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Mavs waive Derek Fisher at veteran guard's request

Mavs waive Derek Fisher at veteran guard's request

DALLAS (AP) The Dallas Mavericks waived Derek Fisher on Saturday at the request of the veteran guard, who said he was having a difficult time being away from his family in Los Angeles.

The Mavericks announced the move four days after the 38-year-old Fisher strained a tendon in his right knee in a game against Philadelphia.

Fisher, a 16-year veteran who won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, was a free agent when the Mavericks signed him because of injuries, a lack of depth and spotty play at point guard.

He started his first game with Dallas a day after his first practice and averaged 8.6 points and 3.6 assists in nine games.

In a statement, Fisher said the recovery time on the knee strain would be about two weeks, and he wanted to return home. Fisher thanked Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for granting the request.

``I have made decisions in the past, leaving money and opportunity on the table, and I will need to do that again,'' Fisher said. ``My family is my priority and that is where I choose to be.''

Darren Collison started the first 16 games at point guard before Dallas signed Fisher. Dominique Jones had a season high in minutes the past two games, topped by 32 in Friday's 92-82 loss to Memphis. Jones tied his career high with 13 points against the Grizzlies.

Rodrigue Beaubois is the third point guard for Dallas.

Point guard was one of the biggest questions for the Mavericks entering the season after Deron Williams chose to stay with the Brooklyn Nets and Jason Kidd signed with the New York Knicks after saying he planned to rejoin Dallas. Kidd helped lead the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title.

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WATCH: Rui Hachimura punishing Spurs interior defense with dunk and two layups

WATCH: Rui Hachimura punishing Spurs interior defense with dunk and two layups

As Rui Hachimura continues to grow and take his lumps at the NBA level, one important point of development for the Wizards' rookie will be finishing through contact at the rim. 

The Wizards play the Hornets on Friday at 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington.

On Wednesday night against the Spurs, Hachimura hit a nice hook shot over LaMarcus Aldridge and then finished through traffic after attacking a closeout a few plays later. He entered the game shooting nearly 70 percent at the rim, a major reason why he's one of the top-scoring rookies this season. 

Then at the end of the first half, Isaiah Thomas found Hachimura on a back-door cut for the easy slam. Well-timed cuts are a great source of points for young players. 

After the break, the ninth-overall pick flashed a little finesse at the rim for another pretty finish. 

His three-point shooting will have to improve at some point down the line and learning better positioning as a defender is something every rookie has to go through. 

Both of those skills can be improved in the practice gym or in the film room. Finishing at the basket through contact is learned by repetition in-game, so it's a promising sign to see Hachimura take the ball to the rim. 

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When Gregg Popovich thinks the NBA will be ready for a female head coach

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When Gregg Popovich thinks the NBA will be ready for a female head coach

WASHINGTON -- The Wizards hosting the Spurs on Wednesday night brought together two of the 11 NBA teams that currently employ a female assistant coach. The Wizards have Kristi Toliver on their bench and the Spurs have Becky Hammon.

That confluence prompted a question to San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich on the future of women in the NBA coaching ranks and whether a head coaching hire could happen sometime soon. 

The Wizards play the Hornets on Friday at 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington.

Though it has been five years since he hired Hammon as the first full-time female assistant coach in league history, Popovich is uncertain on exactly when a team will make the leap to hiring a woman to run their operation.

"That depends on people and organizations," he said. 

"It's a process and it doesn't happen quickly. But I think the more women there are [in the game] and as it becomes more commonplace and more the rule, it will then depend on an organization realizing there are women that can do this. Every woman can't, every man can't. But the point is there gotta be enough to choose from and it's gotta be pretty commonplace before I think somebody's gonna pull the trigger."

Popovich believes it will happen, he's just not sure when. The Wizards hiring Toliver last summer was another step in that direction and he believes she and others are showing the basketball world what they are capable of.

"There's no difference between a woman who knows the game and a man who knows the game. It's just another prejudice that probably has to be overcome just like a lot of other prejudices in the world have become less and less as people paid attention to them," Popovich said.

Hammon made the news over the weekend when Popovich was ejected from the Spurs' loss to the Kings and a committee of assistants coached the rest of the game. Popovich was asked why he didn't appoint Hammon to serve in the role for the rest of the game and he told reporters he was "not here to make history." 

Still, though there has never been a female head coach in any of the four major U.S. sports, it seems like the NBA is by far the closest with people like Hammon and Tolliver already knocking on the door.

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