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Billy Knight May Be Grizzlies’ GM

April 13, 2000

VANCOUVER (AP) _ Billy Knight, a former NBA All-Star and now an Indiana Pacers executive, has been offered the job as the Grizzlies general manager, the Vancouver Sun reported today.

Knight, vice president of basketball operations for Indiana, refused to say whether he had even talked with Vancouver.

``I don’t know if or when anything is ever going to happen,″ Knight told The Associated Press from Phoenix, where he is attending a pre-draft camp. ``People start rumors and try to get rumors to become rumors. So I don’t want to get into all of that stuff.″

Quoting unidentified sources, the Sun said Knight was offered the job and might have already taken it. He would replace Stu Jackson, who is almost certain to be fired by new owner Michael Heisley when the Chicago billionaire takes control of the team at the end of the season.

Like all the names that have surfaced since Heisley’s $160-million bid to buy the Grizzlies was accepted in late January, Knight has a link to Dick Versace.

Versace, who has been giving basketball advice to Heisley, is a former head coach of the Pacers. When his name became linked to Heisley a couple of months ago, it appeared he would probably become general manager. But it now looks as if he might replace Lionel Hollins as head coach.

Since retiring as a player after the 1984-85 season, Knight has worked in several jobs for the Pacers, including community relations, scout, assistant coach and director of player personnel.

Heisley, who had his ownership bid approved by the NBA board of governors on Tuesday, is refusing to comment until he closes his deal with Orca Bay. That won’t happen until the end of the regular season.

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