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Grizzlies Hire Iavaroni As New Coach

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AP -- The Memphis Grizzlies, looking for a coach who can help the team work its way up from the bottom of the NBA, have set a "major announcement" for Thursday amid newspaper reports they are hiring Phoenix Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni.

The Grizzlies declined to provide more details about the news conference. The Commercial Appeal, citing unidentified sources close to the search, reported that the Grizzlies have agreed to a three-year deal with Iavaroni.

The Grizzlies had no immediate comment on the report. An assistant to Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley told The Associated Press he was unavailable for comment.

Iavaroni, who joined the Suns coaching staff in 2002, is a 14-year veteran of the NBA as a player and coach.

He was an assistant and director of player development for the Miami Heat under Pat Riley before joining the Suns.

And most important to us here in Flyer.com-land, he continues the Griz string of Italian coaches -- Fratello, Barone, and Iavaroni. Has a nice ring to it, eh? (An unnamed source told the Flyer that Danny DeVito and Dom DeLuise were offered the position but turned it down, citing the fact that their names did not rhyme with Barone.)

For more from Flyer NBA writer, Chris Herrington (who is taking all this very personally), check out the Flyer's Grizblog, Beyond the Arc.

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