Jeff Bower out as general manager of Hornets

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Thumbnail image for hornets_logo.gifIf you had to name the top five general managers in the game a year ago, Jeff Bower and Kevin Pritchard would have been on the list.

Today, both are looking for a new job.

Bower and the New Orleans Hornets have parted ways, which Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman had first and has been confirmed by multiple sources since.

Officially the Hornets and Bower “mutually agreed to part ways.” That is about as true as the last time you mutually agreed to leave a job.

Rumors are that the recent trade offers that have come flowing in for Chris Paul, and the fact Bower listened to them, was at the core of the problem.

The Hornets are caught betwixt and between ownerships — George Shinn is supposed to be selling to oil man Gary Chouest. There are questions if it happens at all. Shinn is notoriously looking to cut corners everywhere, including on the roster, and Chouest has said he wants to spend and build a team around CP3.

Bower clearly was thinking about getting out, having interviewed with the New Jersey Nets before pulling his name out of consideration.

There are a number of other openings that may have interest in someone as well respected by his peers as Bower, including in Phoenix.

As for the Hornets next move, Hornets president Hugh Weber said he would not take over the role and they would look to fill the job quickly. They’d be smart to get someone like Oklahoma City Assistant GM Rich Cho, but don’t bet on it.

But until the ownership situation is cleared up, what kind of freedom, what kind of mandate would any GM have? Does a really good GM candidate want to walk into a job where the parameters and mission could change dramatically in the next six months?

Matt Barnes says he went to house because his son looked distressed

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.

The Knicks coach has deflected questions.

But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.

And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.

Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?

Gregg Popovich resting himself for Spurs game at Sacramento

Gregg Popovich
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Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.

Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.

But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.

It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.