NBA teams are hesitant to pluck coaches out of the college ranks to take their NBA head jobs — even elite college coaches like Rick Pitino and John Calipari have struggled in NBA jobs. NBA coaching is different, starting with you just can’t recruit Anthony Davis or Gorgui Dieng to your team.
But a number of NBA teams will have job openings this year and those teams are looking at Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.
“If I had to make a hire this year, [Hoiberg] would be one of the first calls I’d make,” one NBA general manager told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday. “He is a natural for our league….”
Two GMs who expect to have openings told Yahoo! Sports that they planned to feel out Hoiberg’s interest in the NBA once they begin search processes.
Hoiberg is a 10-year NBA player who then worked in the Timberwolves front office — he gets the NBA game. There will not be as much learning on the job as with most college coaches.
Thing is, Hoiberg grew up in Ames, Iowa, the hometown of Iowa State. That’s where he played his college ball. He went off to the NBA but when his alma mater called three years ago he took the job — and he’s taken them to the tournament twice, winning a couple of tourney games along the way. He’s a rising star that is in his comfort zone — he’s happy and not going to just jump at any job (college or pro). He can be picky, that is if he even wants to leave.
Sounds like he’s going to get asked, though.