NBA rules that Luke Walton’s only official win with Warriors is Coach of the Month

Luke Walton doesn't quite get it, but he'll take it all the same.As promised, the NBA has taken a fresh look at its position on the longstanding but informal practice on crediting wins earned by teams run by interim coaches not to that temporary leader, but rather to the head coach in whose stead the interim coach serves. Unfortunately for Golden State Warriors store-minder Luke Walton, who has moved up to the head of the Dubs’ bench in place of the injured Steve Kerr, who’s still working his way back to the club after offseason back surgery, the league has decided not to change things up.

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From the league’s Tuesday announcement:

The NBA clarified today the league’s rules regarding coaching records: the head coach of record is credited with team wins and losses. Steve Kerr remains the head coach of record for the Golden State Warriors and is credited with those results.

Additionally, any team head coach, interim head coach or acting head coach is eligible to be recognized with league coaching awards. Therefore, Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton is eligible for NBA Coach of the Month. The winners for the season’s first month will be announced later today.

So, y’know, take a wild guess who was named November’s Western Conference Coach of the Month on Tuesday afternoon.

This makes Walton both the first interim coach to win such an award, and the first to do so despite not officially having any wins under his belt. This is weird!

Walton earns the honor for presiding over the Warriors’ perfect November, a month that saw the defending champions win all 16 of their games, extend their record-setting season-opening winning streak to 19 games and push their overall winning streak — which stretches back to last season — to 23 games, the third-longest run in NBA history. Golden State decimated the competition last month, scoring a league-high 113.6 points per 100 possessions and outscoring the opposition by a whopping 16.5 points-per-100 — head and shoulders above even the 11.4-per-100 mark they rolled up en route to 67 wins and the 2014-15 NBA championship.

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Many observers — most notably Kerr — have suggested it’s ridiculous for Walton not to receive full credit for the Warriors’ undefeated start to the season, but the NBA ultimately decided maintaining the existing policy, while perhaps unfair to Walton, was the best course in the grand scheme of things, according to Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times:

Many people called for Walton to receive credit for the wins. The broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy spent long portions of a nationally televised game demanding a change, and Kerr has strongly advocated for his assistant in interviews. But a change in the policy had the potential to create some messy situations. For Walton to receive credit for wins was one thing, but to saddle other interim coaches with losses might have been seen as unfair, especially if they were filling in for far shorter stretches.

Even if the league had changed the policy, a source confirmed there was little consideration of going back through history to alter coaching records based on the use of interim coaches. By not changing, the N.B.A. avoids the potential for a major record upheaval, because Don Nelson, the N.B.A.’s coaching victories leader, received credit for at least 10 wins in games coached by an interim replacement. Nelson’s lead over Lenny Wilkens for career wins is three, and an in-depth examination of both of their records could have resulted in a change at the top.

That issue now tabled and a new honor added to his lighter-than-it-should-be coaching résumé, Walton will go back about the business of preparing the Warriors to try to push their record to 20-0 when they visit the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night. With Golden State seemingly showing no signs of slowing down in its pursuit of back-to-back titles, the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ record 33-game winning streak and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ all-time mark of 72 wins, and with Kerr’s return date still uncertain, Walton could find again find himself in the running for the prize come December’s end. Consecutive Coach of the Month awards wouldn’t be too bad for a guy who hasn’t won anything, huh?

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

Stay connected with Ball Don’t Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL, “Like” BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

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Matt Greene out long term for LA Kings with shoulder surgery

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: Matt Greene #2 of the Los Angeles Kings checks Cedric Paquette #13 of the Tampa Bay Lightning against the boards during the first period at the Staples Center on February 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)On Oct. 13, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene played just over a minute of the third period in a loss against the Vancouver Canucks.

He took a maintenance day at practice the next day. He hasn’t appeared in a game again for the Kings, and won’t be any time soon. 

Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports that Greene, who had been trying to overcome his shoulder injury through rest and rehab, will actually undergo shoulder surgery on Thursday. He’s out indefinitely, and the recovery time is expected to be “long term.”

As of now, he’s not going on long-term injured reserve, a decision that Rosen writes will be “down the line.” The Kings have $1.459 million in cap space, according to General Fanager.

With Greene out, his third-pairing defenseman spot initially went to Derek Forbort and then to Jamie McBain, who was initially a bright spot in Greene’s absence.

The Kings’ defense has been solid this season – the Kings were No. 24 in the NHL in shots allowed at 28.4 – so perhaps they roll with this group of seven until Greene can return, assuming he does. Jewels From The Crown made that assumption before the injury news hit:

Matt Greene is still out of the lineup for an undetermined amount of time. At some point, he will come back. If you insist on having a bruiser in the lineup, Greene is a solid option. I would rather see Greene in the lineup than McBain or Derek Forbort, but the change isn’t particularly important. In Forbort’s case, it’s probably important to figure out what he has to offer to this team anyway.

There just isn’t any other way to look at this team. The Kings do not need a defender. At all. They have an excellent defense that is playing well almost across the board: the only regular defender with a negative Corsi Rel on the entire team is Alec Martinez. They have excellent defensive forwards littering their top three lines. They have good goaltending. They’re fine! Legitimately. One hundred percent.

That said, it was recently reported that Dean Lombardi was “scouring the market in search for a top-four defenseman and a depth forward with an eye for the net.” And that was before Greene decided to go under the knife.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.


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EIHL’s Braehead Clan don amazing kilt themed uniforms (Photos)

Photo via Braehead Clan

The Braehead Clan’s recent contest against the Fife Flyers was more than just a game. It was a fashion statement by Braehead.

