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Hornets' General Manager Bass Retires

May 06, 2004|From Associated Press

New Orleans General Manager Bob Bass retired Wednesday after a coaching and front-office career spanning more than a half-century, including nine years with the Hornets.

"I know when it's my time, and this is my time," Bass, 73, said in New Orleans.

The announcement came a day after the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs by the Miami Heat, losing Game 7 of their first-round series, 85-77.

The Hornets never had a losing season during Bass' tenure and made the playoffs seven times. He'll help the team through the NBA draft next month.

Bass was instrumental in the hiring of Coach Tim Floyd before this season. The Hornets were expected to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, but they finished 41-41.

Floyd's future is uncertain, and owner George Shinn has said everything is up for review.

Bass said he was thinking about retiring since the All-Star break, and Shinn gave no indication that the general manager was pressured to step down.

"Bob has been like a brother to me, and he is the most knowledgeable basketball mind I have ever been around," Shinn said.

Bass' career in basketball dates to the early 1950s, when he coached Oklahoma Baptist College.

After a brief stint coaching the ABA's Denver Rockets in the late 1960s, he returned to college basketball for two seasons as coach at Texas Tech, then moved back to the pros.

After short stays as coach of Miami and Memphis in the ABA, he spent 20 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. Bass spent most of his time as the Spurs' general manager but also coached them intermittently, before joining the Hornets in 1995.

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Kobe Bryant's attorneys want the judge in the Laker guard's sexual assault case to allow their expert to conduct forensic testing on the tape recorder detectives used to surreptitiously record Bryant's statements the day after the alleged June 30 rape.

Bryant is trying to get the hour-long tape thrown out as evidence because he was not read his Miranda rights before the interrogation.

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The Philadelphia 76ers hired former Charlotte Hornet coach Dick Harter as an assistant. Harter and new 76er Coach Jim O'Brien also worked together in Boston. When O'Brien resigned, Harter was let go by the Celtics.

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Wisconsin junior guard Devin Harris, the Big Ten Conference's player of the year, made himself available for the NBA draft.

Harris, 6 feet 3, averaged 19.5 points, 4.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds last season in helping Wisconsin set a school record with 25 wins.

He said he wouldn't hire an agent, giving him the opportunity to return to school for his senior year.

An underclassman who doesn't sign with an agent can withdraw from the draft by June 17 and return to school.

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Indiana Pacer forward Jermaine O'Neal couldn't help but smile while watching the Miami Heat prevail over New Orleans in a grueling first-round series.

"They're looking tired," O'Neal said. "They had a tough, physical series with New Orleans and that's kind of what we wanted. We wanted those guys to beat up on each other and when they see us, we throw 10 or 12 guys at you that can really play."

The Heat had only one day to prepare for Game 1 tonight in Indianapolis. The Pacers have had an 11-day layoff since finishing their first-round sweep of Boston on April 25.

"Coming off an 11-day break, I'm not worried as much as I am curious as to how we'll respond," Pacer Coach Rick Carlisle said. "I know we'll be anxious and I know we'll be ready to play hard. I just have never been through a situation like this, so we'll have to wait and see."

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