* Following an outstanding performance last week (23 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals) that helped break a five-game losing skid for his team, Limoges CSP (France Pro A), Derrick Phelps talked to Basket Zone about the state of his team and his experiences playing overseas. Here are some of his comments that have been translated from French --
On the recent 78-75 victory over Le Mans (16-7): "We have not won two games in a row yet, so we should not be satisfied. I would be really proud of the team if it shows the same effort next week against Vichy."
On why he is not in the NBA: "I was with Sacramento, I also had tryouts with other teams, but I never really had an opportunity to prove myself. In the NBA you need to get off to a good start, for example, have a very good training camp. For me that did not happen."
On whether his season in Limoges has hurt his value in Europe after previously having better stats in Germany: "No, I think the European teams know what I can bring to a team. They know I am a leader who can pass, score, defend and rebound. They know that I am a solid player."
On if he had it to do again would he sign with Limoges: "Hmmm (... silence, looking pensive, does not finish answering ...)."
On comparing French Pro A to Germany's BBL: "It is more competitive here in France. In Germany the first four or five teams are strong. Here the top ten teams are strong."
On plans after his playing days are over: "My college coach [Dean Smith] thought that I would make a good coach. That is something that would interest me. Business deals have been proposed, but I have not thought about that too much."
Limoges CSP (8-16) did record another victory on Saturday, 90-88 over Vichy (11-13). Phelps was excellent again scoring 19 points with 5 assists and playing the full 40 minutes. His Limoges teammate and fellow Tar Heel Donald Williams (16.1 ppg) has now missed the last six games due to a thigh injury, and his return date is uncertain.
UNC's Makhtar Ndiaye had nine points and seven boards for Vichy.
MELENDEZ BACK IN ACTION
* Former Tar Heel Orlando Melendez has been preparing for another season of pro basketball in Puerto Rico (Baloncesto Superior Nacional).
Melendez finished the 2002 season with Atleticos de San German and will resume playing for them on Thursday (4/24) in the 2003 season opener versus Coama.
JORDAN ON THE AIR?
* The USA TODAY reported on Friday that TNT would be asking Michael Jordan to become a TNT broadcaster. TNT will air as many as 53 NBA playoff games and has a history of adding available coaches and players to sit in as playoff studio analysts.
TNT's Greg Hughes told USA TODAY that Jordan would be welcome to work for them even if he has a front-office position with an NBA club. "We use Magic Johnson (Lakers part-owner), and he's been as critical of the team as anyone," Hughes said.
According to the report, ESPN is said to also be interested in somehow using Jordan in their NBA playoff coverage.