Nets deny plans to hire Valvano

December 19, 1991|By Newsday

Alan Aufzien, the New Jersey Nets' chairman of the board, denied last night that coach Bill Fitch was about to be fired and replaced by former North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano.

Reports published yesterday in The Record of Hackensack, N.J., and USA Today indicated that the change was imminent, and two people with knowledge of the situation told Newsday yesterday that the change would be made soon.

Aufzien said, however, that Nets vice president Willis Reed is in charge of basketball operations, and Reed said: "As of now there have not been any changes in our basketball program. Bill is our coach. Are we happy with our record? No. But at this point, we're not looking to make any changes."

Reed said minority owner Joe Taub had met with Valvano, who is a commentator for ABC and ESPN. But Reed said he did not know whether Taub offered the job to Valvano, and Aufzien said it didn't matter if he did.

Valvano's lawyer, Arthur Kaminsky, issued a statement confirming talks with the Nets, but told The Associated Press: "Jim has not signed with the Nets. He is in conversations with the Nets, ABC and ESPN to discuss his future."

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