Ron Artest- LeBron Should Stay; and the Coaching List

Add Laker Ron Artest to the list that includes David Stern and Charles Barkley. While Artest was talking to the media about preparations for the NBA Finals and a showdown with the Celtics, he was asked about LeBron’s free agency decision. Of course he was. And who asked him about it? Why the New York Daily News of course. Let’s hope that they at least waited until he talked about the Celtics series before pushing their own agenda on Artest.

“He should stay where he is, he should stay in Cleveland,” Artest told the Daily News Wednesday after practice at Staples Center. “He’s done great things in Cleveland. Why leave?”

Artest, 30, was careful to say that he did not tell James to stay away from New York. And he did not repeat his theory from last November, that the Knicks could be hurt in recruiting free agents because marquee players are “so scared of the pressure and the media” in New York.

“I don’t know what he’s going to do,” Artest said. “But he should stay.”

There you have it. At least he didn’t pretend to have some sort of insight. He could however have helped LeBron make that decision easier by signing with the Cavs instead of the Lakers last off-season. But I suppose you could hardly blame the guy. He is getting ready to play in the NBA Finals and the Cavaliers are on vacation.

Also making the rounds through the rumor mill are names for Cleveland’s coaching vacancy-

John Reid of The Times-Picayune wrote, “Source in Cleveland informs me that former Hornets coach Byron Scott is under consideration for vacant Cavs’ job”, via his Twitter page on Wednesday.

Scott, Cavs assistant coach Chris Jent, Milwaukee assistant coach Kelvin Sampson and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw are the names that have been mentioned as candidates to receive an interview from Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry.

Scott and I had a conversation about Chris Jent becoming the head coach at last week’s WFNY Tribe Social Deck event. Jent as most of you already know is the Cavs assistant coach that has been working with LeBron on his shooting for better than two years now. LeBron trusts Jent, and has even gone as far as to take the former Buckeye with him on trips around the country and even to China last summer in order to have regular workouts.

LeBron has said, at least publicly, that he will not be picking the next Cavalier head coach. Including Jent’s name on the candidate list sure seems like a ploy by the Cavaliers. Is Jent really qualified to be a head coach at this level? I can’t answer that to be honest. It seems a little premature to think that he would be ready. He hasn’t been given the coaching responsibilities that Michael Malone or Hank Egan has on the team. But he has coached Cleveland’s summer league teams before. I would dare say that if Jent were given the head coaching job it would mean the end of him flying around with LeBron to help him work on his shooting. No head coach would do that.

  • Oppie

    I think that’s the reassuring support I had been missing, thanks Ron.

    As far as coaches go, I wouldn’t be upset if the Cavs brought in Scott or went after Van Gundy. They’re not the biggest names out there, but they’ve both coached big name guys pretty successfully. I really like Jent, I just don’t know how he’d be as a head coach and after already dealing with a 1st time head coach, I’m leaning more towards getting an experienced guy.

  • Matt#2

    Ron Artest, be my neighbor.

  • MattyFos

    “He is getting ready to play in the NBA Finals and the Cavaliers are on vacation”

    Rick, who doesn’t prefer vacation over work? That could be the Cavs selling point. You get an extra month of vacation and you get a week off before the season ends because we will have locked down the number one seed for the playoffs.

    I agree with Oppie, I don’t think a first time head coach will put this team over the top. I like Scott, and he would be my choice over all the assistants you mentioned. Didn’t Kelvin Sampson do something naughty in College Hoops? Was it a recruiting violation, because he was a decent coach and I can’t remember what he did.. (I’m not googling it, I will rely on the savvy WFNY nation to inform me)

  • oribiasi

    Didn’t Byron Scott have a falling out with Chris Paul? I don’t like him coming, as it would kill the chances of that happening. You know, the 0.000000000000001% chance.

  • Jason

    Jent already has been a head coach at the NBA level. Granted it was only for 18 games with The Magic in an interim capacity. But hey, he’s been there and done it.

  • Mark

    @oribiasi – no, just the opposite. Paul and Scott did and still get along well, from what I have read. In fact, Paul was quite upset they let Scott go and that N.O. did not ask/tell Paul before hand.

  • mgbode

    sampson likes to use his cell phone for calls and texts. not allowed in college, but definitely allowable in the NBA.

    then again, what NBA player wants their HC texting them 20 times a night while they are out on the town?

  • Narm

    Has anyone made the obvious “WFNY – Waiting For New York” joke yet?

  • JNeids

    I’m not surprised that NY “journalist” asked the question, but I am surprised they actually printed it. Now if they only printed the responses from people who say he should go to New York…wait, lemme take off my shock face…

  • Stinkfist

    The best part of the whole (non) perfect game debacle was that I completely forgot about LeBron James… until I saw this article between two perfect game articles.
    Here’s a special Thank You to Rick for ruining my day of bliss

  • MattyFos

    Narm, I’m waiting to use the WTFNY….. WTF, New York?

  • typo

    The cavs seemed to quit on mike brown. The hornets did it even worse to byrone scott last year. They lost by like 60 points in the playoffs. I wouldn’t touch him. I’d much rather chris jent.

  • Desert Wahoo

    I do believe Jent will be a Head Coach in the future. I thought somebody would have mentioned that Jent was a Interm HC for Orlando just a few years ago. Jent has the talent it’s just not his time yet.