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Heat vs. Spurs, Game 5: Danny Green’s 3-Point Barrage Again Sparks San Antonio

USA TODAY Sports Spurs shooting guard Danny Green made six more 3-pointers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, bringing his series total up to 25, a new record.

USA TODAY Sports
Spurs shooting guard Danny Green made six more 3-pointers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, bringing his series total up to 25, a new record.

The bright lights of a first NBA Finals can often prove to be too much for a young player, something that seemed evident when James Harden faced the Miami Heat last season. That has not been the case for Danny Green, who has burned the Heat time and time again in his first Finals appearance.

Green continued his remarkable shooting display in the Spurs‘ 114-104 Game 5 victory over the Heat, scoring 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 6-of-10 from three. Green’s fourth three of the game in the third quarter gave him 23 for the series, which broke Ray Allen’sprevious NBA Finals record of 22 3-point makes in a series, a fact that Green didn’t even realize at the time.

“I had no idea,” Green said. “After the game today, I found out. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to be on this stage. My teammates have done a great job of finding me and getting me open. Seems everything is going right for me. I’m feeling truly blessed right now. It’s got to be a higher power. The basketball gods are in our favor right now.”

Following his 6-of-10 effort on Sunday, Green is now 25-of-38 from three in the series, which is good for 65.8 percent. This has been a breakout series in a season that has seen Green become a permanent member of San Antonio’s starting lineup, which is impressive considering he was in the D-League just two years ago.

“The whole season has made him more confident,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s somebody who has gotten a lot of minutes. He basically has the green light. When you do it for 82 games, the last thing to see is if he can do it when the real lights are on. He’s certainly answered that question.”

http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/6/17/4436956/danny-green-spurs-heat-game-5-nba-finals-2013

By Jason Patt on Jun 17 2013, 8:00a

Report: Chris Paul “Angry” Over Clippers’ Portrayal Of Vinny Del Negro’s Departure

Chris Paul (center) has spent two seasons playing for Clippers owner Donald Sterling. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)

Chris Paul (center) has spent two seasons playing for Clippers owner Donald Sterling. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)

The franchise point guard is reportedly upset with his franchise.

ESPN.com reports All-Star guard Chris Paul, set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, is not happy with the Clippers because he feels he is being wrongly blamed for the organization’s decision to part ways with coach Vinny Del Negro earlier this month.

“He’s angry right now and his anger is directed toward the Clippers organization,” the source said. “Chris is a man of principle and if he feels like you’ve gone against his principles, it will affect how he feels about you. He’s very agitated that his name has been put out there as the reason for Vinny’s firing. He had nothing to do with it.”

The site further reports, citing a source, that Paul “refused to get involved” with the organization’s coaching position and that the decision to let go of Del Negro was made solely by Clippers management.

The Los Angeles Times asked Clippers owner Donald Sterling about the decision to part ways with Del Negro, and Sterling told the paper that he felt the need to “support” the team’s “special players.”

“Was this done,” I asked, “just to hang on to Chris Paul?”

“I always want to be honest and not say anything that is not true,” Sterling said. “So I’d rather not say anything.

“So I wonder, is this decision being made because the players are now calling the shots? Am I off base?”

“No, you’re not off base,” Sterling said. “This is a players’ league, and, unfortunately, if you want to win you have to make the players happy.”

“But if you have special players, and special players think that they know the best opportunity to win, you have to support them.”

L.A. claimed its first division title, winning 56 games this season, the most in a franchise history that dates to 1970-71. However, the Clippers were eliminated by the Grizzlies in six games in their first-round Western Conference playoff series. That result represented a step back from their semifinals appearance in 2012.

Del Negro told The Dan Patrick Show earlier this week that he was “surprised” that he was let go and said that Paul has “a lot of say-so” in the organization’s decisions.

“Well, Chris is a free agent,” Del Negro said. “They were compelled to make a decision. He’s entitled to his opinion. He made First-Team All-NBA both seasons on defense and on offense and that’s the first time he’s done that in his career. And we set every franchise record. But, in saying that, obviously he’s a free agent, he’s going to have a lot of say-so in a lot of things, as he did the previous summer when we put the team together. … It’s behind me. They are positioned for success in the future. … However it went down, it doesn’t matter.”

 

When word first broke that Del Negro was being let go, Yahoo! Sports noted that Del Negro wouldn’t be returning because Paul “wanted a different coach.” CBSSports.com also reported Paul was “not a fan” of Del Negro and that lack of support was “among the biggest reasons” the Clippers chose to move on.

The Clippers have not yet picked Del Negro’s successor and are expected to conduct a deep search for his replacement. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday former Suns coach Alvin Gentry, Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, former Cavaliers coach Byron Scott and ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy are among the names being considered.

Del Negro, 46, holds a career coaching record of 210-184 (.533) in five seasons with the Bulls and Clippers. He was 128-102 (.557) in his three seasons in L.A.

