Lucas Is Nuggets Aide

Posted: September 23, 1998

John Lucas is back in the NBA, surfacing yesterday as the lead assistant on new coach Mike D'Antoni's staff with the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets introduced D'Antoni as the successor to Bill Hanzlik, who was fired at the end of last season.

D'Antoni, in turn, named holdover Mike Evans and former NBA and ABA guard Louie Dampier as the other assistants.

Lucas was the 76ers' vice president of basketball operations, general manager and coach in 1994-95 and '95-96, but had been out of the league the last two seasons.

``I wanted a lead assistant with head-coaching experience, someone who can motivate and connect with the players and who can get down in the trenches with them,'' D'Antoni said.

``He does those things. He deserves another chance to be a head coach someday. I want him to go home each day feeling this is his team, too.''

D'Antoni, who spent seven years coaching in the Italian League, becomes Denver's seventh coach this decade. He joined the Nuggets as director of player personnel last year.

SIX SHOTS In the midst of a lockout that has been in place since July 1, NBA authorities are shortly expected to cancel training camps scheduled to open Oct. 6. It is also likely that the first week of preseason games also will be canceled.

Sixers telecaster Marc Zumoff earned his sixth Emmy in the last seven years for play-by-play and color commentary in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware region . . . The Sixers/Warriors Alumni Association has scheduled a Fall Golf Classic for Friday at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point, N.J., with proceeds benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Ocean City Exchange Club Foundation for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

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