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Avery Johnson Agrees to become the New Head Coach at Albabama

Avery Johnson Agrees to become the New Head Coach at Albabama NBA via New Jersey Nets(NEW YORK) -- After a two-year hiatus, former NBA Coach of the Year Avery Johnson is getting back into coaching. Johnson has agreed to become the head coach at Alabama. Johnson last coached in the NBA during the 2012-2013 season for the Brooklyn Nets. A sixteen-year NBA veteran, Johnson most recently served as an analyst for ESPN. He has never coached at the collegiate level, but he won 60 games with the Dallas Mavericks twice during his time in the NBA coaching ranks. Johnson will take over an Alabama team that started the season off well, but wound up finished 19-15 and a second-round NIT exit. Alabama wound up firing former head coach Anthony Grant after six seasons in which he went 117-85. In seven seasons in the NBA, Johnson went 254-186, god for a .577 wining percentage. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright ? 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Heat Point Guard Mario Chalmer Frustrated with Role on Team

Heat Point Guard Mario Chalmer Frustrated with Role on Team Mike Ehrman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Even though he's having one of the best statistical seasons of his career, Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers is growing increasingly upset of his role, or lack thereof, with the team. With the Heat battling for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Chalmers expressed his frustrations about direction on the club. “I don’t even really know what my role is on this team anymore,” Chalmers told the Miami Herald. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. “A lot of people are out of rhythm, and you really don’t know what’s going to happen — when you’re going to get the ball, when you’re going to shoot it, you just never know. You just got to be ready for everything, I guess,” Chalmers added. Chalmers, who's averaging a career-high 10.6 points this season, has one-year left on his current contract after the end of this season. He has spent his entire seven-year career with the Heat. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Paul George to Return Sunday

Paul George to Return Sunday Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(INDIANA) -- Paul George has chosen Easter Sunday to make his comeback from a gruesome leg injury suffered in August. George announced via Instagram on Saturday morning that he intends to make his season debut in the Pacers' home game Sunday night against the Heat. The Pacers announced that George, coach Frank Vogel and team doctor Tim Hupfer will meet with the media Saturday after practice to talk about the All-Star's planned return. "The recovery has been a long process and this is another step in the process," George said in a statement released by the team. "I thank everyone, my family, friends, doctors, our training staff, coaches, the entire Pacers family for their support and encouragement. I'm excited, but at the same time I'm aware I'm still in a rehab stage and will continue to work to get back to full strength." George has been sidelined since fracturing his right tibia and fibula in a fall while playing in a USA Basketball intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas on Aug. 1. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard Roundup – 4/3/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 4/3/15 Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Indiana Pacers 93 (33-43) - Charlotte Hornets 74 (32-43) Washington Wizards 101 (43-33) - New York Knicks 87 (14-62) Milwaukee Bucks 110 (38-38) - Boston Celtics 101 (34-42) Brooklyn Nets 114 (35-40) - Toronto Raptors 109 (45-31) Orlando Magic 97 (23-53) - Minnesota Timberwolves 84 (16-60) Chicago Bulls 88 (46-30) - Detroit Pistons 82 (29-47) Memphis Grizzlies 100 (52-24) - Oklahoma City Thunder 92 (42-34) San Antonio Spurs 123 (50-26) - Denver Nuggets 93 (28-48) New Orleans Pelicans 101 (41-34) - Sacramento Kings 95 (26-49) Portland Trail Blazers 107 (49-26) - Los Angeles Lakers 77 (20-55) NHL: New Jersey Devils 3 (32-33-13, 77 pts) - Montreal Canadiens 2 (47-22-10, 104 pts) *F/SO Chicago Blackhawks 4 (48-24-6, 102 pts) - Buffalo Sabres 3 (22-48-8, 52 pts) St. Louis Blues 7 (48-23-7, 103 pts) - Dallas Stars 5 (37-31-10, 84 pts) Colorado Avalanche 4 (36-30-12, 84pts) - Anaheim Ducks 2 (50-23-7, 107 pts) San Jose Sharks 3 (39-30-9, 87pts) - Arizona Coyotes 1 (23-47-8, 54pts) Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Pekovic Will Have Achilles Surgery

