Tim Hardaway ‘Ecstatic’ To Join Stan Van Gundy’s Staff With Detroit Pistons

1997 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 4: Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat

Barry Jackson
The Miami Herald
Displayed with permission from MCT Information Services

Tim Hardaway, who combined with Alonzo Mourning to help lead the Miami Heat to four consecutive Atlantic Division titles and was at the epicenter of the compelling Heat-Knicks rivalry during that era, said Thursday he is leaving his job as a Heat scout to become an assistant coach on Stan Van Gundy’s staff in Detroit.

“I’m ecstatic,” he said by telephone. “It’s something I wanted to do. It’s all about teaching. I’m good at teaching and understanding players.”

And he was comfortable with Van Gundy, who was an assistant coach during Hardaway’s time with the Heat. “Stan and I have great rapport,” Hardaway said. “(Heat president) Pat Riley said it’s a great thing for me and he’s happy for me.”

Hardaway — who will join Brendan Malone, Bob Beyer, Charles Klask and former Heat forward Malik Allen on Van Gundy’s staff — said a coaching job on Erik Spoelstra’s staff wasn’t realistic because “there are guys before me here and I didn’t want to take anything from them.”

The Heat acquired Hardaway from Golden State in a midseason trade in 1995-96, and Hardaway and Mourning — over the next 5 { seasons — led the Heat to its most success as a franchise up to that point, though kidney disease sidelined Mourning for most of Hardaway’s final season with the team.

Hardaway, 47, was first-team All-NBA in 1996-97 and fourth in MVP balloting. The Heat traded Hardaway to Dallas for a second-round pick in August 2001, and he later finished out his career with Denver and Indiana.

He worked as a scout and community and corporate liaison for the Heat for the past three years, and he was given more scouting duties than ever before this past season.

“It’s going to be hard, going to be sad (to leave the Heat),” he said. “There will always be a big place in my heart for the Heat, Micky Arison, Pat Riley. It’s bittersweet.”

Hardaway — whose son Tim Jr. plays for the Knicks — also used the word “bittersweet” to describe Friday’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, which he will attend in Springfield, Mass.

Mourning and Mitch Richmond, Hardaway’s close friends and former teammates, will be inducted Friday, and Hardaway — who was a finalist — hoped to be inducted as well. (Richmond and Hardaway played together in Golden State.)

“You have to wait your turn,” Hardaway said. “You’ve got to be optimistic (about being inducted eventually).”

Why It’s Time For The Boston Celtics To Trade Rajon Rondo




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Becky Hammon Humbled by Opportunity To Join San Antonio Spurs Coaching Staff




The San Antonio Spurs hired WNBA star Becky Hammon, making her the first full-time, paid female assistant on an NBA coaching staff.

Hammon spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.

Spurs Hire WNBA Star Becky Hammon As Assistant Coach

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Blake Schuster
Chicago Tribune
Displayed with permission from MCT Information Services

Becky Hammon, who plays for the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars, joined the staff of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Tuesday.

“I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff,” Popovich said in a statement. “Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”

Contract terms were not disclosed.

“On behalf of the WNBA, I want to congratulate Becky on today’s announcement,” WNBA President Laurel J. Richie said. “Voted one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Greatest Players, Becky is a true leader both on and off the court. Her great knowledge of and passion for the game will be an asset to the San Antonio Spurs when she assumes her role as an assistant coach following her retirement from the WNBA.”

Hammon is not the first woman assistant coach in the NBA. Lisa Boyer, now associate head women’s basketball coach at South Carolina, was a volunteer assistant on coach John Lucas’ staff with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2001-02.

In late July, Hammon announced the 2014 season would be her last in the WNBA. However, with the Stars sitting comfortably in the Western Conference playoff picture, Hammon’s last game is still undetermined. Her final regular-season game will take place at All-State Arena against the Chicago Sky on Aug. 17.

The six-time WNBA All-Star ranks as the Stars’ all-time leader in assists (1,112) and three-pointers (493), amassing 5,809 points to date (seventh most in WNBA history).

