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Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Reports: Sonics to name Carlesimo

Seattle reportedly set to introduce ex-Blazers, Warriors coach

July 4, 2007

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— The Seattle SuperSonics appear set to pluck another piece from the San Antonio Spurs.

The Sonics have scheduled a Thursday news conference amid reports that the team has hired P.J. Carlesimo as its new head coach.

Team officials refused to comment Tuesday on a report that first appeared on the San Antonio Express-News Web site, which said Carlesimo had been chosen by Sonics ownership.

Carlesimo and former Minnesota coach Dwane Casey have been considered front-runners for the Seattle job. Casey told the Associated Press on Tuesday evening that he was informed by the Sonics they were going with another candidate.

Casey said he was not told who the choice was.

"They said they were going in a different direction and that I made it a tough decision," said Casey, a former assistant in Seattle. "I'm disappointed."

Seattle general manager Sam Presti, who spent the last seven years working in the Spurs' organization before becoming Seattle's GM on June 7, was traveling and unavailable for comment.

Carlesimo, 58, has been an assistant coach the last five seasons in San Antonio and before that was a head coach in Portland and Golden State.

The position in Seattle has been vacant since the Sonics fired Bob Hill on April 24 after the team went 31-51 last season.

The 30-year-old Presti, the youngest GM in basketball, was given authority over the coaching search when he was hired. But the process dragged, in part because Carlesimo couldn't interview until after the Spurs won their third NBA title since 2003.

Pistons re-sign Billups

Detroit - Chauncey Billups bounced around like a basketball early in his career before finding an NBA home with the Detroit Pistons. The All-Star point guard now will extend his career with the team he led to the past five Eastern Conference finals. Billups and the Pistons agreed on a five-year, $60 million contract Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

The person, who requested anonymity because of league rules preventing contract announcements before July 11, said the deal is worth $46 million guaranteed over four years and the fifth year is a team option.

Billups was drafted third overall in 1997 by Boston and was with Toronto, Denver, Orlando and Minnesota within his first four years in the league.

Lewis, Magic agree

Seattle - Rashard Lewis is leaving the Northwest and taking his game to Orlando. One of the most sought-after free agents this offseason, Lewis agreed to a "maximum contract" with the Magic, his agent Tony Dutt said Tuesday.

Lewis made the decision late Monday night after meeting with Magic officials in Orlando.

Mavericks defeat China

Dallas - Yi Jianlian's first taste of NBA competition did not go smoothly, as he scored 11 points for the Chinese national team in a 105-100 loss to the Dallas Mavericks' summer league team Tuesday night. Yi, selected with the sixth overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Draft, had just one point in the second half.

Jimmy Walker dies at 63

Providence, R.I. - Former Providence All-American Jimmy Walker, who was a first-round NBA Draft pick by the Detroit Pistons in 1967, has died. He was 63. Providence announced Tuesday that Walker died of lung cancer on Monday in Kansas City, Mo. Walker led the nation in scoring in 1967 as a senior, averaging more than 30 points a game. His three-year total of 2,045 points was the school record at Providence for 38 years until Ryan Gomes broke it in 2005.

Walker, a 6-foot-3 guard, played nine seasons in the NBA with Detroit, Houston and Kansas City. He averaged 16.7 points per game for his career, including a high of 21.3 in 1971-72.

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