Celtics

Frank's a consultant in Vols' search . . . for now

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Frank's a consultant in Vols' search . . . for now

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM While there have been talks between University of Tennessee officials and the representatives of Boston Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, don't expect him to be singing 'Rocky Top' anytime soon.

A league source confirmed on Wednesday that the school has spoken with Frank, but the nature of the conversation was primarily to discuss potential candidates the school should target.

It's not unusual for schools to ask the advice of a former player or, in Frank's case, a former coach, before proceeding with a head coaching search.

That said, discussing possible coaching candidates doesn't necessarily mean the Vols won't at some point in their search come back to try and lure Frank to Knoxville as a replacement for the recently-fired Bruce Pearl.

Frank, who spent three seasons as an assistant coach with Tennessee, was among the first names mentioned as a possible successor.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com that Tennessee has yet to ask for permission to speak with Frank about becoming the Vols' next head coach.

However, Ainge said he's not surprised to hear Frank's name come up as a potential head coaching candidate.

"He's a good coach, but Lawrence is committed 100 percent to our quest to win a championship this year," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "He's a quality coach who should be a candidate for a number of coaching opportunities in the future."

Sixers president Rod Thorn, a former GM with the Nets when Frank was there, also praised Frank's coaching acumen.

"I would be very surprised if he doesn't get another head coaching job at some point," Thorn told CSNNE.com earlier this season. "Things just didn't work out how he or we would have liked in New Jersey. That doesn't take away from who he is, which is a very good coach."

Frank came to Boston this summer after spending the previous six seasons as the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, a tenure that ended during the 2009-2010 season in which New Jersey lost its first 16 games of the season. He began his head coaching career with a 13-0 start, the best start in NBA history by any first-year head coach. Prior to being named the Nets' head coach, he spent three-plus seasons as a Nets assistant. He has a head coaching record of 225-241.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

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Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”

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