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March 26, 2015 Updates

When George Karl heard about Dean Smith’s latest act of kindness, the one that came long after he was gone and involved a $200 check being sent to many of his former players so they could have a meaningful meal on his behalf, he couldn’t help but get emotional about his old coach. Smith, the North Carolina legend who passed away in early February, was leaving Karl and so many others inspired even after he was gone. “It just continues my amazement of him,” said Karl, the Sacramento Kings coach who played for Smith from 1970 to 1973 and is sixth all-time in wins (1,139-767). “The combination of his humility, and just to do the right things and treat people the right way. He was a big meal guy. He liked sharing ideas over a good dinner at a good restaurant, and fortunately I was blessed to have many of those opportunities with him. I’m tearing up a little bit, to be honest with you. That’s Coach Smith right there.” For The Win

March 25, 2015 Updates

Two-time NBA head coach Eric Musselman has been selected to coach the Nevada men's basketball team and a five-year contract will be presented to the Board of Regents for their approval at a meeting on Thursday, athletics director Doug Knuth announced today. Musselman, 50, returns to Reno after spending the last three years as an assistant coach at a pair power five schools, first at Arizona State and most recently helping the LSU Tigers to the NCAA Tournament this season. He spent the 2010-11 season in Reno, coaching the NBA D-League's Bighorns and leading them to the only Western Conference title in franchise history. He has been a head coach with seven professional teams, including two seasons with the Golden State Warriors (2002-04) and one with the Sacramento Kings (2006-07), and has won more than 500 games as a head coach with an overall winning percentage of .625 (566-340). Nevada Wolf Pack

The one name that could return the Nets to all of those things they thought they could be, that they seemed primed to be, is currently guiding the best college basketball team in the nation, a coach who crashed and burned with the Nets once already. The Nets can be saved by John Calipari. "He desperately wants it," the front office official said. "He won’t say it out loud. The NBA is the only place he’s ever failed and it drives him nuts. He’s not the same guy he was then. He came to the NBA and he wasn’t ready. He’s ready now." Bergen Record

So consider this scenario — the Nets figure to have about $60 million in cap space in the summer of 2016, coinciding with a free agent market loaded with talent. "All these kids, if you look at a free agent list and check off the ones who he’s got a relationship with you could build an All-Star team," a person close to Calipari said. "Start with LeBron James." Bergen Record

A throat clearer of disclaimers is in order. Calipari is an ace recruiter and coach. Coach has stacked talent like cord wood on his bench. Coach has persuaded these players to glory in defense and passing. And all accept fewer minutes of playing time than they would have received had they chosen to major in medieval literature and star for East Sheboygan State. In return, he hands out tickets to professional agents and encourages his best players to depart for the N.B.A. after a freshman year. He encourages his next tier of talent to depart for the N.B.A. after their sophomore year and, time permitting, three semesters worth of academic credits. New York Times

March 24, 2015 Updates

Former Georgia Tech star and NBA point guard Mark Price has been offered the UNC Charlotte job, sources close to the situation said. Price, 51, is currently an assistant coach in the NBA with the Charlotte Hornets. He was a standout at Georgia Tech from 1982 to 1986, and he played 12 years in the NBA, where he was a four-time All-Star. ESPN.com

Sources told ESPN that Price has been offered a five-year deal and is mulling whether to accept it. Price would replace Alan Major, who parted ways with the school last week after five seasons in which he took a pair of medical leave of absences. Major was 67-70 personally, and the school was 75-81 in his time at the school. ESPN.com

The season got more miserable and messy after Cousins returned and the team later clumsily replaced Tyrone Corbin with George Karl, continuing a cycle of mismanagement. “It’s been a circus, man. It’s been a complete circus,” a flustered Cousins said, when asked to describe this season. “We got off to a hot start. Unfortunately, I got sick, so it ruined the look of the team. I take some blame for that. I know for a fact, if I wouldn’t have gotten sick, things wouldn’t have happened the way it happened. It was no way it could. At the same time, a lot of it is not my fault and we all know why. But this has been a disappointing year.” Washington Post

Q: Did you know all in that he would be all-in when it came to that approach? I can't imagine it was a tough sales job when you told Steve what you wanted to do. Mike D'Antoni: "Well you know I think we both kind of pushed the envelope a little bit. It was so new back then, and everybody was really against it. Other coaches around (were against it). We were kind of going against the wind and against the prevailing philosophies. So being a newer coach here, and having a team, thank God I had the backing of the Colangelos when we first started. And we just kind of pushed it together, in the sense of, 'Well maybe we can do that. Maybe yeah, let's go.' I kept gaining more confidence in him, and vice versa. And we were able to play off each other. "To be honest with you, we could have even pushed it further. I think that just being first in the water, we didn't go to the deep end real quick. It took a while to get to the deep end. But we could have been more, a little bit better approach at that if we had the analytic backing that they're showing you today. We could have been more creative. But being the first out, I'm proud of how it went." USA Today Sports

Q: Who do you like watching, Mike? D'Antoni: "Golden State jumps out at me. You've got to like Oklahoma City. I mean Holy mackerel, watching Westbrook is like sitting on a roller coaster and going a thousand miles an hour. You've never seen anything like that. What he's doing?" Q: You know what's funny? Everybody always brings up Oscar Robertson as the triple-double king – and that's true – but we forget how fast they used to play. This OKC team is not playing at anywhere near the pace of those old Oscar teams, which absolutely makes your head spin. A: "No, it does. And if you watch old films, that ball is flying around and they're going. They're going. I think that if you put today's bodies (of) people and played the way they did, now you're talking. It's interesting. You know what's fun about basketball? It keeps evolving, and it keeps changing a little bit. And the older guys want to try to hold it back to how they grew up, and it's not the same. You've got to change with the times, and some of the guys you've got to drag across the finish line." USA Today Sports

That leaves us with Musselman - whose name surfaced as early as last week and since then we have heard his name mentioned several times by people associated with the University. No one has gone on record saying he is the top target. But the talk is there. The son of former NBA coach Bill Musselman, Eric has paved his own path in the game of basketball coaching since 1988. His career has spanned all across the country and even to the international level. MyNews4.com

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