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Steve Kerr lets Golden State Warriors players coach against Suns

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The Warriors have played a lot of basketball in recent years. Three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals add up. Maybe that’s why Steve Kerr wanted a break.

Golden State’s head coach showed up to work on Monday night, but he did not show up to work, apparently. The former NBA Coach of the Year decided before tipoff against the Suns that his players would handle coaching duties. They did just that, right down to giving instructions and diagramming plays during timeouts.

Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry and others took turns coaching while Kerr took a backseat. Perhaps it was a way to congratulate himself for becoming the fastest NBA head coach to earn win No. 250 on Saturday. Either way, the Warriors looked just fine under new management, beating the Suns by a whopping 46 points.

Phoenix guard Troy Daniels was not pleased with what he deemed a disrespectful move by Kerr He told Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic as much before zipping his own dart at the Warriors’ head coach.

“It’s disrespectful,” Daniels said. “I don’t think it’s hard to coach those guys, though. So I think anybody can do it.”

Suns veteran Jared Dudley agreed that Kerr showed a “lack of respect,” but told ESPN’s Chris Haynes that it is on Phoenix to change how opponents esteem them.

“It shows a lack of respect for an opponent, and maybe right now, we don’t deserve respect,” Dudley said. “When you keep getting beat by 40, teams won’t respect you. But it’s up to us to change that.”

Kerr, however, insisted that his forgoing game-night duties was about sending a message to his own players, not the Suns.

“I told Jay that people may make a big deal of it and it had nothing to do with being disrespectful,” Kerr told the Republic. “It had everything to do with me trying to reach my team. I haven’t been able to reach them the last month. They are tired of my voice and I”m tired of my voice. It’s been a long haul these last few years. I wasn’t reaching them and we just figured it was probably a good night to pull a trick out of the hat and do something different.”

 



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Report: Pau Gasol to join Trail Blazers

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Free agent center Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Gasol, 39, who was limited to just 30 games last season because of a variety of injuries, has career averages of 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds over 17 NBA seasons.



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Report: Furkan Korkmaz returning to 76ers

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Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, agent Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports tells ESPN.

Korkmaz, 21, brings back a rotational forward with the ability to spread the floor with his shooting. The loss of JJ Redick in free agency – and Kyle Korver’s decision to choose Milwaukee over Philadelphia – brought some increased urgency to keep Korkmaz on the Sixers roster.

 The 21-year-old Korkmaz, who was the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.1 minutes last season.

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Report: Kevin Love to withdraw from World Cup

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Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the latest player expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

This news comes just one day after Damian Lillard reportedly withdrew from the World Cup. Love, who played in just 22 games last season because of a shoulder injury, averaged 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in 2018-19.

During the previous two weeks, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum reportedly decided not to compete in the World Cup this year.

Although the guard ranks will be somewhat depleted of NBA stars, Team USA continues to have a deep pool of players available.



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