Chalk Talk: Super Bowl XLIX, Thibs, Kobe to Knicks?

Patriots or Seahawks? Is Thibs the Bulls coach in 2016? Kobe to the Knicks? A rare Chalk Talk gives you a clue…

By Steven Nichols

4716_575748089537_48606714_33714217_6185618_nTHE MINT – Quick thoughts on the road to Super Bowl XLIX… 

The pick: New England. Final: 23-17. MVP: Tom Brady.

Because? He needs a fourth ring. But what about Deflategate? So what. Don’t care. Who cares!

New Bulls coach for 2015-16? 

It’s something to ponder as this Bulls season continues to be a ride at Six Flags. And it’s rather sad, don’t you think? If the Bulls pull it together it could mean a championship this season. However, there’s no doubt the relationship between coach Tom Thibodeau and Bulls brass — Gar Forman and John Paxson — has rotted. And after all, from what many fans believe, Thibs runs his players into the ground and uses bad fourth quarter rotations, among other things. That maybe enough for some, but the real question is — who would you replace Thibs with?

George Karl? That’s a good start. How about Ed Pinckney, Thibodeau’s assistant? Sometimes there’s a Phil Jackson on your bench, somewhere. Just ask Doug Collins…

Mark Jackson? But you wonder why Golden State is doing so well with rookie coach, former Bull Steve Kerr?

Or what about Mike D’Antoni? Alvin Gentry? Avery Johnson? Nate McMillan? Or college coaches Kevin Ollie, Tom Izzo?

Here’s your assignment: get familiar with some of these names. If the Bulls decide to pull a Bulls, Thibodeau will be gone and the coaching search on the West Side will commence.

Madison Square Kobe 

Newsflash to Kobe Bryant: Your last NBA season will be as a Knick, whether you like it or not.

But let’s face it, isn’t the writing already on the wall? Can’t Kobe read between the lines? Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher are already at MSG warming things up for a Laker reunion and the triangle offense, that seemingly nobody can understand, is in desperate need of a boost.

Plus, I’m sure all Knick fans would all love someone else to take the ball away from Carmelo Anthony…

Bryant clearly isn’t winning this season (even with the rotator injury) or next season in Los Angeles. While it’s admirable that Bryant wants to be one of the rare superstars to spend an entire career for one team, the Lakers aren’t doing much for him and whether Kobe believes it or not, he can’t will the team to the playoffs with just his sheer competitiveness. He has to lower his pride and believe the L.A. fan base won’t refuse him for going to the East Coast, especially in this current rebuild.

And what should make it easier on Bryant is that even if Lakers pulled a rabbit out of their hat next season, the West is too tough. That’s a testament to Kobe’s will that really goes unmatched. But with the likes of Golden State, Portland, Memphis, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and the Clippers, who share Staples with the Lakers, the weaker East looks like a better strategy and a better conference to win. Golden State, Portland, Houston, Phoenix and New Orleans are young as well, and will continue to get better. And you can’t count out Sacramento if and when they deliver.

If you can sell a team in the East on a 1-year, $25 million rental of one of the game’s best to suit up — may be a team like the Knicks, already infused with Laker flavor, can turn something around quickly.  And NY has the money to do it. Kobe’s serious about playing next year. And give him something to play for — maybe a sixth ring to tie MJ? — he’ll be in good shape. Plus, Kobe and Melo can attract other free agents. The Knicks are in worse shape than the Lakers and it’s sort of hard to believe the Knicks can contend in 2016 given all the facts. But give Jackson some wiggle room and you never know.

Just remember, Bryant is 36 and has hobbled the last two seasons. And these are the Knicks….

D.C. what? 

Some are already talking about Durant to the Knicks in the 2016 free agency season. Puh-lease. First — if Durant wants to EVER win a title, he needs to leave Russell Westbrook the Thunder for himself. Second — imagine the team in Washington if lets say Durant chooses to go back home:

Wizards projected lineup with Durant

PG – John Wall

SG – Bradley Beat

SF – Kevin Durant

PF – Nene

C – Martin Gortat

Dynasty? Believe it. Bulls better start winning soon…


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