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Sources: Bulls interview Rockets' Turner about vacancy


Posted May 21 2010 6:07AM

CHICAGO -- With Doug Collins accepting the Philadelphia 76ers' coaching vacancy Thursday, the Chicago Bulls moved on with their coaching search, interviewing Houston Rockets assistant coach Elston Turner for four hours Thursday afternoon, according to sources, at the NBA Pre-Draft Camp.

The 50-year-old Turner has become a top head coaching candidate in the last three years, after a career as an assistant with the Kings, Blazers and Rockets. He had a strong interview earlier this month in Philadelphia for the then-vacant job, but the 76ers had zeroed in Collins, who has extensive head coaching experience in Chicago, Detroit and Washington -- making the playoffs all but three times in eight seasons -- and who was familiar with Philly from his days as the team's former No. 1 pick in the 1973 Draft.

Turner also interviewed for the vacant Phoenix Suns job two years ago before the Suns hired Terry Porter. Porter lasted less than one season before being fired and replaced by Alvin Gentry, who has led the Suns to the Western Conference finals. Turner was a finalist for the Timberwolves' job last summer before Minnesota hired then-Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis.

He has developed a reputation as an excellent Xs and Os tactician in his years as Rick Adelman's top assistant in Houston, which followed the Portland and Sacramento stints.

The Bulls were interested in bringing back Collins, who'd been their head coach from 1986 to 1989 and got them to the Eastern Conference finals. Collins almost took the Chicago job two years ago before mutually deciding with managing general partner Jerry Reinsdorf not to proceed forward. Collins also interviewed for the still-vacant New Orleans Hornets job this year and was considered last summer for the PIstons' then-open job before removing himself from consideration.

The Bulls have been doing their due diligence for a new coach to replace Vinny Del Negro, fired after Chicago's first-round loss to the Cavaliers, for the past few weeks. Chicago is also believed to be interested in former Nets coach Lawrence Frank, and the Bulls will likely want to expand their search if Cleveland fires Mike Brown.

Longtime NBA reporter and columnist David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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