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Knicks offer coaching job to Nelson

Negotiations have gone exceedingly well. They want him to coach, and he is already sick of retirement after four months. The question is hardly who, where, why or how anymore; it has been reduced to when.

Barring either an unexpected breakdown in contract talks or a sudden change of heart, Don Nelson is about to become the Knicks' head coach.

Madison Square Garden president Dave Checketts confirmed late Saturday night that an offer had been made to the 55-year-old former coach of the Golden State Warriors to succeed Pat Riley.

Checketts refused to characterize the deal as set in stone but added that negotiations could come to a close early this week.

"Offers have been made, and we're in the midst of going over a few things that still need to be worked out," Checketts said. "Things are going well, but I'm not going to announce anything until everything is signed and sealed."

Nelson, the three-time NBA coach of the year, was in Greece attending the European basketball championships. He would not comment on the negotiations, except to say, "We're still talking and I'm interested."

Greece is the first stop of a three-leg European visit for Nelson that will also include Sweden and Lithuania. Nelson has confirmed that if a deal was struck, he would interrupt his trip to come back to New York for the announcement.

Checketts and general manager Ernie Grunfeld are not expected to make any announcement until later in the week at the earliest.