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Former NBA player Ernie Vandeweghe dies at 86

The death was confirmed Sunday night by Kiki Vandeweghe, who said his father died of natural causes at his home in Newport Beach.

Vandeweghe averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 224 regular-season games for the Knicks from 1949-56. In college, he averaged 19.1 points in four seasons at Colgate.

"I am so lucky to have spent so many years with him learning and growing," granddaughter CoCo Vandeweghe, a pro tennis player ranked 40th in the world, said in a Facebook post Saturday. "He is now in a better place with his beloved wife. He will be missed dearly. Love you Pal."

Ernie Vandeweghe's wife, Colleen, died in 2010. She won the 1952 Miss America pageant.

Born in Montreal, Vandeweghe went to medical school while in the NBA and was a physician in the U.S. Air Force. He was chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and served on the Olympic Sports Commission. He also was the Lakers' team physician when the team moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis.

"He's never really gone because the lessons are still there," said Kiki Vandeweghe, who as a 5-year-old didn't understand why his physician father would often be gone on weekends.

"He used to take care of the athletes and their kids. I found out he never charged any of those people. When you can afford to give back, you do."

Kiki Vandeweghe played 13 seasons in the NBA and was a two-time All-Star who averaged 19.7 points for his career. Daughter Tauna won a U.S. swimming championship in the backstroke and competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Son Bruk was a beach volleyball player, and daughter Heather captained the U.S. women's polo team. Coco is Tauna's daughter.

Ernie Vandeweghe grew up on Long Island and played football, basketball and baseball at Oceanside High School.

NBA notes: Steve Kerr spurns Knicks, agrees to coach Warriors

The Warriors won the bidding war with the New York Knicks for Steve Kerr on Wednesday, hiring him away from the TNT broadcast tabl Apuestas Deportivas e to be their coach. Kerr agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal with Golden State, said his agent, Mike Tannenbaum.
The Warriors confirmed the agreement Wednesday night and said they will introduce Kerr at a news conference after the contract is complete.

Kerr had been in talks with the Knicks about becoming their coach since Phil Jackson took over as team president in March. He won three titles playing for Jackson in Chicago and another two under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.

Kerr, 48, also spent three seasons as general manager of the Phoenix Suns before stepping down in June 2010. He replaces Mark Jackson, who was fired by the Warriors on May 6 after three seasons and back-to-back playoff appearances mostly due to a sour relationship between him and team management.

Kerr said last month that he has wanted to coach since going back to his job at TNT. And while the lure of building a contender with his mentor at Madison Square Garden looked appealing, the chance to coach a Western Conference contender in his home state proved to be too much.

The Warriors job is certainly a far more attractive one than when owner Joe Lacob hired Jackson away from the ESPN/ABC broadcast table in June 2011. The Warriors are coming off a 51-win season and consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in 20 years, and theyve surrounded star Stephen Curry with a talented young core.

Kerr became the hottest coaching candidate on the market after Phil Jackson started courting him to the Knicks two months ago. Kerr also has close ties to Lacob, his son, assistant GM Kirk Lacob, and Warriors President Rick Welts, who worked in Phoenixs front office during Kerrs time as Suns general manager.

Given the disagreements that occurred between Jackson and Warriors management last season and the back-and-forth that played out between them in the media after Jackson was dismissed having an established relationship with Kerr was a big reason Lacob wanted him as coach.

Last week, Lacob lauded Kerr as a candidate and defended the decision to change coaches which has been debated at great lengths in the basketball-united Bay Area. He compared the decision to how he built his fortune as a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley.
Lacob said theres a different person to lead a business at different stages of development, and the Warriors have gone from a "startup" company to an organization looking to maximize its output.

"Or in this case win an NBA championship," he said. "And we just felt overall we needed a different person to go forward and get to the next level."

And while Kerr has no coaching experience, he played 15 seasons and also similar to Mark Jackson he has been around some of the most successful sideline leaders.

Kerr has credited Phil Jackson and Tex Winter for most of his basketball knowledge. Winter taught the triangle offense and was a longtime assistant for Jackson, who used the system to win an NBA-record 11 championships as a coach of the Bulls and Lakers.

