Supposedly the Hawks were set on Avery Johnson. Then they were set on Dwane Casey. Now the race appears to be wide open again, as Mark Jackson was brought in for a second interview. From Sam Amick of FanHouse:
The Atlanta Hawks will interview ESPN/ABC analyst Mark Jackson for a second time for their head coaching job next week, a league source told FanHouse. Jackson — who is currently calling the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Boston — is a finalist along with former Minnesota coach Dwane Casey, former Dallas coach and ESPN analyst Avery Johnson and Hawks assistant Larry Drew.
Amick also notes that if finances end up taking center stage — as it always seems to with the Hawks — Larry Drew could hold the advantage. Otherwise, Casey still seems to be the frontrunner, but there is clear interest in both Johnson and Jackson as well.
It’s tough to say just how good of a coach Jackson could be. Former players haven’t had a lot of success as head coaches, but there are obviously some exceptions. Then, based on Jackson’s comments and telecasts, you wouldn’t expect him to be a great basketball mind. Then again, you could say the same of Jeff Van Gundy, who seems to have a persona for the booth and a persona for the bench. Maybe Jackson too can turn it all around in the blink of an eye…but I’ll hold onto my doubts.