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Grunfeld Returns to Milwaukee

August 14, 1999|From Associated Press

Ernie Grunfeld, who began his NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks, was hired as the team's general manager Friday.

"It's great to be coming back home," Grunfeld said.

The former New York Knick president and general manager replaces Bob Weinhauer, who was fired Tuesday.

Herb Kohl, owner and president of the Bucks, said Grunfeld was the only person approached for the job.

"I've known Ernie for a long time, and we're satisfied he'll be a good fit," Kohl said.

Grunfeld probably won't have the final say on personnel matters. Coach George Karl is expected to make those decisions.

"I think we see the players the same way," Karl said. "He likes athletes, he likes speed, he likes defense."

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The Philadelphia 76ers re-signed forward Harvey Grant, then traded him and guard Anthony Parker to the Orlando Magic for forward Billy Owens.

"Billy's versatility on the court will allow us to utilize our personnel more to our advantage," 76er General Manager Billy King said. "For his size, Billy is a great ballhandler, rebounder, and has great knowledge of the game."

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The owner of the Houston Rockets said forward Charles Barkley is close to signing a one-year contract that will secure his return to the team.

"People in our organization have spoken to Charles, and Charles is definitely coming back," Les Alexander said.

The Rockets also announced the signing of top draft pick Kenny Thomas.

Alexander said he was hopeful Scottie Pippen would remain with the team as well, but would not rule out a trade, which the forward has requested.

"I wasn't especially pleased," Alexander said of the trade demand. "He's the first person since I've owned the team who has really asked not to play in Houston."

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Lazaro Borrell, one of four Cuban players who defected at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico last month, could have a shot at playing for the New Jersey Nets.

The 6-foot-8 Borrell, 26, concluded his two-day workout for the team by making 13 of 25 shots from three-point range. Afterward, General Manager John Nash said the team is considering inviting him to training camp.

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Larry Drew, an assistant coach for the Lakers the past seven seasons, was hired as an assistant by the Detroit Pistons.

Drew, originally drafted by the Pistons in 1980, was an assistant for the Lakers under Randy Pfund, Del Harris and Kurt Rambis.

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