Tag: Coaching carousel

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Jacque Vaughn hired as head coach of the Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic announced Saturday, following multiple media reports including the first from the Orlando Sentinel, that they have hired 37-year-old former NBA player and Spurs assistant Jacque Vaughn as their new head coach.

The move is not a surprise, as Vaughn has been in the running for weeks, and held a second reported interview with the Magic brass during NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Vaughn missed a game coaching the Spurs’ Summer League team to interview.

Vaughn only retired from playing in 2009, and has spent the past two seasons with the Spurs under Gregg Popovich. Magic GM Rob Hennigan is himself a former Spurs executive having worked with Sam Presti there before joining Presti in Oklahoma City prior to his hire by the Magic. It’s clear that the Magic are trying to emulate the Spurs’ approach. Not an easy thing when you consider the relative success of some of the disciples, but if you’re going to model yourself after someone, that’s the team to do it.

Vaughn came under fire from Shaquille O’Neal recently who questioned why Mike Malone or Brian Shaw was not hired. O’Neal admitted in an interview with NBATV after the schedule release Thursday that he doesn’t know Jacque Vaughn at all, which should come as absolutely zero surprise to anyone.

The Magic managed to keep the interview process under wraps and clearly went in a direction away from more known candidates and towards ones that espoused the kind of quiet approach Hennigan has taken to management early on. Vaughn better get ready to speak a lot, though, with the Dwight Howard situation still unresolved and a roster that could change dramatically at any moment.

The Magic went young, they went with someone from a tree they trusted, they went with someone who comes highly recommended. It’s a gamble, but maybe the kind the organization needs to make.

Report: Magic coaching search down to three candidates

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The Orlando Sentinel reports that the search for the next Orlando Magic head coach is down to three candidates:

Magic general manager Rob Hennigan conducted first-round interviews with six candidates and whittled the field down to three: Philadelphia 76ers associate head coach Michael Curry, Phoenix Suns player development coach Lindsey Hunter and (Spurs assistant coach) Jacque Vaughn.

Martins was going to conduct the second-round interviews and then narrow the list to one or two finalists for meetings with the DeVos family.

via Orlando Magic coaching search: Orlando Magic coaching search enters critical phase with Jacque Vaughn as the presumed front-runner – Orlando Sentinel.

The Sentinel also reports that Hennigan has already interviewed Vaughn a second time. Vaughn was absent from coaching the Spurs’ second-to-last summer league game in conspicuous manner, leading to speculation he had already been granted the job.

Vaughn hasn’t been on any of the major lists of candidates prior to Hennigan’s interest in him for the Orlando gig. Curry and Hunter have been discussed before. The trend is consistent with Orlando’s search for a player’s coach, with Vaughn, Curry, and Hunter all former players.

One thing’s certain. Shaq is not a fan.

It’s the awesome spelling that really makes that tweet art.

Larry Brown has an interest in joining the Celtics

Larry Brown

Yahoo! Sports reports that the Celtics have a Hall of Famer coach looking for a job… as an assistant. Larry Brown reportedly is looking to join Doc Rivers’ team on the bench.

Despite Brown’s credentials and good relationship with Rivers, the Celtics coach is inclined to promote a well-regarded young assistant on his staff – Mike Longabardi – sources said. Nevertheless, Rivers hasn’t ruled out the idea of further discussing a spot for Brown on his bench next season.

Rivers agreed to a new five-year, $35 million contract in June, and the Celtics aren’t dying to pay for a high-profile assistant like they’ve had recently in Tom Thibodeau and Frank, sources said. And yet as one league source close to Brown said, “Larry would do this for less than the going rate.”

via Brown wants to join Celtics’ staff – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.

It’s an interesting idea, after both Tom Thibodeau and Lawrence Frank have departed the assistant roster for head coaching positions. The question is whether Brown would remain happy as an assistant and whether he’d be using this to rehab his image to get back into head coaching consideration after failing to secure interviews for several positions since being fired from the Bobcats.

Brown’s certainly got the reputation as a winner who has the players’ respect, but he’s also up there in age and you never want to risk complicating a good situation that works. We’ll have to see if the Celtics are willing to gamble with trying to fix what works or if they simply promote from within.

This Nellie to Minnesota thing may actually be happening. Ye Gods.

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves

If it takes two to tango, the unholy dance of David Kahn and Don Nelson together is halfway to the dance floor. After rumors popped up earlier this week of a potential meeting between the two for Nelson to take over as head coach following Kurt Rambis’ departure, Jerry Zgoda of the Minnesota Star-Tribune spoke with Nelson from his home in Maui and the 70-year-old talent-burying, beer-swilling, run-and-gun-and-run-some-more Hall of Famer made it pretty clear. He wants to coach again in Minnesota.

Don Nelson will gladly trade those breezy Hawaiian trade winds for Minnesota winters and the chance to coach again, this time with the Timberwolves.

“I think it’d be a great fit,” he said. “I love Minnesota.”

“They have an opening,” Nelson said, “and I don’t have a job.”

via NBA coaching great Don Nelson: ‘I love Minnesota’ | StarTribune.com.

Now, that’s just Nelson wanting in. But at this late stage in the game, with most of the assistants who would take a gig for a team like Minnesota already snatched up, and with veterans like Rick Adelman wanting more control over the franchise, Nelson could look pretty good to Kahn. The Wolves brought in Nelson, so there must be a level of interest to start, and since it’s reciprocated, publicly, this thing has some long legs.

Granted, those legs can’t move laterally to keep defensive position, but still.

Zgoda also spoke to Nelson about Anthony Randolph who Nelson coached as a rookie and sophomore (and buried for the most part), with Nelson saying some unflattering things, and saying the same kind of things about Michael Beasley. But Nelson believes that the Wolves need to be better defensively, and that they can be that because they have Kevin Love who rebounds. Even though that has zero impact on actually stopping easy shots. Or that Nelson hasn’t been known to help a team defensively in the past twenty years. But whatever, just go with it, he’s rolling (hopefully not literally).

Nelson is used to coaching young teams. This team’s young. He needs talented guards. He’s got one in Ricky Rubio. His teams need versatile big men. He’s got Kevin Love.

But for a fanbase that has yearned for a winner for… well, ever, Nelson has to look like a horror movie figure walking into their place as their new roommate. Dibs on the remote!

Conflicting reports suggest confusion on whether Kuester will return to Detroit

IL: Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls

ESPN.com’s Ric Bucher reports that Detroit Pistons coach John Kuester will not return as head coach next season:

Detroit head coach John Kuester will not be returning to the Pistons, according to sources. It is presumed that president Joe Dumars and his staff will be returning, but there has been no definitive indication of that yet, sources said.

via Sources: John Kuester will not be back as Detroit Pistons coach – ESPN.

Interesting note, here, the report does not indicate that Kuester has been fired, just that he won’t return. Tom Gores is set to take ownership of the team on Wednesday, pending a vote by the Board of Governors that will of course pass. Meanwhile, MLive.com reports that no decision has been made regarding Kuester.

With Mike Brown headed to Los Angeles, Kuester would be able to take less to get out of a toxic situation in Detroit that saw his players literally revolt against him, and not the young guys, the veterans. The Pistons were bad, but have good young talent, a value draft pick and a lot of potential. Kuester’s coaching, beyond just ego management, has been poor, as rotations and play sets seemed to defy… what’s the word? Ah, logic.

Kuester may not be out yet, but the storm clouds are definitely gathering. Hope he’s got an umbrella. And that he didn’t bench it unnecessarily.

Update: Throw the Detroit News on the list of folks saying this hasn’t gone down yet.