The Commercial Appeal is reporting that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is likely in conversations about joining the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff. The All-Legend center, possibly the best scoring big man of all time, sat in on the Grizzlies practice yesterday, and the CA notes that several sources say Kareem is definitely involved in conversations.
More discussion of this rumor over the jump.
Previously Abdul-Jabbar had worked for his alma-mater The Los Angeles Lakers' project center Andrew Bynum. The two experienced some sort of breakup over the summer, though the terms were not altogether clear. Speculation on the breakup ranged from accusations that Kareem is a better player than coach to Andrew Bynum lacking the maturity and desire to improve his game.
The reality is probably somewhere between. I don't believe Bynum is particularly dedicated -- see his time recovering from injury last season being spent at the Playboy Mansion, which is practically too cliched to even be justifiable at this point -- and I'm not convinced about the idea that all Hall of Fame big men should coach players at their position. For instance the link between Patrick Ewing and Dwight Howard's success is tenuous at best. Those two couldn't be more dissimilar in their game, and Ewing hasn't made Dwight any better from the stripe.
In terms of the Grizzlies, however, I like this move. Again it would be evidence that Heisley is prepared to spend some money on the future of the team -- Marc Gasol and Hasheem Thabeet. Also Kareem could be a candidate for a head coaching spot after Hollins' contract expires after this season. This is probably a positive; Abdul-Jabar is one of the most qualified former players to never have a shot at coaching.