Chicago Sun-Times

Harris' retirement official; Bulls doc voted best

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Following reports, the Bulls finally announced Tuesday that Del Harris is calling it quits after a 50-year coaching career.
``I would like to thank Del Harris for all of his hard work and dedication this past season," general manager Gar Forman said.  ``He has had a terrific career and we wish him the best in his retirement." 
Harris, 71, was with the Bulls for a single season as an assistant to Vinny Del Negro. His career included coaching the NBA, college, international and high school teams. Harris began his NBA coaching career as an assistant with the Houston Rockets in 1976, and was a coach or scout/consultant in the NBA for 29 seasons - including 27 trips to the NBA Playoffs.  His stints include: Houston (1976-83), Milwaukee (1983-91), L.A. Lakers (1994-98), Dallas (2000-08) and Chicago (2008-09).  In 12 full seasons as a head coach, Harris compiled a 556-457 (.549) overall record with three different teams (L.A. Lakers - 1994-98, Milwaukee - 1987-91, Houston - 1979-83).  Overall, he coached in 202 career playoff games (88 as a head coach), including an NBA Finals appearance in 1981 with the Rockets.  Harris was the recipient of the 1995 NBA Coach of the Year Award with the Lakers, and joins Pat Riley and Phil Jackson as the only coaches in Los Angeles franchise history to register three consecutive 50-plus win seasons.
``I was very fortunate to have Del by my side this past season,'' Del Negro said. ``His knowledge and understanding of the game were an incredible benefit and help,"
In other news, Bulls physician Brian Cole has been named the 2009 NBA Team Physician of the Year as voted on by the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA).
``The Bulls organization is proud of our association with Dr. Brian Cole and this award recognizes what we have been keenly aware of the last five years," Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said. ``Brian is an outstanding doctor who cares about our players and works extremely hard to give them the best care possible. The entire Chicago Bulls organization congratulates Brian and thanks him for his dedication."
In addition to the award, the NBATA will be making a $1,000 donation to the charity of Dr. Cole's choice.
Dr. Cole, a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics with a conjoint appointment in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, has been chosen as one of the "Best Doctors in America" each year since 2004 and as a "Top Doctor" in the Chicago Metro area each year since 2003. In 2006, he was featured as "Chicago's Top Doctor" and placed on the cover of Chicago Magazine. Dr. Cole is also the co-team physician for the Chicago White Sox.

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Brian Cole, Team Physician of the Year in the NBA, huh? When last I read about Luol Deng, he was seeking out a 3rd opinion with a medical specialist about his mysterious injury, right? Sounds like Lu wasn't all too keen about Cole's original diagnosis? Interesting.

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