Threat to Randall's reign

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The Independent Online

Lance Randall's reign as Birmingham Bullets coach could end today unless a meeting with club owner Craig Bown resolves disagreements which surfaced before the club's 83-80 win at Derby Storm on Saturday night.

"I don't want to quit," the Wisconsin 30-year-old said, "but these problems are going to have to be sorted once and for all." Randall, in his second season with the club, was incensed by Bown's treatment of the new signing Rashod Johnson, who scored 26 points on his debut on Saturday, and the 6ft 9in triallist Paul Denham, who watched from the bench.

Bown wanted them housed in apartments occupied by other Bullets players and would not accommodate them in the team hotel. Randall had to pay £30 a night out of his own pocket to pay their hotel bill despite having his August salary paid late and cut by 20 per cent. Bullets open their North European League campaign against Weissenfels at Aston Villa tomorrow, but Randall may not be there.

On Saturday, Bullets trailed until Johnson scored the first seven points of the second half for a 37-36 lead. Derby's Kevin Griffin tied the scores on 75-75, but Rob Paternostro's free throws sparked a 7-0 spurt to steer Bullets to safety.

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