New Orleans Hornets v Houston Rockets

Report: Bucks narrow coaching search to three finalists

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Th Milwaukee Bucks are in the final stages of choosing their new head coach, and three candidates are expected to be brought in for second interviews next week, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Hawks head coach Larry Drew, Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson, and Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford are the three finalists, and each has his strengths. While Drew has been an NBA head coach for the past three seasons, Sampson has a prior history with Milwaukee, and Clifford comes highly recommended.

Bucks general manager John Hammond has a stronger history with Sampson – who spent two years on the Milwaukee staff under Scott Skiles – but has been increasingly impressed with the possibilities with Clifford, sources said. Clifford has come strongly recommended by three former coaching colleagues that Hammond respects – Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau and Stan and Jeff Van Gundy.

We know where restricted free agent Brandon Jennings stands — he posted a picture of himself with Sampson from their time together when Sampson was a member of the Bucks’ staff, with a caption that read, “This my guy for Life. He needs to be a Head Coach in the NBA.”

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.