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Raptors Hire a First-Time Coach in Mitchell

From Times Wire Services

Sam Mitchell was hired Tuesday as coach of the Toronto Raptors.

Mitchell, who played in the NBA for 13 years, was an assistant coach for the expansion Charlotte Bobcats for the last month.

Mitchell, who played for Minnesota and Indiana, spent two years as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks before leaving for Charlotte. He retired as a player two years ago.

“I understand the concerns. I don’t have all the answers -- that’s why we’re going to have a great support staff around me,” said Mitchell, 40, expected to add longtime NBA assistant Jim Todd to his staff.

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Mitchell was a candidate for the Raptors’ job last year before it went to Kevin O’Neill, who was fired after a 33-49 season.

The Bobcats wasted no time replacing Mitchell, making Gary Brokaw their lead assistant coach. Brokaw had been the director of player personnel.

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The New Jersey Nets have made a qualifying offer to power forward Kenyon Martin. Terms were not disclosed.

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A restricted free agent, Martin will be eligible to talk with any team during the first two weeks of July.

The Nets would have 15 days to match any offer.

In other news, the Nets promoted Ed Stefanski to general manager. Stefanski was senior vice president of basketball operations last season.

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Though he is expected to get offers from elsewhere, San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili hopes to sign a long-term contract with the Spurs.

“I would love to stay in San Antonio; that would be ideal,” Ginobili said. “The only thing that might woo me away is a considerably higher offer or a longer contract.”

Denver and Utah reportedly are interested in signing Ginobili.

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The New Orleans Hornets hired Willis Reed as vice president of basketball operations, giving the former New York Knick star a chance to finish his career in his native state.

“This will be my last job,” said the 62-year-old Reed, who built a house in Ruston, La., and plans to retire there.

Reed was an advisor for the Knicks last season after 14 years as a New Jersey Net executive.

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Jack Givens, the Orlando Magic’s TV analyst and the most outstanding player of the 1978 NCAA basketball tournament for Kentucky, was arrested and charged with sexual battery and lewd molestation of a 14-year-old girl in Orlando, Fla.

Givens, 47, was released on $25,000 bail, hours after deputies arrested him at his home late Monday. He denied the charges.

Magic spokesman Joel Glass said the team wouldn’t comment on the arrest.


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