Blog Entry

More Bruce-Pearl-to-D-League rumors

Posted on: August 2, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 4:20 pm
 
By Matt Norlander

UPDATE: ESPN.com quotes Pearl below.

A second NBA D-League team is believed to be interested in hiring Bruce Pearl as head coach.

In May it was the Maine Red Claws, though that courtship never materialized. The team wound up hiring former DePaul and Virginia coach Dave Leitao a few weeks ago.

But now comes a second option at that level. ESPN's Marc Stein tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the Texas Legends are now in pursuit of the former Tennessee coach. The move makes sense for D-League teams who are looking to sell tickets any way they can. Pearl would be the only coach in that league who doubles as a household name.

The Legends are the feeder club to the Dallas Mavericks, who of course just won their first world title in June. ESPN.com got Pearl on the record late Tuesday afternoon.

"When the world champions call you have to listen," Pearl said. "Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have been great and I'm looking forward to talking to them."

Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson heads the management team as Legends co-owner.

Sources told ESPN.com that there have been ongoing negotiations between the parties.

Said one source: "The job is [Pearl's] if he wants it."

And for Pearl, it could make sense, but he's still in a twist-in-the-wind situation right now. He is still awaiting to hear back from the NCAA, which will bring down a punishment on him and the Tennessee program some time later this summer or in the early fall. It wouldn't look so good for Pearl to take on a job while he awaits his fate in the NCAA, a fate many believe will include at least a one-year show cause, which means he wouldn't be able to work for any program for that duration.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:32 am
 

More Bruce-Pearl-to-D-League rumors

It is Pearl's bad luck that the NBA is on sabbatical this year. Former Oklahoma and Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson has been able to partially rehabilitate his reputation in the NBA after his two run-ins with recruiting violations in the NCAA. Bruce has lots of enthusiasm and some good coaching skills to offer the Legends.

 But what a comedown from running a prominent and successful college basketball program to seeking work at a D-League level. This is the result and example for the remaining coaches to never lie to the NCAA. Recruiting violations are said to occur at many major college programs, encouraging each other to cleat to stay abreast the competition. A sad result of paying way too much money for coaching now. As soon as the million dollar per year contracts started popping up the rewards outweighed the risks. A few good years might bank $5-8M - enough to provide a cushion for the rest of a life. Perhaps Pearl failed to save his money. Now he will take long bus rides to games and stay in motels that do not know about the star-rankings at all. A far cry from the SEC days.

I hope coach Pearl can use this job as a stepping stone to work in the future in the NBA. He will not have to paint his body or lead cheers but he can coach some pretty amazing basketball players. Best of luck, coach, and remember to tell the truth.


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