Braehead wore a kilt pattern in honor of St. Andrew’s day – a Nov. 30 holiday in honor of Scotland’s patron saint.  Above is a photo of the outfit. Below is a highlight video of the game so you can see the kilt pattern in action. Braehead plays in the EIHL.

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Whether they’re intimidating or not they definitely added a festive nature to the game. 

As for the game itself, Braehead defeated Fife 3-0. Said the official Braehead release from its website: “Fife huffed and puffed in the third period, but couldn’t find their way past net minder Chris Holt, who posted another home shutout as the Clan claimed victory over their Gardiner Conference rivals.”

With Braehead undefeated in the kilt uniforms, maybe they’ll wear them more often. 

s/t @alexis_b82


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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!



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Evgeni Malkin for Eric Staal trade is possible, according to Stan Fischler

So the venerable Stan Fischler decided to take a look at the Pittsburgh Penguins in his latest “One Timers” column for The Hockey News. 

And it went a little something like this:

No matter how you shake it Sidney Crosby has become a curious subject for study in Pittsburgh. His slow scoring start was enough to raise eyebrows through the season’s first quarter although Sid seems to be back on track. What’s troublesome are reports of a feud with his former landlord and boss Mario Lemieux. That has created more negative vibes than the Penguins need.

Both Crosby and Lemieux were emphatic in denying a rift between them, although without a photo showing them sharing a bottle of Cabernet in Mario’s basement/Sid’s former bedroom, we’re not sure if they can ever establish there’s no heat.

The venerable Stan Fischler then decided to put on his GM fedora, and came up with this little ditty:

The captain remains an untouchable, but it seems more and more likely that Evgeni Malkin will be GM Jim Rutherford’s best chip to play in the trading sweepstakes.

Please note that this column was published on Monday, during a stretch in which Malkin has been practically super human for the Penguins. On the one hand, discussing a Malkin trade now would be a case study in bad timing; on the other, his value is super high!

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Which brings us to this, from the venerable Stan Fischler:

The deal I can see — Malkin to Carolina for Eric Staal.

So Stan can see a trade that:

A. Involves one player who is 29 and signed through 2022 for another that’s 31 and signed through next summer.

B. Involves one player with a No Move Clause for another with a No Trade Clause.

C. Involves the Penguins trading away their best asset for a lesser center, rather than for a collection of players that would fill the gaping holes in their lineup, beginning with their blueline.


So, in summary, we’re left with just one question: What’s Stan’s HF Boards user name?


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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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On Vin Scully’s 88th birthday, enjoy our favorite Vin moments from 2015

(Getty Images)It’s fitting that Vin Scully’s birthday falls so close to Thanksgiving. If there’s one thing baseball fans everywhere can agree they’re thankful for, it’s his brilliance in the broadcast booth and his class and kindness as a human being.

As Scully turns 88 today, we’re more thankful now than ever for his wonderful career as we’ve learned 2016 will be his 67th and final season broadcasting Dodgers games. Scully reaffirmed as much on Saturday, telling the Los Angeles Times that it’s simply time.

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“Each year, I knew I was getting closer and closer,” Scully said. “Finally, this past fall and winter — I think it’s time. I don’t want somebody else to tell me it’s time. I would rather do it myself.”

I really can’t see that I would come back,” Scully said. “Sooner or later, you have to be realistic. I’ve done it for a long, long time. I’ve done reasonably well at it. But I don’t want to stay on any longer than I feel I should.

“Which makes it a very tough decision, but I really do feel it would be time for me to walk away rather than have somebody say, ‘Gee, you know, you’re not the same. You’re not quite this, you’re not quite that.’ I don’t want that. So I think if I can get through next year doing reasonably well, it would be time then to walk away.”

We respect Scully’s decision and we appreciate his honesty. And with that said, we also wish to honor Scully’s greatness by looking back at his best moments from another outstanding season behind the mic in 2015.

Please enjoy.

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Scully’s take on selfies
When Dodgers fan Bobby Crosby filmed himself catching an Aaron Hill home run during a game on May 3, Scully coined it the “selfie of all selfies.” That’s really all that needs to be said, because just hearing Scully referencing selfies will blow ones mind.

Redhead extinction?
During a broadcast in July, Scully caused something of a social media stir when he cited a report suggesting redheads could be extinct by the year 2060. Scully, a redhead himself, said that didn’t bother him so much since he wouldn’t be around anyway. In classic Scully style, he then circled back around a couple days later and reassured redheads everywhere that there was no truth to the previous report. That’s good news, but here’s wishing Vin would still be around then too. 

“No. It’s gas.”
There’s nothing Scully enjoys more than seeing young children at the game. His descriptions of dancing and drooling babies have been hilarious over the years, but this particular story during a mid-September game took the cake. Scully talks of his days before he had children himself, and how he’d make them smile with his goofy faces. Then he hits us with the punchline that reminds us his sense of humor is right in line with his broadcasting prowess.

Snake prank
Here, Scully tells of a prank a Brooklyn Dodger player once played on his teammate by a hiding a small snake in his glove. The story itself is great, but observe how masterfully Scully ties his story into the action. He’s so, so good at that. It makes everything he says so seamless, and that’s almost impossible to do broadcasting an unpredictable game like baseball.

Remembering Yogi Berra
The baseball world lost a legend when Yogi Berra died on Sept. 22. But what better way to celebrate his life and honor his career than to have Scully share stories about his friend during the Dodgers broadcast. Here, Scully talks about Berra’s remarkable season in 1950, in which Berra hit 28 homers and knocked in 124 runs, all while striking out 12 times.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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