Japan Rumors

Reggie Geary is done as head coach of the Chiba Jets, the NBL Eastern Conference club announced Wednesday. He wasn’t out of work for long. Geary is headed to Nagoya, where he will become the new bench boss for the Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins. Geary’s contract with the Jets expired at the end of May. The 41-year-old Geary was head coach of the Jets for the last two seasons, leading the team to a 52-56 record. In the 2014-15 campaign, he guided Chiba to the postseason as a wild-card team with a 34-20 record (fifth place in the East).
On Wednesday, the JBA, one of FIBA’s 214 national federations, was suspended from all FIBA and FIBA Asia-related activities. The length of the ban has not been announced. As a result, all Japan national teams are barred from playing in FIBA-sanctioned competitions, including the women’s national team, which captured its first FIBA Asia title in 43 years in 2013. This could have a profound negative impact on Olympic qualifying and preparation for it.
While Swift attempted to work himself into a productive NBA player, he was nothing more than a backup center. Former Sonics coach Bob Hill, who was then coaching in Japan, gave Swift a lifeline, and for a while he took advantage. “Robert lost like 70 pounds over there,” Hill said. “I was training some players down in Dallas when I told him what I was going to do, and if he wanted to go I would take him [to Japan]. It was an opportunity for him to get back in shape and maybe get back in the NBA again because he was still young.”
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Hill said the Knicks and Celtics wanted to bring Swift in for a workout when he returned to the States and then the league lockout occurred, wiping out the NBA summer leagues and postponing league activity for six months. “I guarantee he would have made one of those teams,” Hill said. “He was blocking shots and running the floor and rebounding, getting to the foul line. He was having fun playing basketball again. It was fun to watch. That’s a sad story. The whole story is really sad.”
The Dallas Mavericks have invited point guard Yuki Togashi to their preseason training camp, according to Cloud9, his management company. The announcement was made on Tuesday, and Togashi is scheduled to travel to Dallas on Saturday. Japanese supporters expressed their excitement via Twitter. Exhibit A: “Yuki Togashi was invited (to) the last camp by the Dallas Mavericks!!” tweeted Akira Tokusatsu. “Great! I know it’s really tough but I believe he takes the chance!!”
Bill Cartwright: I really didn’t notice any big distinctions (other than the language barrier) in coaching the players in Japan from the NBA. The Japanese players all want the same things that the non-Japanese players want: playing time. They want to score and they don’t want to be blamed for anything. Probably the biggest difference is Japanese players will rarely show or tell you how they feel. No one is demanding to be traded.
It’s been a long, hard road back from a torn left ACL for Derrick Rose, but after nearly 17 months of patient, “selfish” rehabilitation, the Chicago Bulls point guard is reportedly looking “great” in workouts, comfortably throwing down on lowered rims and on track to return for the Bulls’ first preseason game in October. All that work has left just one more test to complete — one last obstacle that all athletes returning from injury must overcome to prove to everyone, including themselves, that they’re ready to resume full-steam-ahead play. I’m talking, of course, about playing basketball against samurai. Luckily, Rose had the opportunity to do just that last week during a Tokyo stop on his Adidas promotional tour:
Cartwright is the second former NBA head coach to be put in charge of a team in Japan’s professional league. Bob Hill, who coached Cartwright in 1986-87, guided the now-defunct Tokyo Apache during the 2010-11 campaign. Cartwright says he’ll be with Osaka until the end of the season and then decide what he’ll do next. “You never know,” Cartwright said. “If you had told me in January that I would be over here I would have said you are crazy. I am a basketball coach, I know that, so I’ll be coaching somewhere.”
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With 12 games in the books since Bill Cartwright took over as the Osaka Evessa’s new head coach, his message at the gym, wherever practices and games are held, has been simple and constant. Cartwright preaches “defense, defense, defense,” Evessa big man Rick Rickert told Hoop Scoop in a recent telephone interview. The Evessa are very much a work in progress, but at 6-6 (entering this weekend) since Cartwright became the second former NBA head coach to lead a bj-league team — ex-Tokyo Apache bench boss Bob Hill was the first — there are some positive signs to build off. After all, the Evessa were in complete disarray throughout most of their first 24 games (19 defeats).
