The Evening News: Dunleavy a leading candidate in Brooklyn; Beasley under investigation; Walsh unsure of future in Indiana

Hello and welcome to the Evening News.

As the playoffs continue, we’ll keep you updated every evening. What’s happening today?

Here’s the latest news from around the league:

Mike Dunleavy coveted by the Nets

According to Frank Isola and Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the Brooklyn Nets have a strong interest in hiring Mike Dunleavy Sr. for their head coaching position. Dunleavy is from Brooklyn and starred at Nazareth High School in the 1970s as a player. He previously lobbied for the coaching position following Avery Johnson’s firing in December. Mike Dunleavy

One source indicated that Dunleavy was “a real dark horse in a race with higher-profile names.”

Dunleavy first became a head coach in 1990 when he replaced Pat Riley with the Los Angeles Lakers. He led the Lakers to the finals in his first season. He was also the 1999 NBA Coach of the Year when he coached the Portland Trail Blazers to a 35-15 record in a lockout shortened season.

Dunleavy most recently coached the underperforming Clippers from 2003 to 2010. He has a career 613-716 record in 17 seasons as a head coach.

Isola and Bondy also reported that the Nets plan to or already have reached out to Phil Jackson, Brian Shaw, and Jerry Sloan among other candidates for the position.

David Aldridge of also reported that the Nets are uninterested in either Van Gundy brother.

Mike Beasley under investigation for sexual assault

On the day the Phoenix Suns hired their new general manager, Ryan McDonough, to kick off a new era of Suns basketball, they received some bad news from the old era of Suns basketball.

Alex Ferri of reports that Mike Beasley is being investigated by the Scottsdale Police Department for an alleged sexual assault that took place in January. 

“At this point we can only say the investigation is ongoing,” said David Pubins, the Scottsdale police spokesman. “We are interviewing those involved and processing any physical evidence we may have to try and determine if criminal charges are appropriate.”

This is just another headache for the Suns who gambled by signing the former #2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft to a three-year, $18 million deal last summer. Beasley averaged 10.1 points for the Suns but fell out of favor with interim head coach Lindsey Hunter at the season’s end.

Beasley’s best season came in 2010-2011 when he averaged 19.2 points per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has been involved with several drug-related incidents since joining the league in 2008.

Donnie Walsh uncertain of future with Pacers 

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Pacers’ president of basketball operations, Donnie Walsh, is unsure of if he will return to Indiana next season. Moreover, Walsh still thinks there is a chance that Larry Bird returns to the position for next season.

Walsh, the 72-year-old who is credited for rebuilding the Knicks back to prominence, told Berman, “I took this job because Larry [Bird] wanted a year off. If Larry wants to come back, I’m out. I’m leaving.’’

Walsh also said that if Bird was uninterested in returning, he would like to come back next season.

“I like this but I don’t need to do it,’’ Walsh said. Pacers owner, Herb Simon, has told Walsh that he wants him back next year.

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