The Miami Heat on Friday zeroed in on a head coach, had their new stadium inaugurated and mulled over a draft schedule that has them playing their first regular-season NBA game at home against the Los Angeles Clippers.
There's a "strong possibility" either Detroit Pistons assistant Ron Rothstein or Utah Jazz assistant Jerry Sloan will be tapped for the coaching position, Heat player personnel director Stu Inman said.Miami television station WTVJ reported Friday that Rothstein would receive the nod, but said the team refused public comment and quoted Rothstein as saying he had not been contacted.
Heat part-owners Billy Cunningham and Lewis Schaffel, along with Inman, met Thursday night to try to reach a decision on a coach.
"The nice thing about the two people we've interviewed is there's no question that they're NBA head coaches," said Cunningham, in charge of the Heat's coach-finding search.
Rothstein was interviewed last week, and Sloan returned home Thursday following a meeting with the team.
The Heat wants to have a coach and his staff in place by July 27, when players begin arriving for a two-week camp.
"That's a very critical time," Inman said.
The Miami Heat got a home on Friday as officials cut the ribbon to inaugurate Miami Arena, the largest such facility in the Southeast and site of the team's 42 home games for the 1988-89 season.
The arena, which cost about $52 million, will seat 15,500 for NBA games, and slightly more at concerts and boxing matches.
The Heat are looking at a draft schedule that has the Los Angeles Clippers opening Miami's regular season at the arena on Nov. 5.