Ricky Rubio still on track to join NBA

Kurt Rambis and GM David Kahn traveled to Europe and met with Rubio. Apparently, Rubio and Rambis hit it off, at least according to Kahn, who wants this to work in the worst way.

Ricky Rubio was impressed with Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis when they met for the first time last week, and the 19-year-old point guard told friends that “he can envision playing for Kurt.”

That’s what Wolves Vice President David Kahn said on Friday after returning from a weeklong scouting trip to Europe.

Rubio’s arrival won’t happen for at least another year, but he told the Associated Press in Barcelona, Spain, that he has warmed to the notion of playing in Minnesota: “They have the best possibility because they hold my rights, and they’ve shown me how much they want me,” he said. “And for that, I have to be thankful toward them.”

Rubio still plans to join the NBA after next season. It looks like the chances are pretty good that he eventually plays for the T-Wolves.

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T-Wolves pick Rambis as new head coach

It appears that the Minnesota Timberwolves’ search for a head coach is finally over.

Per ESPN…

Long considered a potential heir apparent to Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, Rambis was lured away from Jackson’s staff by a four-year deal believed to be worth in excess of $8 million.

Wolves owner Glen Taylor confirmed ESPN.com’s report in an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press late Saturday, telling the newspaper that he expects Rambis to formally sign the contract Monday.

“Kurt, with his experience playing and coaching for a winning organization and working under people like Pat Riley, will bring a lot to our organization,” Taylor told the Pioneer Press. “In meeting with him and talking to him, I know he’s very excited about having an opportunity to help build his own team.”

This looks like a good hire by the T-Wolves. Rambis has spent several seasons learning from Phil Jackson, who is one of the very best coaches in the history of the league.

Blogging the Bloggers: Jeff Van Gundy’s bags, Bob Huggins black eyes and more

– Ever wonder what’s going on with those bags under Jeff Van Gundy’s eyes. The fine folks at COLLEGE HUMOR did, and they made a video about it.

INSIDE HOOPS reports that the Kings have hired Paul Westphal after a failed courtship with Kurt Rambis.

SPORTSbyBROOKS has photos of Bob Huggins with two black eyes. WTF?

DEADSPIN quotes from UCLA QB Chris Forcier’s press release in which he announces that he is transferring to Furman. Fact: It’s pretty weird for a press release.

Wright withdraws name from Sixers coaching position

A day after Villanova head coach Jay Wright removed his name from consideration in becoming the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, add Chris Ford to the list.

Philly.com is reporting Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski has interviewed six candidates for the team’s vacant coaching position.

Wright said of his conversation with Stefanski:

“He is a longtime friend of mine whom I have great respect for and is someone I talk to often,” Wright said in a statement. “We had a lively conversation about the vision Ed has for the Sixers organization. As a lifelong Sixers fan, I was honored to be part of the process.”

Wright said he called Stefanski after the meeting and requested removal from consideration.

“I love Villanova and it is where I want to be,” Wright said.

Team sources have confirmed the five candidates in the mix are Eddie Jordan, Dwayne Casey, Kurt Rambis, Tom Thibodeau, with Ford’s interview being the last of the first phase in the selection process. Stefanski reiterated that there is no timetable for his selection, as he will continue conducting interviews, extensive research, and in-depth background checks before naming his choice.

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