Cooper to coach Developmental League team

Updated: August 10, 2005, 11:16 PM ET
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE -- One-time Los Angeles Lakers star and University of New Mexico standout Michael Cooper is returning to Albuquerque to coach a new NBA Development League team.

"Now that I'm through with my playing days, coaching is what's satisfying for me," he said.

Cooper said Tuesday his appointment brought back recollections of his first arrival in Albuquerque in the 1970s.

"I have the same giddy feeling -- less hair, but I feel young again," he said.

Cooper said he thinks teaching is his best attribute.

"Here, I'll be able to teach younger guys the game," he said. "With the way dollars are today in the NBA, it's rare to be able to teach kids the fundamentals of basketball."

Cooper, 49, played for the Lobos from 1976 to 1978.

He joined the Los Angeles Lakers, playing for them for 11 seasons before retiring in 1990 after five NBA championships.

Cooper was a special assistant to then-Lakers general manager Jerry West for three seasons and, in 1994, became a Lakers assistant coach.

Cooper joined the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks as an assistant coach in 1999 and took over as head coach the next season. He guided the Sparks to two championships.

Cooper left the Sparks last year to join the Denver Nuggets as an assistant coach. He became interim coach Dec. 31 and was later replaced by George Karl. Cooper has been a scout for the Nuggets since then.

Golden State Warriors: Monta Ellis, one of the Warriors' two second-round draft picks, agreed to a multiyear contract with the club Wednesday.

Ellis entered the NBA draft after finishing high school in Jackson, Miss., but wasn't selected until the 40th overall pick. He averaged 15.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the Warriors' summer-league team in Las Vegas last month.

Chris Taft -- the 42nd overall selection -- and first-rounder Ike Diogu already agreed to terms with the Warriors.

New Orleans Hornets: Bob Licht, the play-by-play announcer for the Hornets' radio broadcasts, will move to the television broadcasts in the same capacity, the team announced on Wednesday.

Sean Kelley will take over the radio play-py-play duties.

Licht was the radio announcer for the past nine seasons .

Kelley worked as the Hornets' primary studio host and occasionally filled in on the radio.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE