Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor auctioning off memorabilia

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When you talk about the greatest NBA of the 1960s, Elgin Baylor is near the top of the list because he was starting to change the game. In the 1960s, when Bill Russell’s Celtics were dominating, Baylor was playing above the rim for the Lakers. He paved the way for Dr. J and the generations that followed. He is one of the game’s all-time greats.

And he is selling all his basketball memorabilia — 358 pieces in all. Everything has to go.

The people of Julien’s Live of Beverly Hills are doing the auction, everything from the championship ring of the 1971-72 Lakers (he only played 9 games that season) to an autographed shirt from his high school. There is his ring from the 1958 Final Four (he led Seattle University there), the 1959 All-Star game co-MVP trophy, and much, much more.

All of it goes on sale Friday starting at 10 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Eastern) at the link above.

If you’re thinking Baylor, who was the long-time GM of the Clippers after his playing days, is doing this for money, he told Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times that is not the case. He just wants to get rid of the stuff.

“You’re thinking there’s something financial going on here, but it’s not true,” he said. “I have no financial problems at all. None of that. Seriously…

”I’ve had so much enjoyment with these things over the years. Now it’s time to let someone else enjoy them,” Baylor said.

He also said he is in good health, that’s not the reason either.

Whatever the motivation, it’s an amazing collection and even if you’re not shopping you need to just go flip through the items. It is a treasure trove of basketball history.

PBT Extra: Disciplined Celtics highlight bad habits of Milwaukee Bucks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been every bit the top five NBA player in the postseason — 32.5 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, plus with 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

Yet the Bucks are down 0-2 to Boston.

The Celtics have had a strong series from Al Horford and Terry Rozier, but the real difference is in the discipline this team has shown all season — Boston knows who it is. Clearly, Milwaukee does not. They turn the ball over too much and make too many mistakes.

I get into all of that in this PBT Extra, and I wonder if that’s something the Bucks can really turn around mid-playoffs.

Ettore Messina to coach Spurs in Game 3 following death of Gregg Popovich’s wife

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, died yesterday.

That sad news was felt throughout the NBA, and it obviously affects San Antonio most closely. That includes for tonight’s Game 3 against the Warriors.

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.

But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.

On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.

To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.