Avery Johnson is the front-runner for the Nets job

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Thumbnail image for Ajohnson.jpgThe Nets are still talking to other candidates and keeping their options open, but the scuttlebutt is the job is going to Avery Johnson.

Even Byron Scott — a man really looking for a chance to return to the NBA, but with almost no chance of returning to New Jersey — thinks so, and that’s what he told the New York Daily News.

“He’s the front-runner, and I think he’d be a very good fit in New Jersey,” former Nets coach Byron Scott told the Daily News before Sunday night’s Game 2 of the Finals between the Lakers and Celtics. “Avery is good for that situation.”

“He’s a good teacher and obviously, he’s an old-school type coach,” Scott said. “He’s a disciplinarian. And, he had Devin Harris, before in Dallas, and I think Devin has a lot of respect for him. And Avery definitely loves Devin, from the talks I’ve had with him.”

“So unless Rod wants to coach – and I know he doesn’t want to do that – I think Avery is the front-runner,” said Scott. “I can’t think of anyone else they’d be looking at.”

New Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has been looking for a way to make a big splash. Didn’t get it by winning the lottery. He isn’t going to get Phil Jackson or some other A-list coach (Johnson’s a name be not in that class).

So I guess that leaves free agency.

Report: Lamar Odom found unconscious, taken to Las Vegas hospital

Lamar Odom

Let’s hope that this is not as bad as it sounds.

Lamar Odom, whose NBA career was cut short due to his challenges with drug use, has been taken to a Las Vegas-area hospital after being found unconscious at a brothel in a city not far outside the city, according to the report from TMZ.

Lamar Odom is fighting for his life after falling into unconsciousness at Dennis Hof’s Love Ranch South in Pahrump, Nevada … TMZ Sports has learned.

Sources at the Love Ranch tell us … 35-year-old Odom arrived at the Ranch Saturday and was partying with the girls for days. A source at the Ranch said Lamar was taking an herbal substitute for Viagra. We spoke with Hof … who tells us Tuesday afternoon, a woman went into Odom’s room in the VIP suites and found him unconscious.

Odom spent 14 seasons in the NBA, starting his career with the Clippers and going on to be a key figure in the 2009 and 2010 Los Angeles Lakers title teams. He won Sixth Man of the Year in 2011.

While famous in basketball circles — and incredibly well liked by players and media, he was one of the funniest guys in the league — he became a pop culture sensation when he married Khloe Kardashian. However, it was about that time that his drug use started to take a toll on everything in his life. It was not long before he was traded to Dallas, and things started to truly spiral out of control for him. He went for treatment after that, but never returned to the NBA.

We will have more as the story develops. Our thoughts are with Odom, and we hope he pulls out of this.

Jazz waive Jack Cooley and J.J. O’Brien

Jack Cooley, Jordan Mickey
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Jazz said Tuesday that they have waived forwards Jack Cooley and J.J. O'Brien.

Cooley played in 16 games with the Jazz last season after being called up from the NBA Developmental League. He averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds. Cooley’s fate with the team seemed to be decided when 7-foot center Jeff Withey signed a multi-year free agent deal in August. The 6-9, 260-pounder was in his second NBA season.

O’Brien was signed as an undrafted rookie Aug. 28 and played in one preseason game with the Jazz.

The Jazz roster now stands at 18.