Sergei Kushchenko

Atlantic Notes: Miller, Prokhorov, Celtics, Scott

The Knicks have hired Mike Miller as an assistant on David Fizdale’s staff after he served as their G League coach since the 2015/16 season, according to a team press release. Miller, not to be confused with the longtime NBA player, compiled a 108-92 record with the Westchester Knicks. Derrick Alston, who served as an assistant to Miller, has been promoted to head coach of the G league team, Steve Popper of Newsday tweets.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Mikhail Prokhorov, who recently sold his interest in the Nets, inquired about other NBA franchises — including the Knicks — before he was approved as the majority owner of the Brooklyn franchise. His top basketball adviser, Sergei Kushchenko, revealed that to TASS in a story relayed by ”We were looking over various options at that time,” Kushchenko said. “Among them were the New York Knicks, who asked for a bizarre sum, the Phoenix Suns and the New Jersey Nets. We decided to focus on the New Jersey Nets since it was a completely different market then in addition to the prospect of the new arena’s construction along with a full-fledged business framework.” Prokhorov was also scared away by the Knicks’ debt load, according to NetsDaily.
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens will have a dilemma if he wants to get all of his best players on the court during crunch time, Matt John of Basketball Insiders notes. The team’s top five include Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, which would leave them without a true power forward or center in those situations.
  • Sixers forward Mike Scott said some advice from Clippers coach Doc Rivers helped him after he was dealt to Philadelphia last season, Kevin Murphy of The Athletic writes. Scott emerged as a key reserve after he was included in the Tobias Harris blockbuster and earned a two-year, $9.8MM contract in free agency. “I feel I didn’t play well in L.A., and I think for the most part it was on me,” Scott said. “I was still trying to figure it out. When I got here, I said, ‘[The heck with it], I am going to ball-out and try to do what Doc says.’ Do the little things and see what happens.”

Atlantic Rumors: Nets, Celtics, J.R. Smith

Mikhail Prokhorov, in London for today’s Nets-Hawks game, said that he was never close to making changes when the Nets were playing their worst this season, and the owner also expressed confidence in GM Billy King and coach Jason Kidd. Prokhorov added that he has no intention of selling the team anytime soon. Newsday’s Roderick Boone and Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News round up his comments via Twitter, and there’s more from Nets ownership suite among the day’s news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Gerald Wallace is upset with his role on the Celtics, and also feels the Nets “disrespected” him by trading him to a rebuilding club, observes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald“This season is a slap in the face, having to change my game and fine-tune it,” Wallace said. “First of all, it has to come mentally. You accept your situation, but there’s two sides to your brain. One side is fighting the other side because of the predicament you’re in. You feel you can still perform at the level you always have, but at the same time, you’re doubting yourself.”
  • One of Prokhorov’s advisers seems to have overtaken the role of another, with Sergei Kushchenko now exerting more influence on the Nets than Dmitry Razumov has, as Tim Bontemps of the New York Post explains.
  • There was no chance the Celtics were going to keep soon-to-be restricted free agent Jordan Crawford beyond the season, writes Herald scribe Steve Bulpett, who sees Wednesday’s trade of Crawford and MarShon Brooks as a move made with only the future in mind.
  • An Eastern Conference personnel man tells Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News that if Knicks GM Steve Mills finds a taker for J.R. Smith, “he’ll be pulling a fast one” on whatever team ends up with the swingman.
  • Ian O’Connor of wonders if Mike Woodson‘s public support for Smith has to do with their mutual ties to the Creative Artists Agency. The Knicks would be better off waiving Smith this summer and using the stretch provision to spread out his remaining cap hits, O’Connor believes.