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Kimmel talks sale with Six

If nothing else, Wayne Kimmel has his foot in the door as a suitor in the potential sale of the 76ers.

The Daily News has confirmed through multiple sources that Kimmel, one of the founders of ETF Venture Funds, met earlier this week with representatives of Comcast Corp., the parent company of Comcast-Spectacor, which oversees the Sixers, Flyers, Phantoms, the Wachovia Center, the Wachovia Spectrum, Comcast SportsNet and various other entities.

A source confirmed that Kimmel was accompanied by a partner in the venture, Andrew Barroway of the law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, of Radnor.

Sources also indicated that two other groups have been scheduled to meet with Comcast representatives, but that there should be no inference that these are the final three groups involved, or that Comcast is necessarily prepared to sell to one of these groups or any other group.

It is not known whether Comcast has set a deadline of any sort to resolve the situation.

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Grunwald Gets a Jump-Start on the Knicks

Glen Grunwald’s first act as a Knicks employee was to announce his arrival — two and a half hours before his new employer did.

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Karl eager to get going

With basketballs bouncing and Nuggets playing nearby behind a closed door at the Pepsi Center, coach George Karl sat comfortably Thursday morning with the arrival of training camp in Durango just days away.

With Kenyon Martin, star forward Carmelo Anthony, the new running offense and USA Basketball among the hot topics, Karl spoke about many matters.

Spears: There have been rumors that the Nuggets are going to try to be a Phoenix Suns-like running team this season. Is that true?

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Doc’s back on call: Battle-tested Rivers ready to lead young C’s

Doc Rivers returned from Orlando to a smoking landscape last week.
Bill Belichick -- a man the Celtics coach freely admits, “I love. He’s one of my favorite active coaches” -- is enduring more criticism than at any point since 2000, before the Patriots won their first Super Bowl.
Mere miles from Rivers’ digs in a downtown Boston hotel, eerily quiet Fenway Park is disturbed only by occasional upbraids of Red Sox management, including Terry Francona.
“Obviously you didn’t hear anything when they were winning titles,” Rivers said. “But the great thing about Belichick is that no matter what anyone says, he won’t change.

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Grunwald to join Knicks' front office

He worked for the Board of Trade. Now, he'll be trading for help on the boards.

After weeks of rumours and denials, Glen Grunwald confirmed yesterday he will be joining his old friend Isiah Thomas with the National Basketball Association's New York Knicks as their senior vice-president of basketball operations.

"It's the siren song of the NBA, I guess," Grunwald said in a telephone interview yesterday after announcing his decision to leave his post as the president and chief executive officer of the Toronto Board of Trade for the hurly-burly of the Knicks' front office. "It's a fun job and there's not many of them, and I think I can help get things done."

It's his first job in the NBA since his contract wasn't renewed by the Toronto Raptors after the 2003-04 season.

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Brown And Knicks On Collision Course

Knicks brass doesn't believe Larry Brown gave it his all to win games last season.

But it's clear Brown is hell-bent on winning today, treating his meeting with the Knicks as Armageddon. Brown and his pack of high-priced Washington, D.C., attorneys will try to squeeze the Knicks for another $53.5 million during today's Manhattan hearing with NBA commissioner David Stern presiding.

Brown, Knicks president Isiah Thomas and owner James Dolan are expected to be in the same conference room to battle for the last time and end a disgusting 14-month chapter of Knicks history that saw Team Titanic post a 23-59 record. An NBA source said Stern could take two weeks to rule, meaning the Brown issue likely will linger after training camp begins Monday.

The Knicks withheld the $41 million remaining on Brown's pact "for cause." According to a 10Q form filed by the Garden with the Securities and Exchange commission, Brown is seeking $53.5M, or $12.5M more than his remaining pact, for "liquidated damages" and attorney's fees."

The Post has learned the document also states the Knicks' payout would be "offset" by a salary of another job taken across the next four years.

"It is the company's view no portion of this amount is owed to Mr. Brown," the document states.

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Bobcats sign NBADL’s Conroy, wait on Ely

Bonzi Wells won’t be coming, Melvin Ely’s return is still uncertain and a former D-League standout Will Conroy will be among the roster hopefuls when the Charlotte Bobcats open training camp next week.

