The NBA notebook …
DETROIT ó Michael Curry will be the Detroit Pistons head coach next season after only one year as an assistant.
A former teammate is not surprised.
Curry is set be introduced as Detroit’s new coach at a news conference today, Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars told The Associated Press.
Dallas Mavericks guard Jerry Stackhouse, who played with Curry in Detroit, said Curry was like a player-coach during his career on the court.
“It was just a matter of time,” Stackhouse said. “Everybody who knew Michael from his playing days knew this is where he would end up.
“He’s going to do great for Detroit because he already has great rapport with those players, who will give him a different kind of respect because he played in the league.”
PHOENIX ó It didn’t take Terry Porter long to understand the expectations facing him as he takes over the Phoenix Suns.
One of the first questions at Porter’s introductory news conference on Monday came from Phil Gordon, a Suns fan who also happens to be the mayor of Phoenix.
“Coach, are we going to have a world champion team this year?” Gordon asked.
As many in the US Airways Center practice court laughed, general manager Steve Kerr turned to Porter and said, “The chair’s hot already, isn’t it?”
CHICAGO ó Vinny Del Negro has been offered the Chicago Bulls head coaching job, according to a person within the league who is familiar with the situation.
An official announcement, which could come this week, would end a nearly two-month search that included courtships of Mike D’Antoni and Doug Collins.
Del Negro, the assistant general manager of the Phoenix Suns who has never been a head coach, would take over a team that went from 49 wins to 49 losses this past season.
The Bulls have the first pick in the draft later this month.
CHAPEL HILL ó North Carolina’s Ty Lawson will workout with the Denver Nuggets after missing a weekend workout because of miscommunication.
The Denver Post reported that Lawson failed to show up for Sunday’s predraft workout. School spokesman Steve Kirschner said Lawson had a conflict and tried to reschedule.
Lawson is now scheduled to work out for the Nuggets today.
Because he hasn’t signed with an agent, the point guard may return to the Tar Heels for his junior season if he withdraws from the draft by next Monday. Denver has the 20th pick.
The 20-year-old was charged with driving after consuming alcohol following a traffic stop early Friday.