boston.com Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe
NBA NOTEBOOK

Magic turn toward Van Gundy

All signs point toward Orlando letting Billy Donovan return to coach the University of Florida. (FILE/BILL HABER/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Orlando Magic are close to resolving their coaching fiasco by agreeing to a deal to dismiss Billy Donovan and hire Stan Van Gundy, according to reports yesterday.

ESPN.com reported Donovan and the team were finalizing an agreement for his departure. Terms would prevent Donovan from coaching in the NBA for five years, sources said. The Orlando Sentinel reported that the Magic offered a contract to Van Gundy, currently advising Pat Riley in Miami.

The Magic might have to compensate the Heat with money or a draft pick because Van Gundy is under contract through June 30, 2008. Miami only has a first-round pick (No. 20 overall) in this year's draft, while Orlando has a first-rounder and three second-round selections.

Reached at his home last night, Van Gundy declined comment when asked if either the Magic or Sacramento Kings had made contract offers.

Donovan stunned the basketball world by agreeing to a five-year, $27.5 million deal Thursday. He met the media Friday, and a day later told the club he wanted out of the contract.

Van Gundy's brother, Jeff, was on Rick Pitino's staff at Providence when Donovan played for the Friars, and the two have remained close. Jeff Van Gundy told Florida Today that Donovan was distraught. "I think Bill has been conflicted," he said. "He's a very good man who feels badly that he's put the Magic in a bad position, but he's following his heart. And his heart is telling him that he should be at the University of Florida."

A true diaper dandy

As if the NBA Finals weren't enough, LeBron James has another major event coming up. He has another son on the way.

James, 22, is thrilled about the upcoming birth of his second son with girlfriend Savannah Brinson.

"It's great," James said shortly before the Cavaliers left for San Antonio to prepare for tomorrow night's start of the Finals.

"Any time you are able to have another child and something to live for and have responsibility for, it's always a big step in any man's life. And that I'm a part of the Finals, something I've always watched growing up, it's something special."

Brinson is due to deliver June 17, when the Cavaliers are tentatively scheduled to host Game 5 in Cleveland. Will she make it? "No," James said with a smile. "I don't think so."

If she goes into labor and the Cavaliers are still in Texas, James may not be able to get back to Ohio in time for the birth.

James has discussed that possibility with his loved ones. "My family understands what's going on," he said. "We've sat down and talked and we know how important this is for me and how important I am to my teammates. Savannah knows that and she knows if there's an opportunity I can be there, I will. And if not, I'm going to support my teammates. She understands."

Reed's jersey sold
The Knicks jersey worn by an injured Willis Reed when he limped onto the Madison Square Garden court to help win the seventh game of the 1970 NBA Finals was sold for $90,000 at auction in New York. Reed, who had a knee injury, played 27 minutes in the Knicks' 113-99 victory over the Lakers for the first of the franchise's two championships.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES