|Friendship with Jordan outweighs coaching desire for Peterson|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 21 June 2007 13:38|
Peterson has spent the past 20 years as a college basketball coach. He's the guy who after being fired at Tennessee two years ago, almost immediately took over at low profile Coastal Carolina because he said coaching was in his blood.
But when Peterson picked up the phone and the best man in his wedding, Michael Jordan, was at the other end offering him a front office job with the Charlotte Bobcats, he couldn't pass it up.
``I think the point that's going to bother me more than anything is October,'' Peterson said Thursday, a week into his new role as the Bobcats' director of player personnel. ``That's when you're working out your practice plans, you're telling your assistants what they need to be doing and kind of seeing how your younger kids are going to play. That's the part I'll miss.
``But once I get out of that, I'm still going to have my thumb in basketball.''
And his first chance to work with Jordan, the Bobcats part-owner who has the final say on all basketball decisions.
Peterson and Jordan met while high school basketball players in North Carolina. Peterson beat out Jordan for the state player of the year in 1981. They both went to North Carolina, became roommates, and helped the Tar Heels win the national championship as freshmen.
The two remained close, and that friendship outweighed his coaching desires.
``People ask if I'll ever coach again. I can never shut the door on it. You never know,'' Peterson said. ``I know that a good friend has given me an opportunity here, to work with him. I believe in him and I know he believes in having loyal people around him. That's why we've gone back for so long.
``As I told my athletic director and the president at Coastal Carolina, 'I just cannot see passing up this great opportunity to work alongside a good friend.'''
Peterson will run the Bobcats' scouting department, will be involved in the draft and have a voice in personnel decisions. While being Jordan's friend was probably his top asset, new coach Sam Vincent believes Peterson's college experience is important with the influx of young players in the NBA.
``In Buzz, we've hired a guy who has a natural feel for the game and knowledge that will benefit our coaching and scouting staff,'' said Bernie Bickerstaff, vice president of basketball operations.