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Archive for Wednesday, July 29, 1998

THE CHICAGO BULLS WERE GOING TO HIRE FORMER IOWA STATE COACH TIM FLOYD.

July 29, 1998

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Tim Floyd's recent hiring by the Chicago Bulls didn't surprise Kansas coach Roy Williams.

``I pretty much knew what was going on,'' Williams said Tuesday after speaking at his basketball camp. ``I visited with Tim, had some discussions with the Bulls and I talked to Michael (Jordan), so I pretty much knew what was going on.''

Former Iowa State coach Floyd told ESPN he asked KU's Williams and former UNC player Buzz Peterson to talk to Jordan about Floyd possibly becoming Bulls' coach. Floyd said the Bulls' phenom told Williams Floyd should not base his decision on the possibility of Jordan retiring.

``Someone else told me about that (ESPN report),'' Williams said. ``I didn't hear the comments, so I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment. I did carry on conversations with all of them.''

Not about becoming Bulls' coach, however.

Williams had made it clear all along he had no interest in replacing Phil Jackson.

``It never worried me. I never lost any sleep about it. It just gave you guys something to write about,'' Williams said of Chicago media reports speculating he was the ``mystery candidate'' to replace Jackson.

``My decision was made very, very early.''

That decision was to begin an 11th season at Kansas.

He believes Floyd will do a good job in Chicago, if indeed Floyd will patrol the sidelines next season. Officially, Floyd was named Bulls' director of basketball operations.

``I think he will (succeed). He is very serious about the coaching part of it. He cares about the defensive side. That's where you build a foundation of a basketball team regardless of what level it is,'' Williams said.

Of course, Floyd's job becomes quite difficult if Jordan decides to retire. Jordan has said he won't play for any coach but Jackson.

``It's very unfortunate it's been handled the way it's been handled,'' Williams said. ``It's very unfortunate for Tim, very unfortunate for Michael, very unfortunate for a lot of fans of Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

``If I had to pick one guy that's in the toughest spot of all, I'd say it'd be Tim.''

Williams has no idea whether Jordan will return to the Bulls.

``We're going to play golf three days the last week of August and I think I'll have a better opinion after that,'' Williams said. ``But I'm more interested in trying to beat his tail than what's going to happen next season.''

Silver Anniversary: Williams and his wife, Wanda, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Between camp, recruiting and an anniversary celebration, KU's coach has been busy.

``I was here Sunday to open camp, went out yesterday and watched one youngster work out, caught the red-eye to get back. I need to be back home to keep peace in the family,'' he joked.

Friday is the last day coaches can evaluate players in the current recruiting period.

Haase Popular: Former KU guard Jerod Haase is two seasons removed from KU, but still a big favorite of the campers. They flooded him with questions after his presentation on ``leadership.''

Haase will have the cast removed on his broken right wrist in September. He probably won't be able to play ball until November, meaning even if the NBA lockout ends, it'll be impossible to land a tryout.

Playing overseas next season remains a possibility.

``This is a searching year for me. I could go into coaching. I'd like to try to keep playing. I'll flip a coin or spin something and where it lands I'll decide,'' Haase said.

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