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Warriors’ O’Neal Stands Behind Mark Jackson

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Warriors veteran big man Jermaine O’Neal called any talk of firing coach Mark Jackson “ridiculous” and “unfair” before offering a vote of confidence unique to his own NBA career. O’Neal is considering retirement, and if the 35-year-old were to decide to play next season, he said it would be because of Jackson and that the team he would choose would be the Warriors.

“It’s a couple reasons why I will come back,” O’Neal said Saturday. “This fan base, this organization is first class, and obviously my teammates are great, as well. But the No. 1 reason that I will come back and play another year is because of Coach Jackson. I’m absolutely, 100 percent positive about that. He makes it easy to come in this gym every day, and there’s not a lot of coaches that do that.”

via Diamond Leung of the San Jose Mercury News

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Sources: HEAT Aggressive in Pursuit of Jimmy Butler

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So far, Pat Riley and Miami have been as aggressive as any team in pursuit of a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota, league sources tell ESPN. Ownership still prefers to find a deal by early this week, sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Knicks, Joakim Noah Nearing Buyout Agreement

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Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Joakim Noah and the New York Knicks are near agreement on his waive and stretch. Noah will not report to training camp this week as sides part ways before media day.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Sources: Cavaliers Interested in Jimmy Butler

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ESPN Sources: Another team pursuing a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota: Cleveland. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was seen talking privately with Glen Taylor at NBA Board of Governors meeting on Friday. Both owners played a part in negotiating the Love-Wiggins deal.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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