Lionel Hollins says he would be interested in Pistons’ job. Coaching search may wait until summer.

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Before the season tipped off — before the lineup challenges became glaring problems, before the coach frustrated the guys that are the future of the franchise — on paper the Detroit Pistons looked like a poor man’s Memphis Grizzlies. Big front line that should be a force defensively, team probably meant to play at a slow pace, lack of outside shooting — Detroit should have been the Memphis of the East.

So why not get the former Grizzlies’ coach?

Detroit fired Mo Cheeks as coach on Sunday and John Loyer is going to be the Pistons interim coach. But he is not expected to be the long-term answer.

Former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins would be open to the job, he told Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.

Free agent coach Lionel Hollins tells CSNNW.com “of course I’m interested” in the Detroit head coach gig, though he says he has not been contacted by them as of yet.

Hollins went on to say, “I’m interested and willing to listen to any NBA head coaching opportunities that become available.”

Hollins was let go by Memphis last summer. If Pistons GM Joe Dumars is looking for an old-school disciplinarian to take charge of that locker room — and he should be — not to mention a guy who has had success with a similar roster (he took the Grizzlies to the conference finals last season) Hollins makes a lot of sense.

Everybody seemed to think the same thing, as you can see from the tweets of Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and Marc Stein of ESPN.

https://twitter.com/ESPNSteinLine/status/432573591633154048

Here is what I would read into Wojnarowski’s first tweet — this may not be Joe Dumars call to make. His GM seat has to be warm as he is the guy who brought in Josh Smith at $12 million a year to make an uncomfortable pairing with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. It was Dumars who got Brandon Jennings as the team’s point guard. It was Dumars that choose Cheeks to coach this group. If Dumars is let go after the season you want the new GM to be able to choose his coach.

Which means it may be after the season when the Pistons get serious about the coaching search, but whoever is making the call on the next Pistons coach likely will call Lionel Hollins. It should be a good fit.

And Hollins is interested.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer: ‘We’re moving to Inglewood come hell or high water’

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
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The Lakers and Clippers share an arena in Los Angeles, which – as everyone understands it – means the Clippers play in the Lakers’ arena.

That doesn’t sit well with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer. So, he wants to get a new arena built just for the Clippers in Inglewood.

And cost, legal red tape and lawsuits aren’t going to stop him.

Helene Elliot of The Los Angeles Times:

“We’re moving to Inglewood come hell or high water,” he said of a proposed arena near the site of the stadium being constructed for the Rams and Chargers. “We gotta have a house. So we’re working on a plan to get our own house. We want to get our own house. It turns out the way this works in L.A., which is much beloved to me, that if you start now you might be done in six years.”

Ballmer is probably used to getting what he wants. I doubt he backs down here. It should be noted some of the legal and public relations push back on the plans comes from funding via the Madison Square Garden group (owned by Knicks’ owner James Dolan), which five years ago sank $100 million into the Lakers’ old home the Forum to refurbish it into a major concert venue. The new Clippers building would be just a couple blocks away from the Forum.

This also at least partially explains why the Clippers insist on remaining competitive. Local politicians are less likely to greenlight a new arena for a tanking team.

Juan Carlos Navarro retires

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
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It took Juan Carlos Navarro a long time to try the NBA.

It didn’t take him nearly as long to determine the league wasn’t for him.

The No. 40 pick in the 2002 draft, he finally signed with the Grizzlies in 2007. But after only one season as a backup guard in Memphis, he returned to Europe.

Now, his standout career in Spain is ending.

Barcelona release:

The club hereby announces that Juan Carlos Navarro shall be forming part of its basketball structure from the 2018/19 season, as established in the contract signed in September 2017, now that he has retired from active sporting duty.

Most NBA fans will never realize how talented Navarro was. He was a good score-first point guard at a time many teams still wanted a more-traditional point guard. Unhappy on a losing team in a foreign country, he didn’t try to find a workable solution.

Instead, he starred in Spain, out of sight of American fans – except international competitions, where he reminded everyone how good he was.

We should appreciate Navarro’s impressive career. We can also wonder about the “what if?” surrounding him and the NBA.

Report: Former NBA star Tom Chambers charged with assault in restaurant altercation

AP Photo/Jack Smith
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Tom Chambers, who starred with the Seattle SuperSonics and Phoenix Suns, has been charged with assault after a confrontation at a Scottsdale, Ariz., restaurant in April.

TMZ:

Witnesses told police the other patron, Alexander Bergelt, began to take verbal jabs at Tom including, “You’re not sh*t,” “You’re tall and scrawny” and “Look at your big head.”

Tom told police the final straw came when Bergelt said, “Your mom should have killed you when you came out of the womb as ugly as you are, your arms are skinny, your chest is this. Your belly is big.”

Tom admits he “absolutely put hands on [Alexander]” but never punched him. Tom says he was trying to get Alexander to “show respect.”

Alexander told police a different story — saying Chambers came at him from across the bar, grabbed him by the throat and threw him backwards.

Bergelt is 22. Chambers is 59.

J.J. Redick says he saw woman hidden in trunk of his chauffeured car

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J.J. Redick, his wife Chelsea and sister-in-law Kylee took a chauffeured car in New York recently.

According to the 76ers guard, Kylee spotted a person in the back. The trio had the driver pull over and exited.

Redick on The J.J. Redick Podcast:

I’m like, “Sir, I think there’s a person in your backseat.” And so he lifts the blanket up, but like towards the window, so that the blanket is facing up, so we couldn’t see, because we were on the sidewalk – perpendicular to the car, not behind the car. And he’s like “No, there’s nothing in here. There’s nothing in here.” And he closes the blanket back. And then he closes the trunk. And as he’s walking around to the front seat, a head pops up.

No, this is not funny. There’s a back of a female’s head. She’s blonde hair. There’s a ponytail. And based on the size of the box or cage that this person is in, it’s either a very small human or a child. And I’m like, “We all saw it, right?” So, he drives off.

She’s like, “No. The reason I said there was a person is because I saw movement in my peripheral, out of my right eye. So I turned around, and the blanket was moving. So when I looked back, half of a human face came out of the blanket.” She said, “I saw a woman’s eyes, woman’s face, woman’s blonde hair.”

That’s pretty scary.

Redick said he called the car agency and the police and that his wife planned to call the FBI.

Hopefully, this wasn’t kidnapping, human trafficking or something like that. But it sure sounds as if it warrants investigation.