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Nets Show Interest in Thompson

AROUND THE LEAGUE: NBA

May 26, 1999| From Associated Press

The New Jersey Nets have talked with John Thompson about coaching the NBA club, and principal owner Lewis Katz is ready to confer with the former Georgetown coach's agent, The Hackensack, N.J., Record reported Tuesday.

However, according to the newspaper, the Nets' No. 1 choice is Phil Jackson and they have offered the former Chicago Bull coach what is described as one of the richest contracts in the history of sports.

Katz was to meet today with Thompson's agent, David Falk, according to a source described by The Record as close to the situation. The meeting would focus on determining the kind of a deal it would take to hire Thompson.

The Nets are moving to the next level in their discussions with Thompson because the team's ownership believes Jackson ultimately will end up with the New York Knicks or Lakers.

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Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway, bothered much of the season by an ailing right knee, was scheduled to undergo surgery on his left knee at Miami.

Cartilage damage in Hardaway's left knee was discovered in a routine postseason MRI exam.

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Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey will be retired for a second time tonight by the Boston Celtics. This time, he's agreed to let the public be part of it.

In 1972, Russell wanted no public ceremony because he was bitter at what he perceived as racial prejudice.

The 6-foot-10 center was Boston's first black sports star, but he felt that because of his color, he never received the recognition he deserved for helping the Celtics to 11 NBA championships.

That's why he refused to allow a retirement ceremony in front of fans on March 12, 1972. Only about a dozen players and friends were there.

Tonight, the team will finally honor him publicly when it rededicates his No. 6 alongside those 11 NBA championship banners Russell helped win.

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