An Honest
Day’s Word

By Joe Edwards

Wednesday, May 26, 1999

Big Apple at center
of NBA universe

THIS and that to chew on over lunch:

There's a break in the on-court action in the NBA today, but off the court, things are really starting to cook.

Much of the big news comes from the New York-New Jersey area, where the Knicks have admitted they've made overtures to former Bulls coach Phil Jackson. No shock there. Jackson is a former Knick and is always the first choice when any coaching position opens.

I don't doubt the Los Angeles Lakers will make a bid for Jackson, too. Although, after listening to Magic Johnson last weekend, it sounds as though he might end up coaching the Lakers. They could use someone to keep Shaquille O'Neal from exercising his option and bolting for saner pastures.

Perhaps more intriguing is the Nets attempt to lure former Georgetown coach John Thompson. The Nets have plenty of talent with Jayson Williams, Keith Van Horn and Kerry Kittles on board. They could use someone like Thompson to get them to a playoff level.

Lord knows they're capable. I just wonder if Nets ownership would be a bit skittish about taking another college coach. They got burned with John Calipari and his traveling sales show.

Don't be surprised if Thompson is the new Nets coach.

It will be puzzling if Jeff Van Gundy takes the Knicks to the Finals and then gets canned in favor of Jackson.

I don't know if the Knicks can handle the Indiana Pacers, but they're fun to watch. Latrell Sprewell and Allan Houston are playing together beautifully. Sprewell's transformation from perceived malconT>

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