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Contrary to reports, Long Island Nets assistant is alive and well

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Eurocup Basketball Final - Lietuvos Rytas v BC Khimki Photo by Francesco Richieri/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of Milt Palacio’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Early Friday, reports of the Long Island assistant coach’s death spread, first in Europe, where he played part of his career, then migrated to North America, with tweets and stories lamenting his demise. But Palacio, who played for six NBA teams in seven years before joining the Nets organization isn’t dead ... at all.

“These reports are inaccurate – we have spoken to Milt, and he is alive and well,” said a Nets spokesman when asked about the reports. He is in fact in Canton, Ohio, where Long Island will play the Canton Charge Friday night.

The false report said that Palacio, 41, had been knocked down by a Honda Civic outside of a Toronto mall, then taken to a local hospital where he eventually died of his injuries. The report even claimed that “failed brakes” were the cause of the accident.

The initial reports even claimed that the U.S. Consulate in Toronto had confirmed Palacio’s identity. There’s no indication of how the false story evolved.

Palacio is in his second year as a Long Island assistant. He made Nets fans want to die back in December 2000, when he hit an improbable, off-balance buzzer beater at Continental Airlines Arena.