Pekovic Will Have Achilles Surgery NBA via Minnesota Timberwolves(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic will undergo a debridement and repair of his right achilles which will sideline him for the remainder of the season.Pekovic's surgery will be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 8.The 29-year-old Pekovic signed a five-year, $60 million contract with Minnesota in August 2013. Since then he's only played in 85 games due to various injuries.Pekovic already missed over two and a half months with an ankle injury this season.The 6-foot-11, 285-pound Pekovic has played in 31 games this season, averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard Roundup – 4/2/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 4/2/15 Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers 114 (49-27) - Miami Heat 88 (34-41) Houston Rockets 108 (52-24) - Dallas Mavericks 101 (46-30) Golden State Warriors 107 (62-13) - Phoenix Suns 106 (38-38) NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (38-35-4, 80 pts) - New York Islanders 3 (45-27-6, 96 pts) F/SO Florida Panthers 6 (36-27-15, 87 pts) - Carolina Hurricanes 1 (28-38-11, 67 pts) Boston Bruins 3 (40-25-13, 93 pts) - Detroit Red Wings 2 (40-24-13, 93 pts) Ottawa Senators 2 (39-26-12, 90 pts) - Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (47-24-8, 102 pts) *F/OT Washington Capitals 5 (43-25-10, 96 pts) - Montreal Canadiens 4 (47-22-9, 103 pts) *F/SO New York Rangers 3 (49-21-7, 105 pts) - Minnesota Wild 2 (44-26-7, 95 pts) St. Louis Blues 4 (47-23-7, 101 pts) - Calgary Flames 1 (42-29-7, 91 pts) Chicago Blackhawks 3 (47-24-6, 100pts) - Vancouver Canucks 1 (45-28-5, 95pts) Los Angeles Kings 8 (38-25-14, 90pts) - Edmonton Oilers 2 (23-42-13, 59pts) Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sources: Billy Donovan Eyes Jump To NBA

Sources: Billy Donovan Eyes Jump To NBA Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sources told ESPN.com that Billy Donovan is poised to draw interest from multiple NBA teams this offseason and is prepared to listen to those pitches after the Gators went 16-17 last season in which they failed to qualify for postseason play for just the second time in Donovan's nearly two decades in Gainesville. Donovan recently agreed to a one-year contract extension to stay with the Gators through the 2020 season, according to multiple media reports, but the contract contains a buyout for a mere $500,000 if an NBA opportunity arises.  The extension is not regarded as an impediment to Donovan's pursuit of NBA jobs if he wishes. And the growing feeling in NBA circles is that Donovan -- who rejected serious overtures in the 2014 offseason from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers -- is prepared to make the move this offseason if the "right" opportunity arises. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ESPN: Kings Plan to Sign Sim Bhullar

ESPN: Kings Plan to Sign Sim Bhullar iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Sacramento Kings are expected to sign 7-foot-5 center Sim Bhullar to a 10-day contract this week, according to ESPN.Bhullar would become the first player of Indian decent in NBA history.Bhullar played college basketball at New Mexico State until 2014. He was not drafted and has been playing this season with Sacramento's affiliate in the NBA Development League, the Reno Big Horns."He adds a very interesting dimension to the game," Kings head coach George Karl said. "And our game is becoming an international game and India is becoming one of the greatest, largest, biggest democracies in the world and I think it's a good story and hopefully we'll find some minutes for him."The worry with Bhullar has been his conditioning, but the youngster, who weighed more than 400 pounds last July, has lost more than 30 pounds during his time with the Big Horns.Bhullar is averaging 10.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks per game for Reno this season. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Phil Jackson Makes Plea to Knicks Fans

