The Utah Jazz introduced new coach Quin Snyder in a press conference Saturday.
Snyder, the former Missouri coach, spent last season as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks. Snyder signed a three-year contract with a team option for a fourth year, according to reports. He replaces Tyrone Corbin, who was not offered a new contract after the season.
Snyder is the Jazz’s eighth head coach and the first hired outside the organization since 1979.
“For a coach to have the loyalty of the ownership group, you feel you don’t need to skip steps,” Snyder said. “It’s a process and sometimes there is pressure to accelerate that process but we want to build something that will last.”
—Miami Heat forward LeBron James returned to practice Saturday at the San Antonio Spurs’ practice facility.
James was forced out of Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday due to cramps stemming from dehydration. San Antonio’s AT&T center heated up during the game when the air conditioning stopped working. James will be in Sunday’s lineup for Game 2. The air conditioning in the arena has since been repaired.
“I’m doing well, doing a lot better,” James said. “The soreness is starting to get out. I’m feeling better than I did yesterday and with another day, I should feel much better tomorrow.”
—Memphis Grizzlies forward James Johnson was arrested Saturday morning for domestic assault causing bodily harm, according to Memphis TV station Fox 13.
Johnson had a domestic dispute with his wife at the couple’s home about 2 a.m. Johnson’s wife called police saying that he “hit her in the face and choked her,” according to the Shelby County sheriff’s office. She also told police that Johnson punched a hole in their bathroom door where she was holding their child. Officers said the victim gave the couple’s baby to her mother. Johnson then pushed his wife’s mother and took the baby before fleeing the scene. He later returned and was taken to jail.
Johnson averaged 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 18 minutes per game for the Grizzlies this past season. He will be an unrestricted free agent in July.
—The Los Angeles Lakers decided to eliminate Derek Fisher as a candidate for their heading coaching vacancy because they want someone with previous NBA coaching experience, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers think highly of Fisher and believe he will be a good NBA coach or executive in the future but changed course in their methodical search to replace Mike D’Antoni, who stepped down at the end of the season.
Fisher has also been reported as a candidate for the New York Knicks’ job. Fisher helped the Lakers win five NBA championships in the 2000s as point guard under then-coach Phil Jackson, now the Knicks’ president.
Fisher averaged 5.2 points per game for the Oklahoma City Thunder this season. He will be 40 in August but has not made a decision about whether he will retire or play another season. He recently expressed a desire to coach at some point in the future.
—The Cleveland Cavaliers intend to offer point guard Kyrie Irving a maximum contract extension of five years for $90 million, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
July 1 is the first day the Cavaliers can offer Irving an extension when the free agency period starts. The Cavs are also looking to hire a new coach to replace the fired Mike Brown. Afterward, general manager David Griffin reportedly wants to discuss Irving’s future with the new coach.
Irving averaged 20.8 points on 43 percent shooting, 6.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 35.2 minutes over 71 games this season.
—The Cavaliers contacted Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt about their coaching vacancy, according to multiple reports.
Blatt also coached Russia to a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics. Blatt, who is American-born, guided Maccabi to the European championship with a roster that included seven former U.S. college players.
Blatt is one of several candidates who have spoken to the Cavaliers but he has not been formally interviewed. The Cavs have been methodical in looking for a replacement for Mike Brown, whom they fired a month ago after a 33-49 season.
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