Were the Nets really even interested in Coach K?

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It was everybody’s favorite bit of speculation candy yesterday — incoming Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was going to make Mike Krzyzewski an offer he couldn’t refuse. Some NBA executive told the Bergen Record this.

Two little flaws. First Krzyzewski was quick to take time out of preparing his team to win the NCAA title — by the thinnest of margins — to shoot down the rumor. In direct terms. Not interested, not kidding.

Second, nobody bothered to ask the Nets about this. Well, the New York Post did:

Multiple sources throughout the Nets organization insisted they were unaware of such an offer being prepared for Coach K and had heard nothing about the proposal, which one source called “speculative.” (Current Nets general manager Rod) Thorn, who expects to be able to pick the coach when he officially is retained — a move that is anticipated but has not been finalized — said he has had no conversations with Krzyzewski.

“I have never talked to Mike about the position,” Thorn said. “Anybody looking to hire a coach, I’m sure would have Mike near the very top of the list.”

By all accounts, Prokhorov is a guy who brings in his executives, hires good people, then stays out of their way. Soon after Prokhorov is approved to be the Nets owner on April 16, Thorn is expected to get an extension. He has met with the man.

Right now, rumors swirl around the Nets like bees around the hive. How much of this is idle speculation and how much of it comes from people who actually have knowledge of the inner workings of Prokhorov and his team is unknown. But either this is a brilliant business strategist who is randomly grasping for a plan with the Nets, or a lot of people who have little or no direct knowledge are making crap up.

Who knows where the NBA executive who “leaked” the story to the Bergen Record falls on that scale, but we have a guess. Welcome to the time of year when you need to read rumors, find the source and think, “what is their motive?” Because nobody tells a reporter something controversial just because they like them, there is always a motive.

Andrew Bogut signs to play in NBL in native Australia

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Back in January, the Los Angeles Lakers waived Andrew Bogut. He had a very limited role on a Los Angeles team that was not making the playoffs, serving as a backup big man against teams who use a traditional center. That’s not much of a role anymore. He’s a center who can pass, shoot from the midrange a little, and knows where to be defensively, but the game has evolved as Bogut’s skills have faded. Bogut tried to latch on with a contender for the playoffs, but could not find a team to take him.

So he is going home.

Bogut is signing to play for the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL.

Bogut was the first No. 1 draft pick from Australia when he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005. He made the All-Rookie team that season, was All-NBA in 2010, but may be best known for his role as a crucial part of the defense of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors in 2015 (and his injury during the 2016 Finals is an underrated reason Cleveland was able to pull off a miracle comeback).

At age 33 Bogut may not have a spot in the NBA, but in the NBL he both will thrive for a few more years but also be a huge draw and get the welcome home from fans that he deserves.

When Lance Stephenson gets a traveling call, he earns it (VIDEO)

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Yes, guys get away with traveling in the NBA. James Harden on the step back (sometimes, not always), or guys sliding left/right to avoid a closeout at the arc and not bothering to dribble while they do it.

Lance Stephenson got called for traveling Sunday in the Pacers’ loss to the Cavaliers. In a game where Stephenson got under the skin of LeBron James and drew a technical (and tied him up for a jump ball at one point), this was the best Lance highlight of the game. Because if you’re going to travel, you should go all in.

Never change Lance. Never change.

Matthew Dellavedova steals pass, hits wild scoop shot at buzzer (VIDEO)

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Matthew Dellavedova is a hustler. Everybody knows that. Well, unless you want to argue he’s more about grit. It’s really your call.

But against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, Dellavedova came through with whatever you want to call it — hustle, grit, moxie, gumption.

As the first quarter wound down and the Celtics tried to inbound the ball, Dellavedova spied his opponents rolling the basketball in order to save time on the clock.

That allowed the Australian native to fly in and do this:

That’s a steal, a scoop, and a score all within 1.2 seconds.

Milwaukee won Game 4 and evened the series with the Celtics, 2-2.

Cavaliers tie series with Pacers in Indiana, 2-2

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Sunday night’s game between the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers was raucous. Bankers Life Fieldhouse was rocking, and despite Indiana’s best effort to put back seemingly every offensive board it encountered, LeBron James‘ 32 points was just too much to overcome.

Facing the possibility of going down 3-1 in the first round, the Cavaliers pulled out the win, 104-100, and sent the series back to Ohio for Game 5.

The game came down to the final period following a surge by the Pacers to end the third quarter. The teams were tied several times midway through the fourth, but a tip shot by Thaddeus Young wth 6:13 left gave the Pacers the lead as fans in Indiana went wild.

Cleveland then came roaring back. At the three-minute mark, James drove to the basket and scored. Thirty seconds later, Kyle Korver hit a big-time 3-pointer to put the Cavaliers up by four points, a mark the Pacers couldn’t recover from.

LeBron scored again with 1:52 left, and despite some weird late-game antics — featuring none other than Lance Stephenson — the Cavaliers were able to remain resolute down the stretch.

James finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. Kyle Korver added 18 points on 4-of-9 shooting from deep, and Kevin Love had five points with 11 boards.

Victor Oladipo struggled for Indiana, scoring 17 points but shooting just 25 percent from the floor. Seven Pacers finished in double-digits, with Young notching an impressive double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Game 5 will be played in Cleveland on Wednesday, April 25.