Southwest Rumors: Messina, Nowitzki, Jock Tax

The Spurs will take another shot at slowing down LeBron James tonight in Game 3. James has scored 32 or more points in four of the last six Heat/Spurs Finals games dating back to last year. Here’s a look at the Southwest Division:

  • Ettore Messina is close to being hired as an assistant coach with the Spurs, a development first reported by Daniele Labanti of Corriere di Bologna (via Twitter) and confirmed by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Messina was once considered a candidate for the Jazz head coaching vacancy, and still had the potential to become an assistant in Utah after Quin Snyder won the head job.
  • The Rockets are reportedly targeting Dirk Nowitzki in free agency this summer, but the All-Star laughed off the idea that he’d wind up in Houston, observes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.
  • The Tennessee legislature has repealed the “jock tax” on visiting players who play in Memphis, and commissioner Adam Silver prevailed upon Grizzlies owner Robert Pera to support the end of the tax even though the revenue went directly to the team. TNT’s David Aldridge has that and other details about the end of the law, which won’t come off the books for another two years. It will nonetheless no longer apply to players on 10-day contracts, Aldridge adds.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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