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Lakers' Jim Cleamons in talks to become Puerto Rico national team coach

He will meet with officials to discuss leading the team at the FIBA Americas Championship. The longtime member of Phil Jackson's staff cites uncertainty of potential lockout.

May 16, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Jim Cleamons watches the Lakers practice before the NBA Finals.
Jim Cleamons watches the Lakers practice before the NBA Finals. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Lakers assistant coach Jim Cleamons said he has been contacted by Puerto Rico officials about becoming the national team coach.

Cleamons said he is scheduled to meet with the officials this week to talk about leading the team at the FIBA Americas Championship.

"They said they had some interest," Cleamons said. "I have some interest. It's something I would do, especially if there is a lockout."

Cleamons has been a member of Phil Jackson's staff with the Lakers and the Chicago Bulls.

The Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs in the second round by the Dallas Mavericks. Contracts for Cleamons and the rest of the team's staff will expire June 30 and none of them know when or if they will be working again soon.

Cleamons was coach of the Mavericks from 1996-97, compiling a 28-72 record.

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