Originally created 07/20/98

Carlisle takes himself out of contention for Bulls' coaching job



INDIANAPOLIS -- Rick Carlisle has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Chicago Bulls' coaching job to stay as an assistant with the Indiana Pacers.

The Indianapolis Star reported Sunday that Carlisle telephoned Jerry Krause, the Bulls' vice president of basketball operations, to tell him of his decision.

Carlisle, 38, has been an NBA assistant since 1989, serving with New Jersey and Portland before Pacers coach Larry Bird hired him last year.

Carlisle interviewed with Krause and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on July 7. He is among a small group publicly acknowledged as candidates to replace Phil Jackson, who led the Bulls to the NBA championship six times in the past eight years.

The other candidates include Scott Skiles, an assistant at Phoenix; Iowa State coach Tim Floyd; and longtime NBA assistants Ron Rothstein and Paul Silas.

"The reasons purely relate to how I feel about our players, our ownership, (team president) Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird," Carlisle was quoted as saying. "We have a very unusual group of players here, and I believe those guys are excited about making another run at a championship. There are just too many positives here."

Carlisle directed Indiana's offense last year. The Pacers pushed Chicago to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals before falling 88-83 at the United Center.

"I've never known a situation where an assistant coach had total input on what a team does offensively," Carlisle said. "To me, this is the closest you can come to being a head coach. This year has given me so much experience about how to think like a head coach. I couldn't have asked for anything more."