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Cowens' salary talk stings Hornets
Posted: Wednesday February 17, 1999 06:58 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Charlotte Hornets vice president Bob Bass says complaints by coach Dave Cowens that he's underpaid and unappreciated were ill-timed in light of the team's early-season stumble.
Cowens said earlier this week he didn't expect to be around next season because Hornets management wouldn't give him a significant raise.
"It's just about feeling appreciated," Cowens said Tuesday in California.
"The team is already wrecked with injuries," Bass said. "For your head coach to make statements like this, he's actually damaged the team further.
"How many hits this can this team take? He's the leader of the team saying something like that. It's very unfortunate to me. I was shocked."
When asked if Cowens would continue as coach, Bass replied: "He's our coach of record right now."
Cowens is in the final year of a three-year contract, with the team holding an option for a fourth year. This season he's making $675,000, among the lowest in the NBA. But he said he might not be back for the fourth year even if the Hornets offer the option.
"I don't need millions and millions of dollars," Cowens said Monday to the Winston-Salem Journal. "I just want to get paid fairly."
Cowens said he spoke Tuesday with Bass, who told him he was upset with the comments.
When asked before Tuesday night's 116-88 loss to the Lakers if he was concerned about being fired, Cowens said: "No, I don't have any concern. They could, and maybe they should. I don't know."
The outspoken Mason said of remarks: "I think that's cool for Dave to say that if he feels that way. How are people going to know it if he doesn't say something? Keeping it in would be a bigger problem, I think."
Guard Bobby Phills added: "He's just speaking his mind, from what I hear. Maybe he and the owner can work things out and see if they're on the same page."
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