Phil Jackson Makes Plea to Knicks Fans Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the midst of the worst season in franchise history, New York Knicks executive Phil Jackson made a plea to Knicks fans that better days are ahead. Jackson sent a letter and video message to season ticket holders about the state of franchise. "While I know this has been a challenging season for our team on the court, I can also tell you that everyone in the organization is working tirelessly to get our Knicks back to a place where we are once again competing at the highest level," Jackson said in the video. "We have made key roster moves to free up significant cap space that will provide us greater flexibility to acquire talent in this summer's free agency," Jackson continued. "And for the first time in many years, we expect to have a top pick in the NBA Draft this June. "These are key steps to building a roster of players that have both the talent and character to win in New York and who, alongside Carmelo Anthony, will become a team that can become a consistent winner," he added. Entering Wednesday, the Knicks are 14-60, which is the worst record in the NBA. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bulls’ Derrick Rose Returns to Practice, Return Date Still Unknown

Bulls’ Derrick Rose Returns to Practice, Return Date Still Unknown NBA via Chicago Bulls(NEW YORK) -- With the NBA Playoffs roughly two weeks away, reinforcements could be coming for the Chicago Bulls as point guard Derrick Rose has returned to practice. Rose returned to full-contact activities in practice for the first time since he had surgery on February 27 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. “He was good today,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said after practice. “A little winded, which is to be expected. Body on body, full court. But it will come. The more he does that, the faster it will come.” Despite the improvement in health, it's unknown just when Rose will return. “We can’t jump ahead,” Thibodeau added. “He’s been out a long time. So he’s got to work his way through it. We have to concentrate on getting everyone ready.” Recovering from his third knee surgery in as many years, the former MVP has missed 17 games this season. In 46 games this season, Rose is averaging 18.4 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rockets’ Patrick Beverley to Undgergo Wrist Surgery, Out for Rest of the Season

Rockets’ Patrick Beverley to Undgergo Wrist Surgery, Out for Rest of the Season Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- James Harden will have to continue carrying the Houston Rockets on his back as injuries have struck the team again. The Rockets announced that starting point guard Patrick Beverley will miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury. Beverley will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist. He had originally opted to not have the procedure, but ultimately decided it was the best course of action. "We'll miss Pat in a lot of different ways," Rockets coach Kevin McHale told reporters. "He brings a lot of toughness. He's been really good for us slowing down guys the last couple of years. But we'll use all the resources we have and figure out what we need to do that night." Beverley is just the latest member of the Rockets to miss time due to injury. Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones, and Donatas Motijuanas have all miss extended time this season. Despite the injuries, the Rockets have the third-best record in the Western Conference. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Portland Trail Blazers Clinch Playoff Spot

Portland Trail Blazers Clinch Playoff Spot Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Or.) -- The Portland Trail Blazers are headed back to the NBA playoffs for the second straight season. With a 109-86 victory over the Phoenix Suns Monday night, the Trail Blazers clinched a playoff spot and will now seek to claim the Northwest Division title. Seemingly from the start, Portland set out to dominate the game. The Trail Blazers led by 27 at the end of the third period, and five players finished with double digit points. "I'm not even sure the last time we even won a division title," said Damian Lillard, who scored 19. "I'm sure it's been tough having OKC around. If any year there was a great opportunity, it's this year. We just need to keep playing, focus on ourselves, and everything will work out like it's supposed to." Portland currently has a 6.5 game lead over the Thunder for the Northwest Division and the two teams will face off on April 13. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hornets’ Al Jefferson Will Not Be at Full Strength for the Rest of the Season

Hornets’ Al Jefferson Will Not Be at Full Strength for the Rest of the Season NBA via Utah Jazz(NEW YORK) -- As the Charlotte Hornets fight for there playoff lives with the regular season winding down, they'll have to do it with one of their best players feeling less than 100%. Head coach Steve Clifford announced that center Al Jefferson will not be fully healthy for the remainder of the season. “Al is not going to be 100 percent here the rest of the year. He is just not,” Clifford told The Charlotte Observer. The team's anchor, Jefferson underwent an MRI a couple weeks ago after injuring his knee and calf. No structural damage was found, but Jefferson hasn't been the same player since. Charlotte has gone 1-5 since and Jefferson has averaged just 15.3 and 7.3 rebounds per game, both below his season averages. With just ten games left in the regular season, the Hornets are fighting with the Nets, Celtics, and Pacers for the eighth and final playoff spot. Just one game separates the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, held by the Nets, and the 11th spot in the East, occupied by Charlotte. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Craig Sager Suffers Leukemia Recurrence

Craig Sager Suffers Leukemia RecurrenceNational Basketball Association(NEW YORK) -- NBA Broadcaster Craig Sager has suffered a recurrence of his Leukemia, according to his son. Sager's son shared the news via his Twitter feed: We wanted to ensure he was taken care of & that we knew what...

