Will Isiah Thomas be the next coach of the Detroit Pistons? Or perhaps Bill Laimbeer?

Sources told ESPN The Magazine yesterday that Thomas and Laimbeer, who were teammates in Detroit for 12-plus seasons, are among the candidates to replace John Kuester, who was fired Sunday after two seasons.

Thomas who played his entire 13-year NBA career with the Pistons, is currently the head coach at Florida International University.

Thomas coached for five seasons in the NBA, the last two with the New York Knicks. He was named the Knicks' president of basketball operations in December of 2003 and took on the added role of head coach in 2006.

The Knicks fired him in April of 2008 after the team lost a franchise record-tying 59 games.

According to sources, Thomas is not the leading candidate. But he is on a short list that includes Laimbeer, who played for the Pistons from 1981-93, Mike Woodson and Kelvin Sampson.

Returning to Detroit would reunite Thomas with team president Joe Dumars, who also spent his entire 14-year pro career with the Pistons. The two played together for nine seasons.

Laimbeer, who also played with Dumars for nine seasons, doesn't have any NBA coaching experience but did coach the Detroit Shock of the WNBA from 2002-08.


* New Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson hired Mike Malone as an assistant coach. Malone was an assistant for New Orleans last season and previously the lead assistant in Cleveland under Mike Brown.

Malone has been interviewed for several coaching vacancies in recent years. He also is the son of former NBA head coach and current Orlando Magic assistant Brendan Malone.

* Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, appeared at a nonprofit event in Hollywood to announce the formation of their new foundation focused on improving the lives of youth and families in need.

Bryant, however, did not comment on new Lakers coach Mike Brown, who was hired last week to replace Phil Jackson.

Bryant had wanted longtime assistant Brian Shaw to get the job.

* NBA owners and players met for more than 5 hours, the first of 2 straight days of sessions planned to discuss a new collective bargaining agreement.

With the current deal set to expire June 30, both sides say they hope frequent meetings can help prevent a lockout.

Commissioner David Stern said the talks were "good and frank."

Owners are seeking major changes to the financial structure, with Stern saying they need a "very significant restructuring for the owners to have a sustainable investment here on hopefully approaching $5 billion of revenue."

The union declined to comment until after today's meeting.

* Former Villanova star Corey Fisher was one of six prospective draft picks - including former Wildcats teammate Antonio Pena - to work out for the New Jersey Nets. It was Fisher's seventh workout and the New York City native has five more left before the draft on June 23.

"I have to prove that I have what it takes to be an NBA player," said Fisher, who is listed at 6-1. "Like everyone else here, I'm chasing the dream. Since I'm a real small guard, I have to work harder than anyone else. I just have to bring it at each one of these workouts. I have to prove myself everyday."