Bruce Pearl: Job in NBA's D-League Won't Get Pearl Back to Promised Land
If Bruce Pearl wants to get back to being a head man somewhere, it isn't going to happen in the D-League.
The former Tennessee coach is floating around, pondering his future after being fired by the Volunteers amid a scandal involving NCAA violations. Pearl is a major free agent right now, and while he's entertaining offers about a possible TV deal, the Dallas Mavericks have come calling about him coaching their D-League squad.
"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."
Coaching in the D-League is a logical step for Pearl in his quest to break into the NBA, most likely as an assistant coach. But Pearl is in high demand as a college basketball analyst after he was fired by Tennessee in the spring, so it remains to be seen whether Pearl wants to make an immediate return to coaching or if he'll opt for a more lucrative position in TV.
With the NBA about to go through lockout hell, the last thing I would do if I were Pearl is sign up to coach a team. College basketball will still be around, and if he can get himself in the studio, he would thrive and get plenty of exposure.
Pearl may want to get to an NBA bench, but he should play his cards right and avoid jumping into something with an uncertain labor situation. The coach's reputation will be the same if he joins the team or goes to the studio and if I'm a coach with NBA aspirations, I avoid anything associated with the league until there's a new collective bargaining agreement.
Right now, the players and owners are ready to rip each other to shreds, and this is going to make the NFL lockout look like play time at a daycare center. If I were trying to rebuild my career like Pearl is, I'd stay far, far away from the league.
This lockout threatens to tear the sport to the ground, and if Pearl isn't careful, it could take him down with it.
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