Former Utah Jazz Center Enes Kanter Rips the Organization

Former Utah Jazz Center Enes Kanter Rips the Organization Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images(SALT LAKE CITY) -- After spending the first 3 1/2 seasons with the Utah Jazz, center Enes Kanter is playing some of the best basketball of his career since being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kanter is thoroughly enjoying playing for a new team. "I love it," Kanter said of his change of scenery. "It's a team I've never experienced before and I actually like playing basketball there. I'm just so comfortable and everything is in the right place. I'm just really happy to be there." The number two overall pick by the Jazz back in 2011, Kanter played solid basketball, but never quite lived up to expectations. But with the Thunder, he's averaging a career-high 17.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, also a career-high. "I think the difference is, I like playing basketball there," Kanter said. "I think that's the most important thing. I never liked playing basketball before in my NBA career and this is the first time I felt like playing basketball there, for my team, for the fans, for my teammates for my coaches, for everybody. So, that's the first time." Kanter will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright ? 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Scoreboard Roundup – 3/26/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 3/26/15 Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NCAA Men's Tournament:  Midwest Region: (1) Kentucky 78 (37-0) - (5) West Virginia 39 (25-10)  (3) Notre Dame 81 (32-5) - (7) Wichita St 70 (30-5) West Region: (1) Wisconsin 79 (34-3) - (4) North Carolina 72 (26-12) (2) Arizona 68 (34-3) - (6) Xavier 60 (23-14)   NHL: Carolina Hurricanes 5 (27-36-10, 64 pts) - Pittsburgh Penguins 2  (40-23-11, 91 pts) Los Angeles Kings 3 (37-23-14, 88 pts) - New York Islanders 2 (44-26-5, 93 pts) Washington Capitals 3 (40-24-10, 90 pts) - New Jersey Devils 2 (31-31-12, 74 pts) *F/OT Arizona Coyotes 4 (23-44-8, 54 pts) - Buffalo Sabres 3 (20-46-8, 48 pts) *F/OT Anaheim Ducks 3 (47-22-7, 101 pts) - Boston Bruins 2 (36-25-13, 85 pts) *F/OT New York Rangers 5 (47-19-7, 101 pts) - Ottawa Senators 1 (37-25-11, 85 pts) San Jose Sharks 6 (36-30-8, 80 pts) - Detroit Red Wings 4 (39-22-12, 90 pts) Nashville Predators 3 (46-21-8, 100 pts) - Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (46-22-7, 99 pts) Florida Panthers 4 (34-26-14, 82 pts) - Toronto Maple Leafs 1 (27-42-6, 60 pts) Winnipeg Jets 5 (39-24-12, 90 pts) - Montreal Canadiens 2 (46-21-8, 100 pts) Colorado Avalanche 4 (33-28-12, 78pts) - Vancouver Canucks 1 (43-26-4, 90pts) NBA: Milwaukee Bucks 111 (36-36) - Indiana Pacers 107 (31-41) Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Warriors Clinch First Division Title Since 1976

Warriors Clinch First Division Title Since 1976 NBA via Golden State Warriors(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- The Golden State Warriors clinched the Pacific Division after their 122-108 victory over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. Stephen Curry had 33 points and 10 assists in the win and Andre Iguodala contributed with 21 off the bench. "We might be a little subdued, but I think everybody is proud of what we've done. We still have 11 games left to keep getting better so I think everybody is focused on that," Curry said during their celebration in the locker room. "But I think everybody is pretty happy right now." "We're very comfortable with how we're going to get shots every single night," coach Steve Kerr said. "Then it's just about executing and not turning the ball over, staying aggressive and making the smart plays." The Warriors improved to a league best 58-13 with the win.  Portland is 44-25 and sit in the fourth in the Western Conference. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rockets Expect Howard to Return Wednesday

