Wednesday, June 4
No games scheduled. The NBA finals begin Thursday night in Boston.

Flip Saunders was fired as Pistons' coach Tuesday, four days after Detroit was eliminated from the Eastern Conference finals for the third straight year. Saunders, 176-70 in the regular season and 30-21 in the postseason with Detroit, had a year left on a four-year deal he signed in 2005. His ouster comes three years after he took over for Larry Brown, who led the Pistons to two straight NBA finals. Assistant coach Michael Curry appears to be the leading candidate to replace Saunders. Other possible candidates include Detroit assistant Terry Porter and former Dallas coach Avery Johnson.


Sacramento assistant coach Chuck Person is set to have a second interview with the Chicago Bulls for their vacant head coaching job, despite reports that Doug Collins will get the position. Person joined the Kings last year after spending the previous two as an assistant with Indiana, where he played six of his 13 NBA seasons.

``He's a Picasso in basketball shoes, absolutely - one of those once-in-a-lifetime players. Kobe is the ultimate closer in the game. In all sports you seem to have people who play at a high level when it's important. You don't see anyone do it like him today, you really don't.'' - NBA great Jerry West, who traded for Kobe Bryant on draft day in 1996 as Lakers general manager.
``It doesn't mean anything now, and there's nothing that's similar now. The coaching staffs aren't the same, the philosophy of basketball isn't the same. The towns are still the same. A lot of the same type of people. Beantown is still Beantown, that's for sure. But they've won a baseball World Series now, so they're not so bedraggled.'' - Lakers coach Phil Jackson on comparisons to the past Lakers-Celtics rivalries.

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