In sad, sad, terribly sad news, Steve Nash (back) might not play another game for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Head coach Mike D'Antoni said on Monday that he doesn't anticipate his point guard will be back before the end of the year, via ESPN's Dave McMenamin:
"I doubt it," D'Antoni said after the Lakers' shootaround Monday when asked if Nash would play again this season with 23 games remaining, starting with the Trail Blazers on Monday night. "I don't think so. What's the end game? We've talked about it. He's not completely healthy. We have 23 games left. We're not going to make the playoffs. So what's his objective into taking minutes away from the young guys that we're trying to develop? That's kind of the theme that we're talking about."
Nash himself was not definitive on the matter, via McMenamin:
"We'll see," he said. "I couldn't really make a prediction. If I get the chance, it would be great."
"We'll see if I can practice soon," Nash said. "I kind of got to get some practice out of the way, and we're not going to get many practices in this week, or any practices, so we'll see. We'll see how I feel next week and if I get a chance to practice."
The 18-year-veteran has played in just 10 games this season, as a result of a nerve issue in his back. He played a few games in February, but was not able to sustain it. He intends to play next season, but he said in a Grantland documentary series that if the Lakers use the stretch provision and waive him this offseason, "this is it."
Butler might start for Oklahoma City
Scott Brooks says Caron Butler could start at shooting guard in place of injured guard Thabo Sefolosha.— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) March 3, 2014
Brooks was non-committal on everything from Butler's role to his minutes. Said he wants to ease him in but said he could play 1-48 minutes.— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) March 3, 2014
Butler, recently waived by the Milwaukee Bucks, officially signed with Oklahoma City on Saturday. He will be in the lineup when the Thunder host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. After his first practice with the team on Monday, he literally introduced himself during his scrum, via Mayberry:
For those who are not familiar with me, my name is James Caron Butler. I'm an 11-year vet. I was traded three times this year. So I was in Phoenix for three weeks. I bought a home, packed it up, took the kids back out of school. I have five children, four girls, one boy. Migrated back to Milwaukee after being traded from Los Angeles prior to Phoenix. And now I'm in Oklahoma.
Miami Heat president Pat Riley said that he had conversations with Butler and his representatives about joining the Heat, but Butler wanted a more meaningful role than they could offer, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
"We love Caron. We reached out to him. But he was very definitive with what he wanted and I don't think it's something we could have promised."
Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins will sign another 10-day contract with the club on Wednesday, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. By league rules, after a player has completed two 10-day contracts with the same team, that team cannot offer him another 10-day contract. When this one expires in mid-March, the Nets' only option to keep him would be to sign him for the rest of the season. It is hard to imagine a vastly superior option at center emerging between now and then.
Woodson: 'I'm searching'
New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson will start big man Amar'e Stoudemire for the second time this season and start guard J.R. Smith for the 16th time on Monday, admitting that he is "searching" for something that will work, via Scott Cacciola of the New York Times:
Amare and JR starting tonight. Iman and Pablo are coming off bench. "I'm searching," Woodson said.— Scott Cacciola (@ScottCacciola) March 3, 2014
Raymond Felton, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler will round out New York's starting five. The Knicks have lost nine of their last 10 games and are 21-39 on the season, six games back of the Atlanta Hawks for the final playoff spot in the East and six games in front of the lowly 76ers.
Legendary former head coach Phil Jackson sat down with USA Today's Sam Amick over the weekend and said that, though he doesn't want to return to coaching, he has had conversations with teams about returning to the NBA in an executive capacity and there are "a few" opportunities available for him:
It wouldn't be right to talk about it, name anything. But yeah, there are some. There are winners and losers in the NBA, and a lot of people are trying to reclaim their position or change their culture or whatever. So yeah, there is. I've had conversations. Some of them are feelers. "Are you interested?" type of thing.
Jackson also spoke about his role as what he called an "unpaid advisor" for the Detroit Pistons, as well as the future of the Lakers.