The Japan Basketball Association said Wednesday it has decided to appoint former NBA coach Herb Brown in an advisory role to help revive the fortunes of the women’s national team. Japan’s women failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and last year’s London Games. The 76-year-old Brown is a former head coach of the Detroit Pistons (1976-78) and the brother of 72-year-old Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, the current Southern Methodist University sideline supervisor
Geary had a brief NBA career, that first season with the Cavaliers, followed by one more with the San Antonio Spurs. After playing in the CBA and Europe, the former University of Arizona defensive stopper found his niche in coaching. The 2011-12 bj-league Coach of the Year, Geary will serve as the Eastern Conference’s assistant coach on Sunday at Ariake Colosseum. Tokyo Cinq Reves coach Motofumi Aoki was named the East’s bench boss last month. On Sunday, the bj-league’s seventh annual All-Star Game, is slated to tip off at 5:10 p.m.
How does it feel to be part of Basketball Without Borders? Vladimir Radmanovic: Well, it’s a good feeling to be part of something like this. Every chance I get to participate in things like this, Basketball Without Borders, it’s a good thing. Helping young players develop their game and their skill set, it’s a win-win. What is it like working with Dikembe Mutombo? He has been all over the place and is very well-recognized as an NBA ambassador. I’ve been with him on a couple trips and it’s always a good experience.
Former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo is doing his bit to help basketball continue to grow internationally. Appointed as the NBA’s global ambassador in 2009, Mutombo is in Japan to conduct basketball clinics with the Basketball Without Borders program. The four-day camp in Japan is attended by the top 50 young basketball players from 18 Asian countries. Samuel Dalembert of the Houston Rockets, Vladimir Radmanovic of the Atlanta Hawks, Corey Brewer of the Denver Nuggets and former NBA player Yuta Tabuse of Japan also are taking part in the clinics. “We bring our knowledge of the game and pass it on to young people,” Mutombo said. “I am proud to say that there are now about 200 or 250 young men who took part in Basketball Without Borders who are now playing in American high schools and colleges.”
Former Indiana player Lynn Washington was arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle marijuana into Japan from the United States. The 33-year-old forward with the Osaka Evessa was arrested for allegedly violating Japan’s Cannabis Control Law, prompting the bj-league to issue a statement Wednesday saying all its players must comply with drug tests by noon Friday. “We will release everything in full,” league commissioner Toshimitsu Kawachi said in a statement on the league’s official Website. “We will work hard to restore everyone’s trust.”
Saitama point guard Darin Satoshi Maki, who played for the now-defunct Apache last season, introduced Nakase to Hill while she was visiting Maki and his wife, a longtime friend, in Tokyo before the 2010-11 season began. Nakase then joined Hill’s Apache staff. “As soon as I met Bob, I learned all these different tactics in terms of vocabulary to basketball,” she said. “He would use different words that I had never even heard of in practice, and that’s when I was like, wow; the NBA is a whole new level that I had no idea of in terms of vocabulary, drills, preparation. And when I saw how much work had to be done in order to achieve at the top level that just intrigued me 100 percent.”
Two decades later, Nakase is the first female head coach in Japan’s men’s pro basketball history. She was named the Saitama Broncos sideline supervisor after Dean Murray was relieved of his coaching duties on Nov. 24. Now she wants to begin taking Japanese lessons in order to become an effective communicator on and off the court. “Eight of the players speak Japanese only, and I don’t speak Japanese at all,” the 31-year-old admitted during a Foreign Sportswriters Association of Japan meeting on Monday. Despite having a translator available during games, “I instantly want to talk to one of the players immediately, making a switch or something in the game.” When she replaced Murray, Nakase, a native of Huntington Beach, California, experienced a night that many first-time parents can relate to. “There wasn’t any sleep,” Nakase said, describing her life-changing job opportunity. “The first person I called was my dad and I’m like, ‘Dad, guess what’s happening?’ And he was just as shocked as I was. And I’m like, ‘What do you think.’ His best advice to me was, ‘Natalie, just don’t be afraid to fail.’ ”
Terry said Thursday he was preparing to listen to pitches from Chinese teams to play there if the NBA season was canceled, at least partly because his brother already is playing in that part of the world. “I’m very glad,” Terry said about not being tied to an international team. “I’m not going to lie to you. There was a point when they said the season would be canceled when I started fishing around to see if it was a possibility. “And my brother actually just went to Japan two weeks ago. So that in itself – OK, got some family over there – might be something to look at.”