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NBA Franchise Notes: Doc Rivers Distances Himself From Potential Role With Magic

NBA Franchise Notes: Doc Rivers Distances Himself From Potential Role With Magic

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Rivers is on good terms with the Magic's ownership and front office
In Orlando, Josh Robbins reports Clippers President of Basketball Operations & coach Doc Rivers is "distancing himself from speculation that he could join" the Magic this summer in a front-office role. Rivers said, "I can tell you I had a past with the Magic. I have no future. My future’s here." Magic GM Rob Hennigan "appears likely to be fired after the season." The Magic are "fighting against irrelevance, even in their own market." The Magic hired Rivers in '99 as a first-time head coach. Rivers, the DeVos family, which owns the Magic, and Magic CEO Alex Martins "nonetheless are on good terms" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/20).

WHO SHOT YA? In N.Y., Phil Mushnick noted the Nets honored the Notorious B.I.G. last week, though it was on the "pathetic premise" that the late rapper was born in Brooklyn and it was the 20th anniversary of his drive-by murder. What Biggie Smalls has to do with the Nets" is unclear. Still, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark and the Nets "apparently couldn’t find anyone else born in Brooklyn -- an educator, war hero, physician, nurse -- more worthy to honor" (N.Y. POST, 3/19).

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Former Knicks and MSG President Dave Checketts said that times and expectations "have changed" for the team. Checketts: "They are way lower than ever before. I’m not mocking them. I’m just saying -- making the playoffs would be a gigantic accomplishment." Checketts added, “For the teams we had, we couldn’t afford to not at least make a case that we could win it all. But I don’t think there’s any question that they could get away with rebuilding now, because the fan base has been built over time and the expectations are so much lower. But I think it’s going to be important to communicate it purposefully and properly" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/19).

YELLOW SUBMARINE: In Phoenix, Dan Bickley wrote the Suns have "finally embraced" tanking. Entering the final month of the NBA season, the Suns have "shut down three healthy players, including two members of their starting lineup." The team said that it needs to "test and grow their younger players." They are also "protecting their haul of ping pong balls in the upcoming NBA draft lottery at the expense of team morale and fan experience." Bickley wrote "good for them," even though ticket buyers "can’t be all that thrilled." NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "better find a solution before his regular season becomes a total joke." This decision is "appropriate and intelligent, regardless of the feelings that might get hurt in the process" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/19).

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