Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, February 20, 2004

Harris named head coach of China team

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) Friday announced that Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Del Harris has been appointed China's head coach for the Olympics campaign.


The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) Friday announced that Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Del Harris has been appointed China's head coach for the Olympics campaign.

Former Lithuanian national team coach Jonas Kazlauskas was named as an assistant coach at a press conference here.

Harris will be the first foreign head coach for the Chinese national squad.

CBA commissioner Li Yuanwei said Harris will not join the Chinese team until the Mavericks' season is over in June and Kazlauskas will fly to China in early March to work as acting headcoach.

Current Chinese national coach Jiang Xingquan will remain with the team as a consultant while his current assistant A Dijiang will serve as an assistant along with Min Lulei.

Harris and Kazlauskas will be under contract until after the Athens Olympic Games, when the CBA will decide whether to keep them onboard in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, CBA spokesman Hu Jiashi said.

The squad would be selected after consulting Harris and his staff.

Hu denied the report that the CBA was paying up to 1.5 million dollars for the two coaches.

"It's not about money. We are not to pay them much. Coach Harris and Kazlauskas are our friends and they are looking forwardto helping China's basketball, " he said.

The 66-year-old Harris logged a record of 556-457 in 13 years as a head coach with the Houston Rockets, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Lakers. He took Houston to the 1981 NBA Finals, where they fell to the Boston Celtics.

Kazlauskas directed Lithuania to bronze medal at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

China finished 10th at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and 12th at the 2002 World Championships. Enditem

Profile: China basketball head coach Harris
Following is the profile of DelmerHarris, who has been appointed head coach of Chinese basketball national team:

Full Name: Delmer W. Harris

Nickname: Leslie Nielsen lookalike, Dull Harris

Born: June 19, 1937 - Orleans,

In Height: 6-4

College: Milligan College

NBA Coaching record (tabulated under Year, Team, won, lost, winning percentage, won in playoffs, lost in playoffs and winning percentage in playoffs):

1979-80 Houston 41 41 .500 2 5 .286

1980-81 Houston 40 42 .488 12 9 .571

1981-82 Houston 46 36 .561 1 2 .333

1982-83 Houston 14 68 .171

1987-88 Milwaukee 42 40 .512 2 3 .400

1988-89 Milwaukee 49 33 .598 3 6 .333

1989-90 Milwaukee 44 38 .537 1 3 .250

1990-91 Milwaukee 48 34 .585 0 3 .000

1991-92 Milwaukee 8 9 .471

1994-95 LA Lakers 48 34 .585 5 5 .500

1995-96 LA Lakers 53 29 .646 1 3 .250

1996-97 LA Lakers 56 26 .683 4 5 .444

1997-98 LA Lakers 61 21 .744 7 6 .539

TOTALS 489 430 .532 31 44 .413

He was selected 1994-95 coach of the year after leading the Lakers to a 15-win improvement.

He stressed defense during successful coaching tenures at Houston and Milwaukee.

He compiled 175-70 coaching record at Earlham College from 1965-74.

He averaged 18.0 ppg during college career (1955-59) at Milligan College in Tennessee.

Source: Xinhua

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