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    December 19, 2019 10:24 AM MSK

    MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Memphis Grizzlies front office in turmoil, the Minnesota Timberwolves are considering trying to lure coach Dave Joerger away to coach the team in his home state. Wesley Johnson Jersey . The Timberwolves have received permission to interview Joerger for their head coaching vacancy, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The people requested anonymity because the Timberwolves are not commenting publicly on their coaching candidates. Joerger, who is from Staples, Minnesota, and went to college at Division-II Minnesota State, Moorhead, went 50-32 in his first season as Grizzlies coach last year. After a rough start while the team transitioned from coaching veteran Lionel Hollins to the first-timer Joerger, the Grizzlies pulled together, overcame several injuries to key players and surged to the seventh seed in the hyper-competitive Western Conference. But after losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Oklahoma City Thunder, owner Robert Pera made the surprising decision to overhaul the front office. He fired CEO Jason Levien and director of player personnel Stu Lash, two moves that immediately called into question Joergers job security. Joerger goes way back with Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders. As a young coach trying to make his way up the ladder, Joerger came to watch Saunders, who coached the Timberwolves from 1995-2005, run practices. The two formed a mutual respect which lasts to this day. Saunders, who coached in the CBA before breaking into the NBA, has long had an affinity for coaches who had to grind it out in the minor leagues, believing they learn not only how to coach, but to run an organization. Joerger won championships in the NBDL, the International Basketball Association and the CBA before joining the Grizzlies as an assistant to Lionel Hollins. Joergers experience as a head coach last year with the Grizzlies helps him fit the profile Saunders is looking for in a replacement for Rick Adelman, who retired last month. Saunders has said he wants a proven coach who knows the demands of running an NBA team, including handling questions from the media. The latter qualification is of particular concern for the Wolves right now with star forward Kevin Love set to opt out of his contract after next season. The Wolves are considering all their options with Love, including potentially trading him this summer. If the Wolves do not trade Love, they will head into the season with one of the major storylines in the league, one sure to draw attention from media all across the country. Thats part of the reason Saunders is reluctant to turn over the keys to a first-time head coach. The Wolves interest in Joerger was first reported by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. The Timberwolves opening has also been linked to Hollins and college coaching stars such as Michigan States Tom Izzo, Floridas Billy Donovan and Iowa States Fred Hoiberg. Saunders has yet to offer the job to anyone, but it is believed that the uncertainty surrounding Love has caused some of the more high profile names on Saunders list to give tepid responses to inquiries. The situation with Love in Minnesota pales in comparison to the upheaval in Memphis, and the opportunity to bring his family back to his home state could be enough to convince Joerger to make the move if an offer comes his way. The two sides were working Wednesday to set up a meeting, which could come as soon as Thursday. Randy Foye Jersey . However, the 38-year-old is in no hurry to sign with another team. "Im not in a rush. This will be my last contract, so I want to do it right," said Burris on Thursday. Fake Timberwolves Jerseys .Y. - DeMarre Carroll felt as though he couldnt miss in the second quarter as he outscored the Brooklyn Nets 14-13 all by himself.RIO DE JANEIRO - Rafael Nadal showed no problem with his tender back in his second match since returning from the injury, defeating fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the Rio Open on Thursday. The No. 1-ranked Nadal tweaked his back warming up for the Australian Open final, which he lost almost four weeks ago in a major upset against Stanislas Wawrinka. His first stop after the layoff is the clay in Rio as he tests the back and tries to stay healthy for the French Open in three months. A year ago he used the Latin American swing to test his recovery from an injured left knee. Nadal seemed to move freely against Montanes and wore a large, blue elastic bandage on his lower back as a precaution. "The back, well, its bothering me a little," Nadal said. "Right now its not hurting my game, but Im serving a little more gently than Im used to doing." Nadal said he pushed his recovery "a little bit" to play in Rio, after pulling out of the tournament the week before in Buenos Aires. "I am here and very happy being here," he said. "When you get an injury in the final of a Grand Slam, and you stop (playing/practicing) for 2 1/2 weeks, the comeback is not easy." Asked if nagging injuries might force an early retirement, the 27-year-old joked a bit before getting serious. "I cant predict the future, but my intention is to play many years," he said. In the other key mens match, third-seeded Fabio Fognini reached the last eight beating Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-3. Second-seeded David Ferrer advanced on WWednesday. Naz Reid Jersey. Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine advanced to his second quarterfinals of the year, beating Facundo Bagnis of Argentina 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (4). Dolgopolov said he hadnt considered leaving the tournament to return to his Kyiv birthplace, where more than 100 people have died in anti-government protests this week. Government snipers killed at least 70 on Thursday. "Its sad. I cant do much, but just support," he said. "Whoever is right doesnt matter now when people are dying." Dolgopolov, who lives in the wealthy European enclave of Monte Carlo, said he was lucky to have the chance to make money playing tennis. "Obviously I would like the people in the (Ukraine) to feel better. If I could, I would change that," he said. On the womens side of the combined ATP-WTA event, fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan and Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain set up a quarterfinal matchup after second-round wins. Nara defeated Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-0, 7-6 (3), and was in sight of her first WTA semifinals. Dominguez Lino beat Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-1. Nara said she likes the hot weather in Rio and is getting used to the clay. "Now I like the clay court," she said. "Last year, I didnt like it." Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania also made the last eight, as did Brazils Teliana Pereira. She is the first Brazilian woman in 23 years to crack the WTAs top 100. The last was Andrea Vieira. Brazils most famous womens player is Maria Bueno, who won seven Grand Slams singles titles, the last at the US Open in 1966. ' ' '