Bruce Pearl flirted with the D-League for a few months. Unfortunately, crossing "seeing Bruce Pearl in the Bismarck Civic Center" off of my bucket list doesn't seem like it will happen anytime soon ... unless a grocery trade show comes through the booming metropolis, that is.
The former Tennessee Volunteers head coach has accepted a job with the wholesale grocery distributing company H.T. Hackney as vice president of marketing and will start his new job on Thursday. There's no word yet on if his salary is anything close to the $500,000 that Donnie Nelson was offering Pearl to coach the Dallas Mavericks' D-League affiliate Texas Legends.
All in all, I'm sort of disappointed this is done, despite my complaints to the contrary. Pearl would have probably brought more eyeballs to the NBA Development League -- even if they were only Andy Katz's -- and that's ultimately what the league needs to continue on its uphill path to legitimacy in the eyes of the basketball-following public.
The Legends will now continue their search for the team's successor to Nancy Lieberman and I've already told Legends management that they won't have to up Pearl's offer in order to bring me in.
If that doesn't work, however, I would assume the usual names like Tulsa 66ers assistant Dale Osborne, Rio Grande Valley Vipers assistant Paul Mokeski, Idaho Stampede associate head coach Joel Abelson, former Utah Flash head coach Kevin Young and recent Reno Bighorns assistant Clay Moser would probably be among those vying for a promotion within the D-League.
Yay coaching searches!