So I suppose the obvious lead story for today has to be the Bower-New Jersey Nets news. From Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Bower interviewed for the Nets job on Saturday in New York with owner Mikhail Prokhorov and outgoing GM Rod Thorn.
This is either a little surprising or lends some credibility to the Bower-Johnson spat rumors. It appears more and more that the two were/are averse to working with each other. But it's still intriguing to see the level of New Jersey's interest in Bower. Some have speculated that Bower's "loyalty" and "low key demeanor" likely endear him to owners, but I don't buy that, especially in the case of New Jersey.
A billionaire owner who wants badly to win and who, by his own admission, wants the basketball side of things to be run by actual basketball people, bringing in a yes-man of sorts? Doesn't make sense. There's clearly some level of appreciation for what Bower's done in New Orleans.
MrWayneKeller and Jamian B both took a look this week at Bower's performance with the Hornets. Both are good reads and really approach his tenure from different angles- Jamian B looking specifically at what Bower has done, and MrWayneKeller looking more at the context around his decisions. The conclusion from MrWayneKeller's post:
He tried to shake things up and keep the team competitive even though the franchise was over the luxury tax last offseason. He still may do the same thing this offseason. You never know... I still have hope in the Hornets and if the franchise decides to strip it bare and build it back up again, I would like Bower to still be the general manager of the team. Why? Because he's oversaw a rebuilding process that resulted in a big turnaround before. There's reason for me to believe he could do it again.
Getting back to New Jersey for a second, the Nets will be speaking with Kevin Pritchard about their GM vacancy. From NBA.com:
Former Portland Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard will be the latest executive to interview for the New Jersey Nets' GM position, according to sources... The Nets have already interviewed New Orleans GM Jeff Bower, who removed his name from consideration for the job on Tuesday. Detroit GM Joe Dumars has denied reports that he also has interviewed for the job... New Jersey is believed to be going through a double-digit list of candidates to replace former GM Kiki Vandeweghe...
Pritchard is a guy I would've loved to see in New Orleans. I left some of my rationale for him in this comment, yesterday. The summary:
Yes, Bower has been hamstrung by a poor financial situation. But even philosophically speaking, KP and Bower had had two very, very different tenures. One is characterized by summer deals for older guys that could "put the team over the top" (where the Hornets KNEW they’d have to overpay at least a little to get the target to NOLA), while the other is centered around a decisive, aggressive (and if KP had his way, extremely accurate) strategy for acquiring young players on cheap contracts.
Meanwhile, LeBron James has joined Twitter. Normally, I wouldn't really care, but his first tweet mentions CP, so...
Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building "Finally". My Brother @oneandonlycp3 gas'd me up to jump on board so I'm here. Haaaa
Seriously. Who names themselves "King James" on their Twitter account? Good luck with the whole global icon thing on Thursday morning. For the record, my predictions: Wade-->MIA, LBJ-->CLE, and Bosh-->MIA.