Looks like the Houston Rockets are on to the second round of interviews for their head coaching gig.
Lawrence Frank, the Celtics lead assistant, is had a second interview with the Rockets Monday, according to Comcast Sports New England.
Frank, once the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, is one of the three finalists for the Rockets job. The other two are two former Timberwolves head coaches — Kevin McHale and current Mavericks lead assistant Dwane Casey.
The person hired will replace Rick Adelman, who did a good job as Rockets head coach but the franchise chose to go another direction as they started to rebuild the team around a new core.
The Warriors’ head coaching gig is kind of an interesting mesh of issues. You’ve got a management that has pledged to provide a new coach with defensive personnel, but there’s still a roster full of guys who don’t fit that description. There’s certainly talent, but not necessarily a cohesive unit, and few experienced veterans. There’s Stephen Curry, but it’s unclear how his career is going to shape out. It’s a terrific, supportive fanbase, but it’s in a high-intensity market. The money should be great, but success in the short term is probably mitigated, and it’s rare for the coach who rebuilds a team to see them through to the promised land.
Which is why two coaching greats have elected to pass on the job.
CSN Bay Area reports that Jeff Van Gundy and Jerry Sloan both declined to interview for the Warriors’ head coaching position. Sloan declined under the “No, really, I retired and I’m done” umbrella (which is right next to the “Deron Williams killed my soul” raincoat), while Van Gundy reportedly declined because he’s still not looking to get into coaching. JVG’s name keeps popping up but never seems to really go anywhere, he hasn’t been seriously in consideration for a job in some time.
Mike Brown is considered by multiple outlets to be the front-runner for the job, which is an odd, if intriguing fit. Seeing Brown work with a team not handicapped by a megastar playing God with the franchise while the owner buckles to his will and then blames everyone else when it blows up could be interesting. Brown’s defensive coaching chops are legit, even if the offense could suffer (read: drive off a cliff) under him. We’ll keep you updated as the search continues.
Brian Shaw remains the most likely guy to replace Phil Jackson on the Lakers bench. Getting the endorsement of Kobe Bryant matters.
But if the Lakers go another direction (hello Rick Adelman) Shaw is going to have options.
The Golden State Warriors got permission to talk to Shaw, according to Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area. Shaw is an Oakland native.
Shaw also will interview with the Lakers and was part of the massive Houston Rockets search (but he did not make the list of finalists there). All this interest in Shaw (with other jobs like the Detroit head coach likely to become available soon) may push the Lakers to lock him up sooner if they are going to keep him.
The Warriors also are talking to Jeff Van Gundy, former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, former Cavaliers headman Mike Brown and former Timberwolves head coach and current Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey.
UPDATE 1:35 pm: The Warriors have decided to let Keith Smart go as coach, according to CSN Bay Area.
Smart had been the head coach of the Warriors for one year, but had spent the previous seven as an assistant.
This isn’t a shock — owner Joe Lacob wanted to put the team on a different path. Smart was never his guy, he was the convenient guy at the start of the season who got a one-year deal. But this is a franchise with a history of having a lack of direction or changing direction ever two seasons. Let’s hope that this is not a continuation of that trend.
12:45 pm: Golden State has taken its time with deciding whether or not to bring back coach Keith Smart.
You’d like to think that was because they have been formulating a long-term plan — keeping GM Larry Riley for a couple years and grooming Bob Meyers to be his replacement being part of that — but as this is the Warriors we’ll need evidence of a long-term plan before we believe it.
But the Oakland Tribune says an announcement on the fate of Smart may come as soon as Wednesday. And Smart may not like it.
A team source said a decision is expected within the next two or three days, while another source “wouldn’t be surprised if he’s let go (Wednesday).”
Smart was in trouble the moment he agreed to a one-year deal. He was solid in his debut — this was a team with about mid-30s in wins talent, and that’s what he got out of them. They got better.
The question is what kind of team is Golden State trying to build, and is Smart the guy to coach that kind of team? Like we said, we’d like to think the Warriors are looking at it that way, planning for the long term, but we need evidence first.
You know that phone call you missed today? The one where you looked at your cell and didn’t recognize the number so you sent it to voice mail?
That was Rockets GM Daryl Morey calling to schedule you for an interview for the Houston head coaching job. We’re not kidding. He seems to be literally interviewing everyone.
We told you this morning that pretty much every assistant coach you can name and a few whose names you can’t pronounce — hello Mike Budenholzer — was getting interviewed for the Rockets job.
Now we can add two names you do know to the list: Kevin McHale (the former Timberwolves head coach and GM) and Sam Cassell. That according to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo.
Not sure what to make of this other than Morey is leaving no stone unturned in his search for a new head coach. And next time you don’t recognize the number, pick up.