Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Bucks fire GM Larry Harris
Bucks owner Herb Kohl was quoted as saying the Bucks "need a fresh approach". Kohl is looking to shake things up for a team that's 23-44 and coming off a loss to the worst team, record wise in the NBA, the Miami Heat.
"It was for me a very difficult decision," Kohl said. "Larry Harris has been a very good and highly valued member of the Milwaukee Bucks for 20 years. My heart and my head were at a different place. My heart certainly wanted to maintain our relationship.
"But my head told me the needs of our organization at this time were such that I believed we needed to have an outside person with a fresh approach to take a look at our basketball organization, to see how we can get better and get back to the playoffs."
Harris knew the Bucks had to produce quickly this season or he would be in jeopardy, as he was working in the final year of his contract. Harris received an extension in November 2005, one that added two years to his deal and carried through the current season.
Kohl rejected notions that he had been "a meddler" and said he reserved the right to help make decisions on major personnel or coaches.
"There has been a minimum of second-guessing, if any," Kohl said. "The only time I stepped in to differ with him to some degree was on this recent rumor of a trade for Zach Randolph. I personally thought that was not the right thing for us to do."
At the February trade deadline, Harris had a deal in place with the New York Knicks to trade Bobby Simmons, Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell for Randolph and Fred Jones.
Kohl elaborated later in the news conference and said he didn't want to make the deal due to Randolph's off-court problems in Portland and his struggles in New York this season, and due to the hefty contract still due the former Michigan State star.
Director of player personnel Dave Babcock will run the day-to-day operations of the team until a new general manager is selected, but Kohl said Babcock would not be a candidate for the general manager position.
"At this point I'd rather not say anything about anybody, except it's wide open for the best person we can find."