Thomas May Coach Pacers

The NBA’s approval for Isiah Thomas to coach the Indiana Pacers while he attempts to sell his interest in the Continental Basketball Association is not open-ended.

Thomas was granted an extension through the Pacers’ season. The issue will be revisited sometime between the end of Indiana’s season and the start of the 2001-02 campaign to see what progress has been made.

The approval Monday by the league’s Board of Governors, the NBA’s 29 team owners, was based on assurances from Thomas and the Pacers that Thomas would have no involvement with the CBA.

“Although Isiah’s new position as an NBA head coach, while continuing to own a minor league, is a conflict of interest under league rules, we thought it appropriate to grant him a further period to conclude his efforts to sell the league,” NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik said Monday.

NBA rules prohibit coaches from having financial interest in another league. A 75 percent majority of the team owners was needed to approve the extension while a transaction is being completed.

Thomas’ hiring by the Pacers was delayed by his attempt to sell the CBA, a developmental league that he purchased for $10 million last October.