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Clippers Aren’t Close to Naming Head Coach

From Staff and Wire Reports

The Clippers have yet to begin their coaching search in earnest and probably won’t for a few weeks, a team spokesman said. General Manager Elgin Baylor and Vice President Andy Roeser have been out of town in the last month.

The Clippers have had only preliminary discussions with Dennis Johnson, who served as interim coach for the final 24 games after Alvin Gentry was fired March 3 with the team in last place in the Pacific Division with a 19-39 record. No decision has been made on retaining Johnson, who was 8-16.

Others believed to be under consideration for the job include Paul Silas, a former Clipper coach when the team was in San Diego, Jeff Van Gundy and Lenny Wilkens.

The team might also be interested in speaking with Isiah Thomas and Doug Collins, who are expected to be fired by Indiana and Washington, respectively, after disappointing seasons.

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-- Elliott Teaford

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Former coaches Mike Fratello, Tim Floyd and Brian Hill are the New Orleans Hornets’ top choices to replace Silas.

Bob Bass, the Hornets’ vice president of basketball operations, named those three as candidates. The Hornets want someone who has been a head coach in the league.

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“We’ve pretty well decided we wouldn’t go with one of the top assistants in the league. We pretty well decided we won’t go with a college head coach,” Bass said. “We feel like since we have a veteran team and there’s a good possibility we’ll have all five starters back, we need someone who can hit the floor running right now.”

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The playoffs have produced a 2.9 national cable rating for TNT through 36 games, an increase of 21% from last year.

Tuesday night’s Game 5 between the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs produced a 6.2 cable rating, the highest for a game on the network this season.

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It was the third-most watched NBA playoff game in network history, ranking behind Game 2 of a third-round series between the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls in 1996 and Game 5 of a second-round series between the Bulls and Miami Heat in 1997.


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