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After painfully watching the Denver Nuggets' bewildering transformation from a rising franchise to an NBA also-ran, Dan Issel couldn't take it anymore.

Issel, Denver's vice president and general manager, added another title Tuesday as he introduced himself as Nuggets coach, replacing Mike D'Antoni.

"If this wasn't a day when I had to part company with a good friend, it would be a happy day for me," Issel said. "Although it doesn't seem like it today, we're trying to bring stability to the organization."

Issel's announcement comes four years after he retired as Denver's coach. At that time, he vowed never to coach again.

The Nuggets chased the NBA futility mark before finishing 11-71 in 1997-98 and went 14-36 under D'Antoni last season.

Also in the NBA, New Jersey Nets center Jayson Williams will be sidelined until January after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone fragment from his right knee.

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