and Timberwolves Coaching Search Update

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Since the NBA lockout began on July 1st, there has been very little updates on negotiations between the player’s union and the owners.

That is until Tuesday when the NBA filed a lawsuit against the Players Association.

The lawsuit is a tactic the league and the owners will use in an attempt to protect themselves from the union decertifying to gain leverage against the league.

Decertification by the union was seen by the NFL players back in the early stages of the NFL lockout just months ago.

According to the New York Daily News:

The league’s lawsuit, filed in federal district court, contends that the 33-day-old lockout does not violate antitrust laws, while seeking a ruling that federal courts lack jurisdiction to block the NBA’s first shutdown since 1998.

Along with filing an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against the union for failure to bargain in good faith, the league is hopeful that the suit will prevent the players from taking the same route as the NFL players when they decertified during the pro football lockout.

A shady, but craft strategy by Commissioner David Stern and the owners. The NBA lockout seems to be in far worse shambles than the NFL lockout was a month into it. Leverage will be key, and it appears that the owners have thrown the first haymaker in what will undoubtedly be a 15-round bout.

I will give Stern credit on one issue though. According to an ESPN: Los Angeles report, Stern will not be collection his 8-figure salary over the duration of the lockout. If the whole season is wiped out, that could mean a reported 15-16 million dollars in economic loss for Mr. Stern.

At least both sides will be losing money the longer this goes on. Not just the players.

One more lockout related tidbit to add, according to the Huffington Post, NBA Players Union Chief Billy Hunter predicts that the 2011-12 NBA season will be lost.

On to some pleasant news.

The Minnesota Timberwolves coaching search update:

I reported just over a week ago that former Kings and Rockets head coach Rick Adelman had been taking to General Manager David Kahn about the coaching vacancy with the Timberwolves. But it appears that he never came to town for a formal interview.

Now it appears that he doesn’t want anything to do with the NBA next season.

According to a report, Adelman said he doesn’t plan on doing anything next NBA season, other than take a break from coaching.

Per the report, Adelman was quoted as saying, “Right now I don’t plan on doing anything, just taking some time off.”

It appears we can cross Adelman’s name off the list of potential suitors to fill the head coaching position with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

— One name we can add to the list– a familiar name with Timberwolves fans– is Sam Mitchell.

As a player, Mitchell had two stints in Minnesota. He was on the Wolves from 1989-1992, and from 1995-2002.

As a role playing forward, Mitchell was adored by Timberwolves fans. Many fans had been calling for Mitchell to interview for the vacant coaching position.

Jerry Zgoda writes that Mitchell is expected to interview for the open position either Friday or Saturday.

Throughout the coaching search, Kahn has seemed lukewarm– to put it nicely– about the prospects of Mitchell becoming the next head coach. But the 2007 NBA Coach of the Year should at least get a look by Kahn and company as a potential replacement for Kurt Rambis.

— Zgoda also states that former Nuggets, Nets, Spurs, Clippers, Pacers, 76ers, Pistons, Knicks, and Bobcats head coach Larry Brown will also interview for the head coaching job next week.

To me, Brown makes as much sense as the Democrats agreeing to Mitch McConnell’s budget proposal.

Kahn wants to play fast, and Brown traditionally hasn’t been a coach that fits that style. Lets take a look at his best team, the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons who beat the Lakers in 5 games to win the NBA Finals.

That Pistons team averaged just 90.1 points per game. Good for 24th place out of 29 teams in the league that season.

Kahn wants to play a fast paced, up-and-down style of game. While Brown comes with a ton of NBA coaching experience, I personally don’t feel he fits the dynamic that Kahn wants of his Timberwolves team.

As of today, August 4th, the Wolves have interviewed four candidates– Terry Porter, Mike Woodson, Bernie Bickerstaff,  and Don Nelson– with two more in Mitchell and Brown coming in the very near future.

All six are formidable coaching candidates. But the question still looms, will any of them be able to right the ship of the Timberwolves franchise?

-Brett Cloutier

Brett is a contributor to The Sports Bank as he covers all things Minnesota sports. You can follow him on Twitter @brettcloutier.

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