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Daly ends N.Y. candidacy

Chuck Daly, who appeared to be the front-runner for the vacant Knicks coaching job, withdrew from consideration Friday.

Two days after meeting with Knicks officials, Daly said he does not want to deal with the stress of replacing Pat Riley, who quit last week.

"It's an intriguing job _ one of the five or six best coaching jobs in sports," Daly said. "But, ultimately, I didn't feel that I could make or wanted to make the kind of commitment that is necessary to returning to coaching."

Daly, who turns 65 next month, won two NBA championships with the Pistons and an Olympic gold medal with the Dream Team. He resigned from the Nets after the 1993-94 season and was a commentator on TNT's NBA telecasts this season.

Knicks general manager Ernie Grunfeld is expected to focus on former Warriors and Bucks coach Don Nelson, with whom he has met, and former Celtics coach Chris Ford.

Owners ratify, but players delay vote

NEW YORK _ The NBA Board of Governors ratified a new bargaining agreement, but the players' association put off its ratification vote.

Commissioner David Stern said all 28 teams represented at the governors' meeting voted for the six-year deal, which includes a rookie salary cap and a luxury tax. Miami did not attend.

The union, facing a decertification move by agents of stars, asked to reopen negotiations rather than rejecting the contract outright.

Agents of 17 star players, including Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing, launched the push. But some of the approximately 40 players emerging from the meeting in Rosemont, Ill., said the union was solid. "The threat of decertification is null and void," said the Knicks' Charles Smith, the union's first vice president.

Ewing said the deal was not acceptable. "The deal that was on the table wasn't good enough. In my opinion, the deal was not in our best interest."

Rhodes out of draft: Kentucky's Rodrick Rhodes, a junior forward, has withdrawn his request to be eligible for the draft. There has been speculation that Rhodes would return to UK to play his senior season or redshirt, leave college basketball to play overseas or transfer to another school.

Rodman case: Most pretrial motions were denied, and a former Atlanta Hawks dancer's lawsuit against Spurs forward Dennis Rodman goes to trial Monday. Lisa Beth Judd, 23, now a nightclub dancer, claims Rodman knowingly infected her with herpes during unprotected sex while he was with the Pistons.

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