Wilkens Hired As Raptors’ Coach
TORONTO (AP) _ Lenny Wilkens was hired as coach of the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, resuming his Hall of Fame career and hoping to stabilize a team in disarray.
The Toronto Sun reported that Wilkens signed a $20 million, four-year contract.
``I’m looking forward to being here,″ Wilkens said at a news conference. ``I’m excited about it and can’t wait to get started.″
He replaces Butch Carter, who was fired June 13 despite leading the team to the playoffs. But Carter questioned his team’s leadership and was embroiled in one dispute after another this season. He also wanted to have the title of general manager.
``I like the team, I like the city,″ Wilkens said. ``I’ve watched the Raptors, I’ve coached against them. I thought last year they made a tremendous stride getting to the playoffs and I think their future is all upward.″
Wilkens quit as coach of the Atlanta Hawks after the season. The Sun said he is owed $10.4 million by the Hawks over the next two seasons, with his Toronto salary to be deducted from that amount.