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Monday, June 9
Updated: June 23, 4:57 PM ET
Floyd's base salary: $4.8 million for three years news services

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Hornets decided to give Tim Floyd a chance to prove he is a better coach than his disastrous NBA debut with the Chicago Bulls.

Worst winning percentages
(all-time; min. 200 games coached)
Coach Sport Pct.
Tim Floyd NBA .205
Sidney Lowe NBA .257
Curt Fraser NHL .285
Bobby Wallace MLB .287
Ron Rothstein NBA .296

Floyd, whose 49-190 record with Chicago in just over three seasons left him with one of the lowest wining percentages in NBA history, reached an agreement with the Hornets on Monday.

Floyd said he will earn about $4.8 million in base salary over three years, plus incentives tied to playoff victories, but added, "I didn't get back into this for the money."

Hornets vice president Bob Bass has long said it would be unfair to judge Floyd -- a successful college coach -- by his experience in Chicago, where he had a young and often changing roster in the Bulls' post-Michael Jordan era.

Floyd "never made one excuse. He had patience and understanding in a very difficult situation," Bass said. "I sincerely believe he'll develop our young players, and at the same time let our veteran players use their talents -- let them play. That's what was important to me."

Floyd also contrasted his new job with his last one, saying that personnel decisions in Chicago constantly put him back at "square-one."

The Hornets, who have made the playoffs four straight seasons, have the type of roster any coach would want, he said.

"It's a team comprised of very skilled veteran players and talented kids," Floyd said. "This is a team and organization that has not only won, but one I believe will win at a higher level."

Floyd, who was a guest Tuesday on the The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio, said he has talked to and is considering hiring former Iowa State coach Larry Eustachy as an assistant.

Eustachy resigned last month after publication of photographs showing his partying at an apartment in Columbia, Mo., after Iowa State's Jan. 21 loss. The photos, printed in The Des Moines Register, were taken by a University of Missouri student. The photos show Eustachy holding a can of beer, kissing young women on the cheek and being kissed by them.

Floyd's immediate challenge could be establishing a good rapport with players who were outspoken in their support of former coach Paul Silas before the Hornets decided on May 4 -- the day after the Philadelphia eliminated New Orleans from the first round of the playoffs -- not to renew his contract.

"Those guys being behind Paul Silas -- I love it," Floyd said. "I know what players are about, and that's player-coach loyalty."

He said his first priority will be to talk to his new players.

Silas, the franchise's career victory leader with a 208-155 record in four-plus seasons, was earning about $1.5 million a year with the Hornets but was seeking about twice that.

When the Hornets let Silas go, they said money was not the issue, but rather finding a coach who could take the Hornets to the NBA Finals.

Floyd's base annual salary will be among the lowest in the league, but Hornets majority owner George Shinn maintained money was not a deciding factor.

"Everything we do is a business decision," Shinn said. "The objective is to get the best person you can. Pat Riley is supposedly one of the great NBA coaches but you wouldn't know it by his record last season (25-57). You can't be a good coach if you don't have good players. We have the players that we think are going to make (Floyd) shine."

The Hornets interviewed two other coaches -- Mike Fratello and Brian Hill. Fratello withdrew from consideration last week.

Despite his NBA struggles, Floyd remains popular in New Orleans, where he's lived nearly 14 years over several stints, including a six-year period as head coach at the University of New Orleans. He took UNO to the NCAA tournament twice before moving on the Iowa State for four seasons and three NCAA tournament appearances.

He moved back to New Orleans, settling into a downtown apartment, shortly after resigning from the Bulls in December 2001. Numerous friends crowded a New Orleans Arena restaurant for Floyd's introduction as Hornets coach.

Bass said members of the community "were twisting my arm to talk about Floyd, and I couldn't find anyone who had something bad to say about him." Hornets officials added that it will be a nice bonus to have a coach whose community ties should help ticket sales.

"We've been part of this wonderful and unique community before ... It feels good to be home. It feels like this is where we belong," Floyd said.

But he sought to stress that his coaching qualifications are the real reason he got the job.

"Ultimately, it will not matter where I'm from in terms of winning," he said.

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