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Kelly Dwyer

Mini-Suicide Lines: Avery's back, Izzo a no-go now, Bynum

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ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that Avery Johnson has agreed to become the next coach of the New Jersey Nets.

Johnson, a former Dallas Mavericks head man and current ESPN analyst, was apparently the only candidate that Nets GM Rod Thorn met with face-to-face, and according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, the former Coach of the Year has signed a three-year deal with the franchise.

The Nets are in a state of flux. Just months removed from threatening to break the NBA's mark for losses in a season, the Nets are about to temporarily move to Newark, New Jersey before a hopeful move to Brooklyn, New York in two years. With Mikhail Prokhorov's ascension, the organization has a well-heeled owner taking over, along with huge amounts of cap space, the third pick in this month's NBA draft, and the presence of two young mini-stars in center Brook Lopez(notes), and point guard Devin Harris(notes).

Spears also reports that Johnson could pilfer Dallas Maverick assistant coach Popeye Jones from his former team.


With Waiting For Next Year reporting and rumors swirling around a supposed meeting that Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is set to have with his supposedly soon-to-be ex-players, most indications suggest that Izzo is still doing his due diligence before agreeing to become the next coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In a series of Tweets on Wednesday afternoon, Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski pointed out that "the Cavs and close friends of Tom Izzo are waiting for him to inform them of a decision on leaving MSU for Cleveland. Still nothing."

Later: "One associate described Izzo as "torn" as late as last night, but didn't get sense he'd settled on all questions he still had on the leap."

Woj also points out that the successful NCAA coach is attempting some sort of anti-Tim Floyd maneuver in possible preparation: "If Izzo takes Cavs job, source says, he wants to make sure he has an elite, top assistant with strong history of NBA success."

Giving the Cleveland job the half-full approach, "Izzo has also been polling people who have worked closely with, or coached, LeBron James(notes) to better understand the dynamic of coaching him.

And in another busy afternoon from Woj -- somehow working at three in the afternoon this time around - he warns the turnstile-jumpers: "Izzo has been making calls on kind of staff he could put together with Cavs, but source cautions that doesn't mean he will take job."


Despite Phil Jackson's labeling of Andrew Bynum(notes) as "questionable" for Game 4 following Game 3, while insisting that the Lakers won't "be able to have any kind of answer on that until tomorrow," Bynum insists he'll be ready to play on Thursday.

The Lakers center, who tweaked an already-injured right knee late in Game 3, told Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register that the knee "was swollen after the game yesterday, but it's come back down to normal, so I'm good, ready to play."


While not criticizing the refereeing as sharply as Doc Rivers did earlier in his press conference, Lakers coach Phil Jackson brought up a salient point that many were reminded of watching the end of Tuesday's Game 3. Namely, the fact that a refereeing crew can overturn an out of bounds call should they see it on replay in the last two minutes of a game, but are powerless to turn around a foul or infraction that they might have missed the first time around.

"You're going to face that if the rule ‑‑ if you're just going to use videotape one way. Those are the things that we questioned immediately when they brought in the rule is you're going to see a lot of things happening now on this type of thing where if it's a three‑point play, a guy might have stepped out of bounds and no one saw it and he comes back in and now you're looking at is it a three‑point shot or not, and you miss the fact that he stepped out of bounds, what are you going to do to rectify the fact the officials missed a call?

So they made the decision that we can't do that, we can't make the adjustment on the call according to a foul or other things that happened prior to the play that we're looking at. So those are things I think the Rules Committee will have to discuss during the off‑season, and we'll come back and probably refine it and tune it up a little bit better."

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