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Rumor: If Jeff Hornacek is out in New York, could Doc Rivers be in?

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There are far too many “ifs” here to call this anything near concrete, but it is interesting.

With a new management team in New York, Jeff Hornacek’s return as the Knicks’ head coach is anything but certain. Freed from Phil Jackson’s triangle and finally able to focus the offense around Kristaps Porzinis (before his injury), Hornacek’s team showed flashes. They also have been unimpressive on either end of the floor this season. There is a lot of speculation around the league that the Knicks are going to move on and find a new coach.

If the Knicks do move on, who is next in the hot seat in New York?

How about Doc Rivers? He has done maybe his best job in Los Angeles this season, taking a team hit hard by injuries and now without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin (both traded) and has them in playoff contention. The man can coach. Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote about it.

But according to a former Rivers associate, it’s not far-fetched for the one-time Knicks guard to have interest in the team’s coaching job if Jeff Hornacek, who has one year left on his contract, is let go after the season.

“Doc enjoyed his time there,’’ the former associate said. “He respects the city, he respects the organization.’’

This is fun New York tabloid speculation. Here’s why this is not likely to happen.

Rivers is under contract for one more year in Los Angeles and is still making coach/GM combo money at about $10 million a year. Rivers may not get the extension he wants from the Clippers this summer, but for the Knicks to pry him out of Los Angeles would require compensation going back to LA (likely a first-round draft pick). I’m not sure the Knicks give that up.

Also, how badly does Rivers want to come to a team that will be without Porzingis for roughly half of next season (due to a torn ACL)? Next season is almost a write-off, does any high-profile coach want to step into that (the expectations will outpace the reality next season). Also, how much front office power would Rivers demand to come East (and would the Knicks unwisely give it to him)?

Never say never in the NBA, but this is hard to see happening. But the future of both Rivers in L.A. and Hornacek in New York are going to be interesting to watch once the season ends.

“Ray Allen from long distance” with chip shot to save par at American Century Classic

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“Ray Allen from long distance, how many times have we said that?”

Ray Allen had a good weekend at the American Century Championships, the former NBA sharpshooter and future Hall of Famer finished third in the celebrity golf event. One of the reasons he was there, this chip shot on 13 Sunday.

Former Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo won the event, with former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder was second.

LeBron James sits courtside for Lakers’ Summer League win

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There are two, maybe three guys playing for the Lakers in Summer League likely to be sharing a locker room with LeBron James next season — Isaac Bonga and Josh Hart, with maybe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and/or Alex Caruso. Only Hart could see the court much.

LeBron was still courtside on Sunday for a quarterfinal game at Summer League, showing his support and being a good teammate. He gave Hart a hug on the court. Brandon Ingram stopped by and talked with LeBron for a bit.

LeBron watched the Lakers continue their strong run through the Summer League, racking up a 101-78 win. LeBron was into it, when Mykhailiuk took a shot midway through the first quarter LeBron yelled, ‘cash only!”  The shot was nothing but net.

The Lakers are on to the Summer League semifinals. Los Angeles won the Vegas Summer League last year.

 

After losing to his father in golf, Stephen Curry leaps into Lake Tahoe

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Golf fanatic Stephen Curry was clearly enjoying himself on the links at the American Century Championship celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

But he couldn’t beat his father, Dell.

The price? Curry (and his caddy) had to jump in the lake. Check out the video above.

For the record, Tony Romo won the event.

 

Spurs’ pick Chimezie Metu to miss time with fractured wrist

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Chimezie Metu showed some promise in the Summer League games he played for San Antonio, scoring 12.5 points a game on 55 percent shooting in Las Vegas, and 10.7 per game on 54 percent shooting in Salt Lake City. The second round pick of the Spurs (No. 49 overall) is raw and needs a lot of development, but he can get buckets. The potential is there.

That development is going to be on hold a while, as what was thought to be a sprained wrist has turned out to be a fracture.

From Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

After an examination Saturday, the Spurs medical staff downgraded second-round pick Chimezie Metu’s left wrist injury from a sprain to a fracture, a league source said Saturday.

Metu was injured late in the Spurs’ 95-90 win over Washington on July 8 at the Las Vegas Summer League, when he landed awkwardly after leaping to catch a lob pass at the rim. The 6-foot-10 big man finished the game but was sidelined for the remainder of the schedule.

After undergoing X-rays at the Thomas & Mack Center, Metu was diagnosed with a sprain. But Spurs’ team doctors suspected a possible fracture, which was confirmed after Metu returned to San Antonio on Saturday.

Metu should be good to go by training camp. Metu is hoping his summer and training camp play will earn him a roster spot, although the Spurs tend not to sign second-round picks the year they were drafted (they tend to let them spend a year or two in the G-League or in Europe). A lot of his chances on making the roster depend on any other moves the Spurs make this summer and what their roster looks like come the fall.