A decent shot

Six years after coaching a wretched Mavs team, Gar Heard finally gets back in the game

Heard left Dallas at the end of the season for the Indiana Pacers; during his five-year tenure with head coach Larry Brown in Indiana, the team averaged 47 wins a season, landing in the playoffs as often as the Mavericks stayed away from the post-season. From there, he and Brown went to Philadelphia; then, last season, Heard ended up with the Detroit Pistons under Alvin Gentry. There was a time when he had hoped to land back in Dallas, but saw that chance disappear when Dick Motta was brought back in 1994.

So now Gar Heard is in Washington, where he's expected to fail simply because he's not a big name. In a perfect world, the Wizards will go 82-0 during the 1999-2000 regular season, sweep the playoffs, and win the finals. Couldn't happen to a nicer -- or more qualified -- guy.

"I didn't come here for recognition," Heard says. "I came here because I got an opportunity to make this team win. If I win, no matter how many press conferences Phil holds in L.A., it won't make a difference."

Now, about that Dallas coaching job...

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