Archive for May 28th, 2013

The Phoenix Suns needed a new coach, and the guy they’ve hired is a better shooter than the actual players on the team.

Despite this, Jeff Hornacek is of course expected to just stay on the sidelines.

It was reported last week that Hornacek would become the team’s new head coach, and the move became official earlier today.

Full info on the Suns hire of Hornacek is here.

Atlanta Hawks find their new head coach

The Atlanta Hawks are taking a piece of the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff, and putting him atop their organization.

The Hawks named Mike Budenholzer the team’s new head coach today, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry announced. Budenholzer becomes the 12th full-time head coach in Hawks history.

Budenholzer, 43, spent the past 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, including the final 17 seasons as an assistant coach. For the last six seasons, he has served as the team’s no. 1 assistant to current San Antonio Head Coach Gregg Popovich, the longest-tenured head coach in major professional sports and third-winningest coach (by percentage - .681) in NBA history behind only Phil Jackson and Billy Cunningham.

More info about the new Hawks coach is here.

Future of Lionel Hollins in Memphis uncertain

After the Memphis Grizzlies’ season ended Monday in a sweep from the Western Conference finals by the San Antonio Spurs, the team’s biggest free agent this summer could be coach Lionel Hollins.

Hollins’ contract with the Grizzlies ends on June 30, and the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks are expected to ask for permission to speak to him about their coaching openings, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Hollins’ wish is to stay put in Memphis.

“I hope things get worked out quickly. I love our team and the possibilities,” Hollins texted Yahoo! Sports after the Grizzlies’ 93-86 Game 4 loss to the Spurs.

Hollins made $2.3 million this season in the last year of his contract, a source said. While the Grizzlies have interest in retaining Hollins, a contract extension has yet to be offered to him.

The Grizzlies have increased their winning percentage every season since Hollins was hired Jan. 25, 2009. He led the Grizzlies to their best record in franchise history (56-26) this season and first trip to the West finals, despite the midseason trade of Rudy Gay. The Grizzlies also have a new owner in Robert Pera.

Reported by Marc. J. Spears of Yahoo Sports

Michael Jordan felt he needed a head coach with a little more NBA experience this time around to improve his struggling Charlotte Bobcats.

The former NBA superstar and current owner believes he’s found one in Steve Clifford.

Clifford, a long-time NBA assistant, has been hired away from the Los Angeles Lakers by the Bobcats before the Milwaukee Bucks could make a play for him.

The decision comes after Jordan’s experiment with former St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap failed miserably this past season. Jordan fired Dunlap in April after one season with a 21-61 record.

Two people familiar with the situation said Monday that Clifford had agreed to a three-year contact. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made public.

Reported by the Associated Press 

Tim Duncan

It may seem as if the San Antonio Spurs are playing for an NBA title every year. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker know only too well how very long it’s been since their last chance.

Now they’re back in the Finals with their first chance at a championship since 2007, a really long time for a Spurs team that knows a thing or two - or three - about hoisting trophies.

”Honestly, it feels like it’s been forever since we’ve been to this point,” Duncan said Monday night after the Spurs advanced with a 93-86 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. ”We’ve been on the verge of kind of getting here. We still feel like we were in contention, but we can’t get over that hump. To get over that hump and get back in the Finals, it’s an amazing feeling, honestly.”

Parker scored 37 points to lead the Spurs, who finished off their second sweep this postseason for their fifth Western Conference title. The Spurs were just two wins away from a trip to the Finals a year ago before blowing that lead in six games to Oklahoma City.

Parker said he has learned just how tough it is to get there after winning his first NBA title at the age of 21.

”In 2007, we won our third one in five years and you think it’s going to keep coming,” Parker said. ”And I’m 25, and six years goes by and every year it gets tougher and tougher. Every team wants to beat you, and that’s why it makes it even more special to go back after all those years playing at a high level with the same coach, with the same big three but changing a couple pieces.”

Reported by Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press

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