Archive for May 11th, 2009

The Golden State Warriors announced today that the club has elected not to renew the contract of Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin.  In a related move, the team has named Larry Riley as the club’s new General Manager.

“It’s never an easy decision to make a change,” said Warriors’ President Robert Rowell.  “This case is compounded by the fact it involves Chris Mullin — someone who has provided Bay Area fans with many great memories over the years, as both a player and executive.  He’s a class individual who will always be remembered for his accomplishments with the Warriors organization.”

Mullin, 45, was named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations on April 22, 2004, and his current contract is set to expire on June 30.   He has spent the last five years in that position after spending two years as a Special Assistant with the club.   Prior to his front office tenure, Mullin spent 13 years of his 16-year NBA career with the Warriors, highlighted by five NBA All-Star Game appearances.  He retired following the 2000-01 season.

Riley, 64, has spent the last six-plus months as Assistant General Manager with the Warriors after being elevated to that position on November 7, 2008.  He originally joined the Warriors as an assistant coach prior to the 2006-07 campaign and spent his first two-plus seasons with Golden State in that capacity.

Riley has accumulated 20-plus years of NBA experience in various capacities prior to being named GM of the Warriors, including a six-year stint as Director of Player Personnel for the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies from 1994-95 to 1999-00.  The Indiana native also spent six seasons as an assistant coach/scout with the Milwaukee Bucks (1988-89 to 1993-94) and six years with the Dallas Mavericks in the same capacity (2000-01 to 2005-06).

“We think Larry Riley possesses many characteristics that will allow him to be successful as the General Manager of our team,” said Rowell.  “One of his primary strengths is his ability to work with a group of people to achieve a common goal, which his wide-ranging 20-plus years of experience at the NBA level will enable him to do on a day-to-day basis.  It is that type of experience and insight that will prove invaluable as we move forward.”

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that Tony DiLeo has withdrawn his name from consideration to return as head coach 2009-10 season and will return to his previous position as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager.  Effectively immediately, the Sixers will begin an extensive search for new head coach.

“Tony and I had a meeting scheduled for this afternoon, during which time he informed me of his decision that he would not return as head coach next season,” Stefanski said. “I want to thank Tony for the commendable job he did this season under some unique and difficult circumstances, including leading us to the playoffs.”

DiLeo was named the franchise’s 22nd head coach on December 13, 2008 and he subsequently led the Sixers to a 32-27 (.542) record and the No. 6 seed in the 2009 NBA Playoffs.  DiLeo completed his 20th season with the Sixers organization and was in his fifth season as the team’s Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager prior to being named head coach.

In his role as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager, DiLeo will again be responsible for assisting Stefanski with player procurement via his evaluation of amateur and professional talent while supervising the team’s draft efforts and overseeing the college and professional scouting systems.

Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo announced Monday that Jay Triano has been promoted to head coach and signed to a three-year contract. Triano took over the head coaching duties on an interim basis December 3, 2008 following the dismissal of Sam Mitchell. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Despite some difficult circumstances this past season, Jay Triano never stopped coaching, teaching and leading this team which resulted in a very strong finish,” said Colangelo. “After undertaking a thorough evaluation process, it is clear that Jay is the right coach to guide this team in the future.”

Triano is the seventh head coach in franchise history. He guided the club to a 9-4 mark in its final 13 outings this past season, including wins over Eastern Conference playoff participants Chicago, Orlando and Philadelphia, and a 12-15 record after the all-star break. He finished 25-40 overall.

Triano served seven seasons (2002-2008) as an assistant on the Raptors’ coaching staff. He became the first Canadian born and Canadian trained coach in the NBA when he was hired in 2002 as an assistant coach to Lenny Wilkens.

A native of Niagara Falls, Triano was the head coach of the Canadian men’s national team from 1998-2004 posting a 52-42 (.553) record. During his stint at the helm of Canada Basketball Triano had the opportunity to coach “Captain Canada” Steve Nash, who was voted the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player in 2005 and 2006. Triano led Canada to a semifinal berth in the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico and to a 5-2 record, second best to the United States, in the 2000 Olympics.

Triano has also served as an assistant coach of the USAB Select Team (2007 and 2008), the head coach of the NIKE Skills Academy in Vancouver (2006) and Toronto (2007), and for the past six years as a coach at the prestigious EURO CAMP in Treviso, Italy.

Triano served as interim head coach for one game during the 2007-08 season when Mitchell was away for a personal family matter. The Raptors defeated the New Jersey Nets, 109-91, on February 13, 2008 at Air Canada Centre.

Toronto Raptors pre-draft workouts

On Monday, the Toronto Raptors will work out the following players for the 2009 NBA Draft: Byron Eaton (guard, Oklahoma State), Tyrese Rice (guard, Boston College), Sam Young (forward, Pittsburgh), Terrence Williams (forward, Louisville), Jeff Pendergraph (center, Arizona State) and Russell Hicks (center, Florida International). is about to step our Draft coverage up, beginning late tonight.

The AP reports: Glen Davis made a 21-foot jumper as time expired to help the Celtics hold off a furious rally and defeat the Orlando Magic 95-94 on Sunday night to even their Eastern Conference semifinal at two games apiece. A spot he never expected to be in until Garnett went down with a season-ending knee injury, Davis relished his newfound celebrity… Davis also hit a 15-foot jumper in the final minute and finished with 21 points. Dwight Howard had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and Lewis scored 22 for the Magic. Game 5 is Tuesday in Boston… An ugly, first-half foul fest with 29 personals called saw 13 lead changes… Pierce was finally able to get off to a quick start by attacking the basket and drawing fouls. He went 6 of 7 on free throws on his way to 18 points in the opening half to help the Celtics take a 48-46 lead at the break.

The AP reports: With Yao Ming out, the Houston Rockets had no chance to beat the Los Angeles Lakers. Right? Wrong. Aaron Brooks scored a career-high 34, Shane Battier sank five 3-pointers and added 23 and the Rockets beat the Lakers 99-87 on Sunday to even their Western Conference semifinal at two games apiece… Luis Scola had 11 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets got exactly the team effort they needed after Yao broke his left foot in the Lakers’ win in Game 3… Pau Gasol scored 30 points and Kobe Bryant had a quiet 15 for Los Angeles… Houston led 54-36 at the break. The Lakers grabbed only two offensive rebounds and generated only four fast-break points in their lowest-scoring half of the season… The Rockets outscored Los Angeles 29-18 in the decisive third quarter, led by Brooks’ 17 points.

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