Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Cooler, where we take an extended visit with some old friends. Let’s get to it:
*Former Wolves coach Kurt Rambis, who was an almost impossible 100 games under .500 (32-132) in just two seasons here working alongside GM David Kahn, is reportedly exerting quite a bit of control over the Lakers coaching hire.
Los Angeles was closing in on a deal to have Tyronn Lue coach the team — Lue won a championship in Cleveland with LeBron James, making this a natural reunion — but things fell apart Wednesday. ESPN’s reporting suggests Rambis played a major role.
Lakers adviser Kurt Rambis has assumed an increasingly powerful voice in basketball operations and has played a central role in the coaching search, league sources told ESPN. His wife, Linda, works closely with team owner Jeanie Buss. Rambis and general manager Rob Pelinka had interviewed Jason Kidd for the head-coaching position, and they became convinced Kidd should be a key member of a Lue coaching staff, league sources said.
There are other factors in play, including the fact that Lue is still owed $10 million by Cleveland and therefore needs a substantial contract from the Lakers to see any financial benefit.
But yeah, good luck to the Lakers.
*San Jose’s Game 7 win Wednesday means there’s another Wild connection in the conference finals — albeit an ancient one. Brent Burns, who was traded by the Wild in 2011, had a career-high 83 points for the Sharks this season and has 14 points in 14 playoff games so far.
Interestingly, Burns was traded by the Wild along with a second-round pick to San Jose for a first-round pick, Devin Setoguchi and … Charlie Coyle, who is now in the Eastern Conference finals with Boston. And that second-round pick? It bounced around from team to team, but eventually the selection was … Pontus Aberg, who wound up with the Wild last year.
*The White House misspelled Red Sox in an announcement about Boston coming to visit in celebration of its 2018 World Series title. I mean. Come. On.