Warriors assistant Luke Walton is reportedly poised to become a top candidate for the Knicks coaching vacancy, and the Lakers, Suns, Rockets and Kings are expected to target him, too, but former colleague Alvin Gentry thinks Walton still doesn’t gets the credit he deserves, notes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Gentry, now head coach of the Pelicans, was on Golden State’s staff last year with Walton, who inherited Gentry’s role as lead assistant and guided the Warriors to a 39-4 record while head coach Steve Kerr recovered from back surgeries. “Luke did an unbelievable job of managing egos, of rotations he played,” Gentry said. “Everything that happened there, he pushed the right buttons, so I was disappointed when people said anybody can coach that team. That’s not true at all. He has an unbelievable understanding of the game. I think [Knicks president] Phil [Jackson] knows that. [Luke] stayed in the league for a long time because of the basketball IQ he has. He gets along great with players. He’s going to be a terrific coach in the league – I really do think that.”
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- Jrue Holiday and Alonzo Gee are out for the rest of the season, which ends two weeks from Wednesday, the Pelicans announced. That means seven New Orleans players are finished for 2015/16. Holiday, who fractured his orbital bone, and Gee, who ruptured a right quadriceps muscle, join Anthony Davis, Quincy Pondexter, Eric Gordon, Bryce Dejean-Jones and Tyreke Evans on the shelf for the year. Ryan Anderson and Norris Cole are also dealing with less severe injuries, the team said.
- Danilo Gallinari doesn’t expect to play again this season for the Nuggets, as he said in an interview with Sky Sport of Italy (video link; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Coach Michael Malone told reporters early this month that the team was thinking about shutting him down even if he recovered before season’s end from the two torn ligaments he suffered in his right ankle February 26th. Denver has since signed Axel Toupane for the balance of the season and beyond.
- Chris Paul won’t play for Team USA in the Olympics this year, telling Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins that he’s withdrawing his name from consideration for the squad. “I feel my body telling me that I could use the time,” the 30-year-old said. Paul can opt out of his contract with the Clippers after next season.