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West: Barone will finish out season

West: Barone will finish out season

Tony Barone Sr. will finish the season as the Memphis Grizzlies' coach, then return to the front office as director of player personnel.
Barone agreed to replace Mike Fratello on Thursday a couple hours after Jerry West, the team's president of basketball operations, fired the franchise's winningest coach. West said Barone has an extensive basketball background even though he has never been a head coach in the NBA.
"When he leaves here as a coach, he is going to go back to the front office and his position where he is, and he will have a better feel going forward what we need as a team," West said Friday at a news conference.
West said he talked with owner Michael Heisley on Wednesday, then watched the Grizzlies play without enthusiasm and lose for the 11th time in 12 games to the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Grizzlies are an NBA-worst 6-24, and the return of All-Star center Pau Gasol of Spain from a broken foot that kept him out of the first 22 games didn't help.
Barone put the Grizzlies through a practice Friday.
"We'll see if that's the change that we needed to have around here," Gasol said. "Only with games ... and results and seeing us playing on the court is going to tell us if that's what we needed or if it wasn't the change that needed to be made and if it's something else."
Barone was an assistant coach for the Grizzlies under Hubie Brown from 2002 to 2004. He was head coach at Texas A&M from 1991 to 1998 and at Creighton from 1985 to 1991.
The Chicago native, who played at Duke, will make his head coaching debut Saturday night at home against Toronto.
Barone said he wasn't looking to be a head coach.
"Jerry asked me to do it, and I'm going to do it," he said.


Updated : 2020-12-04 22:46 GMT+08:00