Paul, 28, was selected to his sixth All-Star Game, the All-NBA First Team and the All-Defensive First Team this season and posted averages of 16.9 points, 9.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. He can sign a five-year deal with the Clippers this summer or settle for a four-year contract with outside suitors.

http://nba.si.com/2013/05/31/chris-paul-angry-upset-clippers-vinny-del-negro-donald-sterling/

BY BEN GOLLIVER, POSTED MAY 31, 2013

George Karl Fires Back At Josh Kroenke About Being Fired As Nuggets Coach

George Karl believes the decision to fire him after a 57-win season is "extremely disrespectful to coaching."(Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)  Read more:George Karl fires back at Josh Kroenke about being fired as Nuggets coach - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_23454878/george-karl-fires-back-at-josh-kroenke-nuggets#ixzz2WUyLUDqu Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse Follow us:@Denverpost on Twitter|Denverpost on Facebook

George Karl believes the decision to fire him after a 57-win season is “extremely disrespectful to coaching.”(Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)
Read more:George Karl fires back at Josh Kroenke about being fired as Nuggets coach – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_23454878/george-karl-fires-back-at-josh-kroenke-nuggets#ixzz2WUyLUDqu
Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
Follow us:@Denverpost on Twitter|Denverpost on Facebook

Upon being fired last week, Nuggets coach George Karl told team president Josh Kroenke, “I think I should tell you, I think it’s very stupid.”

The controversial firing of the reigning NBA coach of the year has led to much debate in Denver. On Thursday afternoon, Karl sat down with The Denver Post and discussed an array of topics, including his firing, his future (possibly landing with the Memphis Grizzlies or the Los Angeles Clippers) and the future of the Nuggets, a team he believes could have won 55 games next season, even with Danilo Gallinari out for much of the season due to knee surgery.

“I’m not going to stand here and justify my (playoff) record,” Karl said, but he believed the franchise was on an upward tick, “and to blow that away, it leaves you helpless, speechless, powerless, sad, a lot of words.”

Following are excerpts from the interview.

Q: Can you explain the emotions of finishing third in the Western Conference and then being fired?

A: “We won 57 games and are in a great place. Continuity, consistency, togetherness all are so much more valuable than what they have on their priority list of playing JaVale McGee or the young players. And first of all, it shouldn’t be that I didn’t play young players. It’s I didn’t play young players enough, because we played a lot of young players — Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, Evan Fournier at the end of the year, Ty Lawson. And, I never had a meeting where there was disappointment, in that part of it, voiced to me. I heard through whispers. I’m sorry that 57 wins doesn’t make you happy. I think it was a special season because of the connection this team has with each other and with the coaching staff and with the city. The fans like this team. The staff likes each other. And to blow up that connection is, in my opinion, extremely disrespectful to coaching.”

Q: Will you coach next season?

A: “I don’t know. I’m talking to Memphis and have had basically preliminary

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conversations with L.A. (Clippers) and Memphis. I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to happen this week. If there is, it’s going to be with someone else, it’s not going to be with me. … I want to coach three to four (years) at least. But I want to coach a good team. I don’t want to coach a rebuilding team.”

Q: Can you describe your relationship with the front office?

A: “What I’ve loved about being here is with (the different front office regimes) is I felt we were all equal. This year, after the trade deadline, all of a sudden, I felt like Masai (Ujiri, the general manager) and Josh were over here, and I didn’t feel very equal.”

Q: What does “feel equal” mean?

A: “In the past, Stan (Kroenke, the team owner) would listen to all of us. I know I can be fired and the voices behind closed doors can be against me. But this year, I just felt that at the end, for a team that had so much success, unity and karma, I felt that Masai and Josh drifted into a direction that was difficult to understand.”

Q: What’s an example of that?

A: “It’s hard to say. It’s just communication, them getting mad about what I said in the paper more often than makes sense. Snippy texts about things. The whole thing it comes down to — you’ve got a great coaching staff, a coach who loves coaching the team, a city that loves the team.” (Karl gently pounds the table.)

Q: Can you describe your desire for a contract extension, heading into the last year of your contract?

A: “I didn’t demand an extension. I said to Josh, ‘I will coach this team next year, I’m excited about coaching this team next year, but in the last year of a contract, there are things that could happen.’ I didn’t say they would happen, I said they could happen. I said I didn’t think I deserved a three-year extension, but it’s a signed contract (with an option), so let’s compromise. I don’t think I deserved to get my option picked up, even if we won in the first round (of the playoffs), but there’s a middle ground. The thing that annoys me every day still is the fun connection we have with this team. They think they can unplug us and plug somebody else in, and I’m going, ‘Wow, that is not respectful of the coaching profession.’ ”

Q: Looking back, is there any way to have regrets about not playing McGee major minutes, knowing that they paid him big money?

A: “I’m sorry, I’ve never had management tell me that money’s important (for playing time). Every team I’ve ever coached, it was, ‘It’s your job to distribute minutes.’ I think JaVale built a foundation that next year is going to be very good with him. I don’t think our relationship was in a bad place. It wasn’t in a great place, but it wasn’t in a bad place. … I felt pretty good that JaVale, with a good summer with us, probably would have been the starter next year. But, in the same sense, I don’t think JaVale and Kenneth fit. They have similar limitations. I still think having a passing point guard for JaVale, like Andre Miller, is an asset.”

http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_23454878/george-karl-fires-back-at-josh-kroenke-nuggets

           Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294, bhochman@denverpost.com ortwitter.com/nuggetsnews