Jeff Bower, the general manager for the New Orleans Hornets, is one of the most respected men in the field. Not a shock that he got a call to talk to New Jersey about their position being vacated by Rod Thorn.
But in a statement on Tuesday, he pulled out of the race.
“I appreciate the interest shown by the N.J. Nets to discuss the opportunity with me to head up their basketball operations,” Bowers statement read. “At this time, however, it is not the right fit for the Nets or myself. I remain focused on improving our Hornets roster on a daily basis.”
Thorn’s assistant GM Bobby Marks appears to be the frontrunner now.
New Nets coach Avery Johnson may have something to do with Bowers pulling out, suggests Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. Coaches are always leery of new GMs brought in over their heads, and Bowers chose not to hire Johnson for the Hornets job. Automatic tension there. Wojnarowski also said he heard Johnson is trying to get as much free agent power for himself as he can.
It strikes me that with the new ownership, people are still finding the roles and who has power, so people grab what they can if they can. But things will shake out soon.