Golden State also spoke with former Orlando Magic and Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy during its search. Van Gundy agreed to a deal with Detroit on Tuesday after the Pistons gave him control of basketball operations something the Warriors wouldnt do with general manager Bob Myers and Kirk Lacob in place.

The Warriors met with Kerr again on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, where Kerr was calling the Thunder-Clippers game. And they apparently made a big enough impression and contract offer to land the man they wanted all along.

Around the league

Pistons The Detroit Pistons are counting on Stan Van Gundy to bring some much-needed stability to a struggling franchise.

Theyre certainly giving him plenty of authority.

The Pistons officially announced Van Gundys hiring Wednesday as their new coach and president of basketball operations. The team will introduce Van Gundy at a news conference Thursday. Detroit went 29-53 last season, missing the playoffs for a fifth straight year. That was the end of Joe Dumars tenure as team president. Coach Maurice Cheeks was fired in February.


Tip-off: Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. ET

Line: Philadelphia -1, Total: 180˝

The struggling 76ers look to change thei bingo online apuestas futbol r fortunes in Memphis when they take on a Grizzlies team playing its last game before the All-Star break.

After feasting on an easy schedule for the good part of the year, the 76ers are reeling, going 2-5 (1-6 ATS) in their past seven games. They have lost four straight (SU and ATS) to West teams, scoring just 83.3 PPG on 40% FG in these four defeats. The Grizzlies have had their way with Eastern Conference teams (6-2 SU and ATS) and are 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings with Philly. The pick here is MEMPHIS to win on its home floor.

Philly’s defense leads the NBA with 87.3 PPG allowed, and it has held five of its past six opponents to 41% FG or less. The 76ers also take care of the basketball better than anyone, with a league-best 10.0 turnovers per game. The reason the team is struggling is because of an inefficient offense averaging just 88.1 PPG on 41% FG in the past seven contests. Six players score at least 10 PPG for Philadelphia, led by reserve PG Lou Williams (15.9 PPG). He has played better away from home this year, averaging 17.6 PPG on 46% FG in 13 road contests. PG Jrue Holiday (13.6 PPG, 4.6 APG) had a team-high 20 points in Sunday’s 92-91 loss in Minnesota. Andre Iguodala is fourth on the team in scoring (12.4 PPG), but he is the most valuable 76ers player with 6.5 RPG, 5.3 APG and 1.8 SPG. C Spencer Hawes (10.5 PPG) remains out with a strained Achilles’ and won’t return until after the All-Star break. His absence has certainly contributed to his team’s recent slide.

Memphis is 12-5 SU at home this year, allowing just 92.8 PPG and forcing a league-high 17.0 turnovers per game on its home floor. The Grizzlies swept the season series from Philly last year, as Mike Conley (13.3 PPG, 6.7 APG) scored all 22 of his points in the second half of last February’s meeting in Memphis to propel his team to a 102-91 win. Conley has been playing great basketball as of late with 16.8 PPG on 50% FG, 40% threes and 96% FT (23-of-24) in his past six games. With Zach Randolph still out with a knee injury, PF Marreese Speights has really stepped up his game, averaging a double-double (12.5 PPG, 10.4 RPG) in his past eight contests. Leading scorer Rudy Gay (19.0 PPG) suffered a season-ending shoulder injury the last time he faced the 76ers, but he has been remarkably consistent this month. Gay has scored between 18 and 25 points in each of his past 13 games, making 41% of his threes during this stretch.

NBA: Orlando vs. Atlanta Series Betting Preview

The Magic and Hawks took opposite paths to their second round series matchup, Orlando using only four games, while Atlanta was pus Atlanta will have no better chance to grab the upper hand feeding off the momentum of series win and Orlando being rusty for first contest. The Hawks players, at least outwardly believe they can win two series for the first time in franchise history since moving to Atlanta in 1968. That means playing at a level they are not accustomed to and doing whatever it takes. From talent perspective, they could pull the upset, but Orlando is a bad matchup for them with their style (4-8 SU & ATS) and ultimately prevails.
Pick- Orlando (-800) in six over Atlanta (+500)

NBA: Raptors invade Atlanta seeking playoff bid

The Toronto Raptors find themselves in a difficult spot with just four games remaining in the NBA’s regular season. While tied wit video poker h the Bulls for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference as of this morning, Toronto needs a win in a city it has struggled, Atlanta, all the while hoping to avoid looking ahead to Sunday’s showdown with Chicago. Making matters worse, Raptors star Chris Bosh could be sidelined for the rest of the season. has installed the host Hawks as 9-point favorites for Friday’s contest.

Three weeks ago, Bosh helped the Toronto Raptors take advantage of the absence of Atlanta Hawks leading scorer Joe Johnson. While Johnson might be out again Friday night in Atlanta, the Raptors won’t be able to rely on Bosh this time. Attempting to close in on the Eastern Conference’s final playoff berth, Toronto will try to overcome the loss of its leading scorer and rebounder and win in Atlanta for the first time in nearly 2 1/2 years.

Bosh made a 16-foot jumper with 2.1 seconds left in a 106-105 home victory over the Hawks on March 17, while Johnson sat with a strained Achilles’. That shot is one of the reasons Toronto (38-40, 35-41-2 ATS) is still battling Chicago for the eighth playoff spot in the East.

The Raptors will have to beat out the Bulls without Bosh, who’s expected to be sidelined for “weeks” while recovering from surgery to repair a facial fracture. The All-Star forward, whose averaging career bests of 24.0 points and 10.8 rebounds, suffered the injury when he took an inadvertent elbow from Cleveland forward Antawn Jamison in a 113-101 loss Tuesday.

The next night, Hedo Turkoglu bumped heads with Boston’s Tony Allen as Toronto dropped its third straight, 115-104. Turkoglu remains day-to-day after a CT scan showed no major injuries.

“When it rains it pours, I guess,” swingman Antoine Wright said. “We’re dropping like flies right now.” The spread losses are piling up as well with 4-14 ATS record after allowing 100 or more points.

Those injuries could hurt the Raptors, who are 6-13 ATS off SU loss, during a pivotal two-game stretch against the Hawks (49-29, 44-33-1 ATS) and Bulls, who visit Toronto on Sunday.

Heading to Atlanta doesn’t seem like a good way to begin as they’re winless in four trips (1-3 ATS) since a 100-88 victory Dec. 11, 2007. The Raptors, though, could have an opportunity to snap that skid if Johnson misses his fourth straight game with a sprained right thumb.

Before the loss in March, the Hawks had won four straight over Toronto with their leading scorer (21.2 ppg) in the lineup, including the first two meetings this season. In the previous matchup in Atlanta, they broke a Philips Arena scoring record with a 146-115 victory Dec. 2. Al Horford scored 24 points to lead nine Hawks players in double figures.

Atlanta, though, has scored 94.3 points per game - 7.3 below its season average - over its last nine contests, topping 100 just once. Despite those scoring struggles, the Hawks have won 10 straight at home (6-4 ATS), their longest streak since taking 20 straight from Nov. 12, 1996-Feb. 12, 1997.

Adding to that run would give Atlanta its first 50-win season since 1997-98 and also help in the race for the East’s No. 3 seed. The Hawks enter Friday tied with Boston with four games remaining for both clubs and they are 6-2 ATS if their opponent cracked the century mark in points in previous outing.

They’ll face a Raptors team that’s allowed at least 113 points in four straight games and an average of 108.7 during a 7-16 stretch. That could help the Hawks deliver a better performance than in Wednesday’s 90-88 loss at Detroit. Against a team that was missing five players, Atlanta blew a nine-point lead, getting outscored 25-16 in the fourth quarter. released the Hawks as nine-point favorites with total of 202.5 in this battle of Eastern Conference clubs fighting for positioning in the playoffs. Atlanta is 14-4 ATS vs. Atlantic Division teams and 9-3 OVER off a spread loss.

Toronto is 4-1-1 ATS in last six road encounters, but 9-23 ATS if last outing was double digit loss. The Raptors are 7-3 OVER after a spread defeat.

This matchup begins at 7:30 Eastern in local TV markets with the favorite 10-3 ATS.

The StatFox Power Line shows Atlanta by 9, almost as if oddsmakers simply looked at that number before releasing it.