Jazz owner reaches apparent peace with Malone
SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller is at peace with Karl Malone again.
Miller said Monday that he received a call from Malone on Sunday and the two had resolved their latest public spat, this one prompted by Malone's possible desire to play elsewhere next season.
''I would say we apologized to each other and decided to put it behind us and move on,'' Miller said after the Jazz's 91-83 loss to San Antonio. ''It's not a good time for us coming down the stretch toward the playoffs to have distractions in the locker room. I was frankly very pleased that he called and expressed himself as well as he did.''
Malone did not speak to reporters other than to say ''excuse me'' as he walked through a group waiting for him in the Jazz locker room.
Miller was irritated Friday after a Sports Illustrated article quoted Malone saying he didn't think Miller had the courage to tell the 39-year-old, who will be a free agent this summer, it was time to move on. The article also said Malone's wife, Kay, had househunting trips planned this summer in San Antonio and a couple other Western Conference cities.
Miller said Malone explained Sunday that San Antonio is Kay's hometown and they have talked of buying a second home there. Miller said he didn't ask about the other cities mentioned, which were Dallas and Los Angeles.
''I decided there was nothing to gain to put him in a corner on that issue,'' Miller said.
Malone, Bibby added to U.S. national team
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz and Mike Bibby of the Sacramento Kings were officially added Monday to USA Basketball's senior national team which will compete in the Olympic qualifying tournament in August.
Malone and Bibby become the fifth and sixth members of the team that will be coached by Larry Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers.
They join Ray Allen of the Seattle SuperSonics, Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets and Tracy McGrady of the Orlando Magic, who were chosen earlier.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Allen Iverson of Philadelphia and Jermaine O'Neal of Indiana also have been asked to play for the U.S. national team. An announcement confirming their selections is expected at a later date.
Bulls hire Paxson to replace Krause as GM
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Former player John Paxson is leaving the broadcast booth to become the Chicago Bulls' general manager.
Paxson was introduced as Chicago's executive vice president of basketball operations at a news conference Monday. He replaces Jerry Krause, who resigned unexpectedly a week ago, citing health reasons.
''I'm tremendously excited about this opportunity,'' Paxson said. ''To me, the only goal is to win. I don't have any expectations other than that.''
Paxson immediately emerged as the front-runner for the job after Krause quit, and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf wasted little time filling the vacancy. Reinsdorf said hiring Paxson was an easy decision. When Krause told him three years ago that he wanted to retire after the 2004 season, Reinsdorf said he began informally interviewing possible replacements.
So when Krause resigned early, Reinsdorf said he already had his short list of candidates.
''It was just a matter of refreshing my memory and having one or two conversations to come to the conclusion I came to,'' Reinsdorf said. ''And it was a very easy conclusion.''
Paxson spent nine of his 11 NBA seasons with the Bulls, and was an integral part of the first three championship teams. His 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left clinched the 1993 title in Game 6 against Phoenix.
After retiring in 1994, he was a Bulls assistant during the 1995-96 season. He's spent the past seven years as part of Chicago's broadcast team, both on radio and television.
Though he doesn't have management experience, he's gotten a firsthand look at running a team through his brother Jim, the Cleveland Cavaliers' GM.
''Jim has given me wonderful advice on everything,'' Paxson said. ''When I talked to him about this this morning, he told me, 'Go for it; this is something you have to do. You don't know how many of these chances are going to come along again.'
''I understand and appreciate, too, that Jerry Reinsdorf is taking a chance on me,'' Paxson said. ''It would have been very easy for him to look outside and see someone with more experience. He has confidence in me and that makes me feel good about the situation.''
Paxson knows the strengths and weaknesses of the Bulls as well as anyone, having traveled with the team and seen every one of its games. But he acknowledges he'll have to play catch-up in other aspects of the job, such as college scouting and salary cap management.
He met informally with the players and the rest of the Bulls' management team Monday morning, and plans to have more wide-ranging discussions in the coming weeks.
There also will be expanded roles for former teammate B.J. Armstrong, Gar Foreman and Ivica Dukan. Armstrong and Forman were special assistants to Krause, while Dukan is the supervisor of international scouting.
''I think their jobs all became more important today because of how far behind I am,'' Paxson said. ''We have a real solid staff, a very solid staff. People I'm comfortable with, people I'm excited about working with.''
Though there was some thought Armstrong might be in line to replace Krause after being his assistant for three years, Armstrong said he has no problem with his role.
''I'm really excited and really looking forward to the opportunity to work with this man,'' Armstrong said. ''This is about these kids, our organization, our willingness to do whatever is necessary to be terms a success.''
Paxson also will be working with another former teammate in coach Bill Cartwright.
''I think Pax will be great in this job,'' Cartwright said. ''Everybody knows he's conscientious, he's a hard worker and he'll do whatever it takes to get the job done. I think it's a great selection.''
Paxson grew up in a basketball family -- his father, Jim Sr., played in the NBA -- and he still ranks in the top 20 in career scoring at Notre Dame. He was drafted 19th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 1983, and spent two seasons there.
He signed with the Bulls as a free agent in October 1985, and spent the rest of his career in Chicago. He averaged 7.2 points and 3.6 assists in the NBA.
''I've been a member of this organization for 17 of the last 18 years,'' Paxson said. ''I think I have a good feel for this organization, what it stands for, what it represents.
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