That’s the assessment of Bobcats coach and general manager Bernie Bickerstaff as NBA roster slots are filling up all around the league.

The biggest news Thursday was that Bonzi Wells had agreed to a two-year, $5 million free agent contract with the Houston Rockets. Wells, who had turned down a 5-year, $36 million contract with the Sacramento Kings over the summer, has the option on the second year of the deal and chose Houston after receiving interest from the Bobcats, the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat.

“He was leaning towards Houston in the conversations we had,” Bickerstaff said of Wells’ visit to Charlotte Sept. 21.

But Bickerstaff is currently more concerned with the status of restricted free agent Melvin Ely.

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Johnson, Nuggets near deal

The Nuggets are low on guards. But some help is on the way.

DerMarr Johnson, a shooting guard who has played the past two seasons with the Nuggets, said Thursday he's "going to (re-sign) before training camp" begins Tuesday in Durango.

The Nuggets also are on the verge of signing point guard Anthony Carter, a seven-year veteran who played the past two seasons for Minnesota, to a nonguaranteed deal.

Johnson said he will sign a guaranteed deal for more than the minimum of $932,015. He wouldn't offer further details.

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Nets: Improved version of Jay Williams

Before this great experiment begins -- and it's exactly that, because his hideous array of injuries make an ACL tear look like a hangnail -- Jay Williams wants to get one thing straight:

He's not Jay Williams anymore. At least not the one you're familiar with seeing.

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Jay Williams Signs With the Nets

The Nets signed the free-agent point guard Jay Williams to a one-year contract yesterday, allowing him to take part in training camp. But it seems unlikely that the Nets will retain Williams after camp because they have a full roster. The Nets may release Williams at any time without a financial penalty.

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Volatile Fortson plays nice

One of the major issues expected to surface in Sonics training camp might have dissipated before it even began.

Volatile forward Danny Fortson has been in Seattle for the past week and said Thursday he will report to camp on time Monday and fulfill any role that is asked this season for the Sonics.

Fortson will earn $6.6 million in 2006-07, the final year of his contract. He said he expected to be traded -- considering his expiring contract could have served as a valuable trade chip -- but will not cause any controversy regardless of his role.

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Lynam, Mix returning to coaching staff

Coaching, as we have always known, is in Jim Lynam's blood. As it turns out, it's also in Steve Mix' blood.

Lynam officially returned to the 76ers as an assistant coach yesterday after missing all of last season while dealing with a personal medical issue. Mix, the Sixers' longtime TV analyst and former forward, will fill in as the team's big-man coach during training camp in Barcelona, Spain.

"I feel good, plain and simple," said Lynam, preparing to travel with the team tonight for a camp practice schedule that begins tomorrow evening. "I've felt good for a good stretch. I was in no position to miss [coaching] last year. Now, I'm looking forward to it very much."

Lynam returns as part of head coach Maurice Cheeks' holdover staff, including Henry Bibby, John Loyer, Bernie Smith and Moses Malone.

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Guard Wells to sign with Rockets

With multiple media outlets reporting that free-agent guard Bonzi Wells has agreed to terms with the Houston Rockets, the Heat could announce shortly an agreement with free-agent swingman Shandon Anderson.

Heat coach Pat Riley had placed talks with Anderson on hold as the team attempted to entice Wells. But with Wells opting for the lure of a more defined role in Houston, the Heat moved toward a third season with Anderson.


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Hinrich has time on his side

Patience could prove to be more than a virtue for Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich.

Team general manager John Paxson and Jeff Austin, Hinrich's agent, have begun negotiations on a contract extension for Hinrich, who will begin his fourth NBA season when the Bulls' training camp officially gets under way Tuesday. But by virtue of the league's current collective-bargaining agreement with the players association, putting off such a deal for one more season could result in an extra guaranteed year on what is expected to be a long-term pact.

''Jeff Austin and I have both kind of agreed not to publicly make any statement,'' Paxson said Thursday. ''But the reality of the situation is that on an extension, Kirk is eligible to get five years [now]. Next year he'll be eligible to get six. If I'm Kirk's agent -- he's not one of these 21- or 22-year-old guys, he's going to be 26 this year -- I think it's probably wise of them to look toward next summer when they can get a six-year deal from us.


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