It’s official: Grizzlies sign coach Dave Joerger to extension

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Last week the Memphis Grizzlies told him “go ahead and talk to another team, see if you can get another job.” This week they have given coach Dave Joerger an extension. Well, maybe this is the first step on the road to some organizational stability.

This has been expected for the last 24 hours or so. Go back 72 hours and it was different, Joerger seemed all but done in Memphis, but by Sunday afternoon Joerger had a long conversation team owner Robert Pera and the two had worked out their differences (Pera reportedly wanted to fire Joerger earlier in the season but hadn’t really ever had a conversation with the coach he hired a year before).

The new deal is reportedly three years with a team option for the fourth.

This is a smart move, even if the Grizzlies got there in a roundabout fashion.

“I am absolutely thrilled to continue as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies for years to come,” Joerger said in a released statement. “I want to thank Robert Pera for believing in me. I look forward to building on the success we experienced this year with our core group of players that I have worked closely with over the past seven years as we work towards our ultimate goal of winning a world championship. I am 100 percent committed to leading the Grizzlies and I could not be more proud to call Memphis home.”

“I am excited to announce that we have reached an agreement to extend Dave Joerger as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies,” Pera said in his statement. “Following an open and honest dialogue with Dave, it became clear that Dave was fully committed to Memphis and we are committed to him. I look forward to seeing Dave build upon the foundation he helped establish over the last seven years, and we are both committed to bringing a championship to Memphis.”

Now all Memphis has to do is find a GM (remember they canned Jason Levien and assistant GM Stu Lash), get said GM to re-sign Zach Randolph plus find a way to add some shooting to the roster, then everything will be fine. All that probably goes a little more smoothly if the owner is less hands on and lets the basketball people make the basketball decisions, but that may not be the reality in Memphis. Still, having the same coach for years is a step toward some stability.

Quinn Cook signing two-year contract with Hawks

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The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.

Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.

A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.

This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.

Knicks sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jamel Artis

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The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.

But New York didn’t stop there.

Knicks release:

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.

But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.

O.J. Mayo says abusing prescription painkillers triggered NBA ban

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Last year, O.J. Mayo was banned from the NBA for at least two years due to a drug violation. Aside from stating a plan to come back, Mayo didn’t say much publicly.

Until now.

Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:

He acknowledged smoking marijuana and abusing a prescription pain medication that triggered his two-year ban because it is on the NBA’s “drugs of abuse” list. (He emphatically denied testing positive for hard drugs like cocaine.)

Mayo also concluded that he had been “overwhelmed” by a string of difficult life events: his father, high school basketball star Kenny Ziegler, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for distributing crack cocaine, his brother was placed in juvenile lock-up, a close friend went to jail, and another was killed. “I was bred to play basketball and I thought I could balance everything,” he said. “I couldn’t.”

That’s part of an interesting feature on Mayo, who’s training for his come back. Golliver’s story makes it easy to pull for Mayo.

But the guard will be 30 when he’s eligible to apply for reinstatement, and he played lousily in his last three seasons with the Bucks.

Hopefully, Mayo has and keeps his personal life in order. But returning to the NBA will be an uphill battle.

James Harden throws alley-oop to Chris Paul, pair puts on show at Houston charity event

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What chemistry problem?

There are legitimate questions about how Chris Paul and James Harden will share the backcourt and ball with the Rockets, but none of those were on display on Sunday. That’s when CP3 joined his new teammate in Harden’s charity game (raising money for Harden’s charity, which helps children from single-family homes get a higher education), a kind of pro-am with some names thrown in to draw a crowd.

Harden and CP3 put on a show for the fans.

This is a charity event, not every team is going to defend like this or the Phoenix Suns. It’s going to be harder when the games matter.

But the Rockets are going to be entertaining to watch this season. No doubt.