NBA notebook

One and done: Curry gets axed

Associated Press / July 1, 2009
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All or nothing seems to be the formula for coaching the Detroit Pistons. Bring home an NBA championship or hit the road.

First-year coach Michael Curry became the latest Pistons coach to get the ax as president of basketball operations Joe Dumars fired him yesterday after watching his team stumble to a sub-.500 record and an embarrassing first-round exit from the playoffs.

But winning playoff games hasn’t been enough to keep Pistons management happy. Just ask Flip Saunders.

Dumars fired Saunders last season after he led the team to the Eastern Conference finals in each of his three seasons.

In 2005, the Pistons parted ways with Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown after he helped them win a title and almost repeat during his two years with the team. And Rick Carlisle was fired after two years following a conference finals appearance in 2003 in his second season.

Curry and Dumars shared playing days together with Detroit.

The Pistons went 39-43 in 2008-09 and were swept in the postseason by the Cavaliers after six straight conference finals appearances.

Pistons spokesman Kevin Grigg said there is no timetable for naming a new coach.

Dallas wants Kidd
Mark Cuban wants to be first in line to talk to Jason Kidd.

Cuban posted on Twitter, “Getting ready to fly up to NYC for Free Agent meeting at 12:01,’’ and that free agent is Kidd, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because NBA rules prevent commenting on such things.

Cuban has made it clear he wants to keep Kidd, but it might not be that easy. The New York Knicks are believed to be interested, too, as could LeBron James and the Cavaliers or perhaps Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Kidd has never won an NBA championship, but has won an Olympic gold medal alongside James and Bryant.

Boozer, Okur stay put
Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur are both staying with the Utah Jazz next season.

About two hours after Boozer let the Jazz know he decided against opting out of the final year of his contract - which he once said he intended to do - Okur joined him.

The moves keep the Jazz lineup intact, but at a hefty price, as Boozer is scheduled to make $12.7 million next season and Okur $9 million.

Boozer told an reporter in December that he was definitely going to opt out of his contract, but backed off his original statement and said when the season ended he wanted to consider all of his options.

Pacers make offers
The Pacers have made qualifying offers to point guard Jarrett Jack and forward Josh McRoberts, making them restricted free agents . . . The Clippers have extended a qualifying offer to forward Steve Novak, making him a restricted free agent. Los Angeles also said guard Ricky Davis has exercised his contract option for the 2009-10 season and forward Brian Skinner has decided not to exercise his option, which makes him an unrestricted free agent . . . Guard Michael Finley, 36, plans to return to the Spurs for another season . . . Point guard Bobby Brown has exercised his option and will stay with the Timberwolves . . . A judge sentenced Nuggets guard J.R. Smith to 90 days in jail for causing an auto accident that killed his friend, though Smith will likely end up serving only 30 provided Smith performs 500 hours of community service.

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