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Old 05-07-2008, 01:13 AM   #1
ConanRulesNBC
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Default Sun-Times reporting that Bulls are talking to Johnson

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Tuesday began with an erroneous ESPN.com report that the Bulls were close to a deal that would make Mike D'Antoni their next coach.

The day ended with D'Antoni, the soon-to-be former coach in Phoenix, still employed by the Suns.

D'Antoni told general manager John Paxson he wants to coach the Bulls when they met in Phoenix a couple of days ago. He also interviewed with New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh this week.

But D'Antoni is on hold while Paxson and Walsh schedule interviews with Avery Johnson, who was fired by the Dallas Mavericks a week ago. The Bulls were working Tuesday on lining up a meeting with Johnson -- and he might not be the last candidate Paxson pursues.

D'Antoni got permission to talk to other teams from Suns GM Steve Kerr, who has been at odds with his coach over the team's direction. Kerr wants D'Antoni, known for his offense-first coaching style, to bolster the Suns' defensive schemes and develop more of their bench players.

Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf recently told WSCR-AM (670) that the next coach will have to adhere to the organization's defensive philosophy. In 4 seasons under D'Antoni, the Suns have gone 253-136, including two 60-win seasons.

A Phoenix source said D'Antoni would like to know by Friday which team he will be coaching next season and that the door to return to the Suns has not been shut completely by owner Robert Sarver. Sarver's stance, however, is likely based on the fact the Suns owe D'Antoni $8.5 million for the two years left on his contract unless he is hired by another team.

Reports out of New York say Mark Jackson, whom Paxson also interviewed, remains the Knicks' top choice. Rick Carlisle, the first candidate Paxson interviewed, is regarded as the favorite to take over for Johnson in Dallas.

Denver Nuggets assistant Mike Dunlap, the self-described dark horse in the Bulls' search who interviewed with Paxson on Saturday, was hired Tuesday as an assistant at the University of Arizona and could be the heir apparent to Lute Olson.

I really want D'Antoni over Avery Johnson right now.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sun-Times reporting that Bulls are talking to Johnson

D'Antoni over Johnson would probably be the better choice, especially now that he would like to coach the team. Johnson may seem like the right choice because of his discipline and defense, but the Bulls have had that for the past 5 years and as all of us know it fell apart. Wouldn't make to much sense to hire another coach similar to Skiles. The only time I'd hire Johnson would be if D'Antoni absolutley were to be out of the mix for some reason. Plus the players have shown a lot of interest in D'Antoni so I'd expect a deal to be done by the end of this week.

Last edited by Crazy Style : 05-07-2008 at 11:42 AM.
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