Rockets Expect Howard to Return Wednesday Bob Levey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is expected to play in Wednesday night's game against New Orleans, according to head coach Kevin McHale.Howard has not played since Jan. 23 due to knee problems. He's expected to be limited to 20 minutes per game as he works his way back into the lineup. “I am always anxious to play,” Howard told the Houston Chronicle. “Not being on the floor for a long time, watching from the sidelines is hard. I will be happy to finally get back out there and play.”The Rockets have gone 17-9 since losing Howard, and have the third-best record in the Western Conference.The 29-year-old Howard has played in 32 games this season, averaging 16.3 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Lakers’ Steve Nash Announces His Retirement from the NBA

Lakers’ Steve Nash Announces His Retirement from the NBA NBA via Los Angeles Lakers(NEW YORK) -- After 19 brilliant seasons in the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash has announced his retirement. The 41-year-old Nash announced his retirement in a letter published on The Player's Tribune website. "The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much -- visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes," Nash wrote. "The obsession became my best friend. I talked to her, cherished her, fought with her and got knocked on my ass by her. "And that is what I'm most thankful for in my career. In my entire life, in some ways. Obviously, I value my kids and my family more than the game, but in some ways having this friend -- this ever-present pursuit -- has made me who I am, taught me and tested me, and given me a mission that feels irreplaceable. I am so thankful. I've learned so many invaluable lessons about myself and about life. And of course I still have so much to learn. Another incredible gift." A two-time MVP, Nash has all but punched his ticket to the Hall of Fames as he will go down as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. Nash retires with career averages of 14.3 points and 8.5 assists per game. His 10,335 assists ranks third all-time in NBA history. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Scoreboard Roundup – 3/20/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 3/20/15 Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NCAA Men's Tournament - Second Round - Midwest Region: (2) Kansas 75 (27-8) - (15) New Mexico State 56 (23-11) (5) West Virginia 68 (24-9) - (12) Buffalo 62 (23-10) (7) Wichita State 81 (29-4) - (10) Indiana 76 (20-14) (4) Maryland 65 (28-6) - (13) Valparaiso 62 (28-6) West Region: (1) Wisconsin 86 (32-3) - (16) Coastal Carolina 72 (24-10) (8) Oregon 79 (26-9) - (9) Oklahoma State 73 (18-14) East Region: (2) Virginia 79 (30-3) - (15) Belmont 67 (22-11) (3) Oklahoma 69 (23-10) - (14) Albany 60 (24-9) (4) Louisville 57 (25-8) - (13) UC Irvine 55 (21-13) (5) Northern Iowa 71 (31-3) - (12) Wyoming 56 (23-11)  (7) Michigan State 70 (24-11) - (10) Georgia 63 (21-12) South Region: (1) Duke 85 (30-4) - (16) Robert Morris 56 (20-15) (7) Iowa 83 (22-11) - (10) Davidson 52 (24-8) NBA: Orlando Magic 111 (22-49) - Portland Trail Blazers104 (44-23) Philadelphia 76ers 97 (17-52) - New York Knicks 81 (14-55) Cleveland Cavaliers 95 (45-26) - Indiana Pacers 92 (30-28) Brooklyn Nets 129 (28-39) - Milwaukee Bucks 127 (34-35) - 3 Overtime Miami Heat 108 (32-36) - Denver Nuggets 91 (26-44) Chicago Bulls 108 (42-28) - Toronto Raptors 92 (41-48) Oklahoma City Thunder 123 (39-30) - Atlanta Hawks 115 (53-16) San Antonio Spurs 101 (43-25) - Boston Celtics 89 (30-38) NHL: New Jersey Devils 3 (31-29-11) - Buffalo Sabres 1 (20-44-7) Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (44-21-17) - Detroit Red Wings 1 (38-21-11) Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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