Former Bama coach loses job in Japan

TOKYO -- The Japan Basketball Association has terminated the contract of former Alabama coach David Hobbs, who was on leave due to health problems.

The 60-year-old Hobbs will be replaced by Osamu Kuraishi for the Asian Championships from Aug. 6-16 in Tianjin, China. The top three finishers at the 16-nation tournament will win berths in next year's world championships in Turkey.

Hobbs, who coached the Crimson Tide from 1992-98, was hired to lead Japan's national squad in February, after it failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics and finished 20th out of 24 teams at the 2006 World Championships.

He guided a rebuilt team to a second-place finish at last month's East Asia Championships.

Hobbs spent seven years as an assistant at Alabama before taking over in 1992. He led the Crimson Tide to a pair of 20-win seasons before resigning in 1998 with a record of 110-76.

Hobbs joined Tubby Smith's staff at Kentucky in 2000 and served two years as an associate head coach before Smith left for Minnesota. Hobbs then spent two years as a scout for the Charlotte Bobcats.