Originally created 05/11/00

Daly joins Vancouver management team



VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Chuck Daly, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, joined the Vancouver Grizzlies' management team Wednesday, along with Dick Versace and Billy Knight.

Daly, a former coach with Detroit, New Jersey and Orlando, was hired as a senior adviser. His career coaching record is 638-437 over 14 years.

"I will basically be a resource working mostly south of the border doing everything and anything necessary," Daly said.

Daly, 69, resigned as Orlando coach a year ago.

Versace, a former TBS analyst and coach with the Indiana Pacers who was an assistant under Daly at Detroit, becomes the Grizzlies' president of basketball operations.

"I think there are some good pieces but I don't think there's enough talent," he said of the team, noting he had seen almost every game this season.

But he exuded optimism. "I'm a half-full glass guy," he said.

Knight, the senior vice-president of basketball operations for Indiana, was a former all-star with the Pacers and assistant coach with the team. He is the Grizzlies' general manager.

The moves enabled new Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley to put his stamp on the franchise by replacing most of the senior management staff with his own people.

The team still has to announce a coach.

Reported coaching candidates include Byron Scott, a former Vancouver player who now is an assistant with the Sacramento Kings, and Indiana assistant Rick Carlisle.

"The field is wide open," Versace said.

Heisley called the moves the beginning of an era.

"Together with the fans and the partners of the Vancouver Grizzlies, we are going to build a winning tradition for this franchise," Heisley said. "I will not accept anything else."

Heisley is a Chicago businessman who made millions turning unsuccessful companies into profitable ventures.

"My track record for turning businesses around has been well-documented and I intend to achieve the success again in Vancouver with your support," Heisley said.

The Grizzlies' housecleaning began Monday when coach Lionel Hollins was fired. Stu Jackson, president and GM, announced his resignation Tuesday rather than waiting to be fired.

The new Grizzlies management team has a difficult task. The team was 22-60 this season and lost an estimated $20 million. Vancouver's five-year record is 78-300.

Heisley has promised the Grizzlies will win 25 to 30 games next season and be a playoff team the following year.