Ray Allen In No Hurry To Make Decision On His Future

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Don Amore
The Hartford Courant
Displayed with permission from MCT Information Services

EAST GRANBY, Conn. — Ray Allen could play one more year in the NBA. He is wanted, and he knows it.

Or he could retire with no regrets, all business finished. All the years of solid play and diligent work at conditioning have put him, at 39, in this rare position — to script his own ending, and take his time doing it.

“I’m not in any rush [to make a decision],” Allen said during a break in the Citi Ray Allen Basketball ProCamp at East Granby High on Saturday morning. “I’ve played 18 years, and the way I look at my career, I’m content with everything that I’ve done. I just want to take this summer and see how it goes.”

Allen, an All-American who scored 1,922 points at UConn, is back in Connecticut doing his usual summer round of good works, including hosting this camp for 200 boys and girls in grades 1 through 12. Last week, his Ray of Hope Foundation provided a new computer lab for Ponus Ridge Middle School in Norwalk, something he has done for other schools across the state. On Monday, he will host his annual golf tournament, benefiting his foundation, at the TPC in Cromwell.

And next Friday he will appear in the Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Classic at Mohegan Sun, which raises money for cardiac research at UConn.

Meanwhile, as the memory of the Miami Heat’s loss to the Spurs in the NBA Finals fades, Allen, who averaged 26 minutes and 9.6 points off the bench and made 37.5 percent of his three-point shots last season, is taking calls from LeBron James and others hoping to lure him to Cleveland, where he would rejoin James.

“To continue playing, really, the only argument is I can because I’m in great shape,” Allen said. “But just because you can doesn’t mean you have to. Many people over these last couple of weeks have lobbied for me to continue to play. … My argument for not playing is, I have done a significant amount in my career and I appreciate everything that has come my way and as I’ve gotten older, I’m 39, there are so many things in life I want to be able to do to affect change — like being around kids full time, which I enjoy.

“So at this point I just feel so good about where I am.”

Allen has played for the Bucks, SuperSonics, Celtics and Heat during his long career, and he holds the NBA records for three-pointers made in both the regular season (2,973) and postseason (385), hitting 40 percent across the board. He played on championship teams with Boston in 2008 and Miami in 2013, when he made a crucial three-pointer in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. It’s a Hall of Fame body of work, whether Allen takes another three or not.

“I don’t want to go into a situation where I don’t understand the coaching, don’t understand the direction of the team,” Allen said. “My family is very important in making the decision. Right now, there is nothing that I need to do. If I ultimately decide this will be it for me, I’m content with that.”

Allen’s former teammate, Kevin Ollie, is also in a good place, having coached UConn to the national championship in his second year at the helm and attracting offers to coach in the NBA. Ollie chose to stay in Storrs with a new five-year, $16 million contract.

“I knew he would be great, that he was going to be successful there,” Allen said. “It’s not even that he won a championship — we all revel in it, we’re all so proud of him and he’s brought bragging rights to the state — but more important, I’m proud of what he’s done for those young men. Everybody has alway respected him. When he became an assistant at UConn [in 2010], he started to get into the minds of the players. He got into their minds and started forcing them to be better.”

Ollie also had a long NBA career, and if he one day he decides to make the jump, Allen thinks he has what it takes to get into the minds of professionals, too.

“Kevin would make it work because he is adaptable,” Allen said. “He understands the nature of who the players are. He’s not one of these guys that’s a hard-liner, one way and this is how it’s going to be. He’s trying to find out what his guys want and what they need. So far, that’s what has made him successful.”

Allen pushes the youngsters with whom he works to put their electronics away, get off the couch, out of the house and get moving. He believes he has already begun his post-playing career as a “coach.”

“I am a coach,” he said. “I don’t have to have a title. I have five children that need guidance. One of them [Tierra] is 21, she goes to Quinnipiac University, and I feel I am always in her ear trying to guide her as she grows. Every camp I do, I’m always trying to figure out how I can help kids get better, so holding the actual title of coach, that doesn’t matter to me. In life, I’m a coach. I think we all are.”