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.
Hill said the Tokyo earthquake in 2011 forced the cancellation of the season, and the teams sent their players home. “By that time, he was averaging a pretty deep double-double and was really playing good,” Hill said. “There were all kinds of good things happening for him in basketball. His private life needed some adjustment. His self-esteem was growing. His confidence. He was playing great. It was a terrific year. He did a great job.”
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.”
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!!”