Steve Clifford Rumors
May 19 at 3:00pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Bobcats will interview Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek by the end of this week, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com, adding another name to the list of coaches who are sitting down with Charlotte's brass. Alvin Gentry, Kelvin Sampson and Elston Turner have already interviewed for the job, and according to Stein, Steve Clifford is scheduled to interview Tuesday (Twitter link). The team is also expected to interview Quin Snyder.
Hornacek is set for an interview with the Sixers as well, and is reportedly drawing interest from the Suns and Bucks. His strong relationship with Deron Williams could make him a candidate for the Nets opening, too.
The Bobcats appear to be following the same script as last year, when a drawn-out search involving roughly a dozen candidates took nearly two months to reach a resolution. The team hired college assistant Mike Dunlap in a surprise move, and fired him about a month ago. Many of last year's candidates resurfaced in this year's hunt, including Cavs assistant Nate Tibbetts, who wound up joining Terry Stotts' staff with the Blazers. Another is Brian Shaw, to whom Charlotte has once more been linked. Like last season, the Bobcats would have to wait until after the Pacers' playoff run to speak with him.
May 14 at 2:46pm CST By Chuck Myron
We could have a fairly clear idea of the two teams that will play for the Eastern Conference title by the end of tonight. The Heat appear on their way to the conference finals with a 3-1 lead against the Bulls, and the Pacers can take a 3-1 lead of their own with a win at home against the Knicks tonight. Of course, we won't know for sure until later this week at the earliest, but if Indiana wins this evening, most of the on-court intrigue will shift to the Spurs-Warriors series in the West. All five open head coaching jobs are in the East, however, and there's news on that along with other notes from around the conference today:
- The Bobcats are interviewing Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson for their head coaching vacancy today, and they'll meet with Lakers assistant Steve Clifford next week, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). The team has reportedly had interest in both.
- A few days after receiving permission from the Lakers to do so, the Cavs are interviewing L.A. player development coach Phil Handy for a spot on head coach Mike Brown's staff, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
- Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com doesn't expect to see resolution on the future of the Celtics soon, suggesting that trade talk involving Paul Pierce could drag on past June 30th, the deadline for Boston to waive Pierce and reduce his cap hit by more than $10MM.
- The Raptors appear headed for tax territory next season, but the arrival of new executive Tim Leiweke indicates that the team is comfortable paying the tax, writes Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld.
- Eddie Jordan spent parts of nine seasons as an NBA head coach, six of them with the Wizards, but he tells Michael Lee of The Washington Post he doesn't want another NBA head coaching job, no matter how it goes in his new gig as the coach at Rutgers University.
May 13 at 1:09pm CST By Luke Adams
Earlier today, we passed along the latest developments in the saga that has Sacramento and Seattle investment groups vying to buy the Kings. Here are a few more of today's links relating to Pacific Division clubs:
- Brian Floyd of SBNation.com provides a helpful primer for the Kings situation, answering a number of frequently asked questions about where things stand.
- The Lakers' D-League affiliate has hired former Laker Mark Madsen as the team's new head coach. The L.A. D-Fenders made the move official today (link via Twitter).
- More coaching news for the Lakers: Assistant Steve Clifford is interviewing today for the Bucks' head coaching opening, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. According to Wojnarowski, Stan Van Gundy declined to interview for the position, but recommend Clifford to Bucks GM John Hammond.
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com explains why it doesn't make much sense for the Lakers to consider a sign-and-trade of Dwight Howard.
May 10 at 6:21pm CST By Luke Adams
6:21pm: Stan Van Gundy is also in Milwaukee to interview with the Bucks, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal-Times.
2:08pm: Yesterday, we heard that ex-Blazers head coach Nate McMillan and current Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson were the first two candidates to interview for the Bucks' head coach opening. Today, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports adds another name to the list of interviewees, reporting that J.B. Bickerstaff, Sampson's fellow assistant in Houston, is meeting with the Bucks today.
Although we hadn't heard much buzz about Bickerstaff before this month, the Rockets assistant appears to be drawing plenty of interest lately. Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities reported a week ago that Bickerstaff would receive consideration if Flip Saunders eventually decided to bring in his own coach in Minnesota, but it seem as if another team could beat the Timberwolves to him. Bickerstaff also interviewed for the Pistons' head coach position this week, and Wojnarowski reports that he's likely to be among the Suns' candidates as well.
The Bucks, who are reportedly prioritizing "strong-willed" candidates who can control a locker room, are also expected to interview Lakers assistant Steve Clifford in the near future, says Wojnarowski.
May 9 at 12:03pm CST By Luke Adams
According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the Bucks have been prioritizing "strong-willed" candidates as they search for a head coach to replace ousted interim coach Jim Boylan. In his latest piece, Berger sheds some light on one reason for that requirement and touches on a couple other Bucks notes. Let's check out the highlights....
- Berger reports that Monta Ellis and Larry Sanders nearly came to blows in the locker room following the Bucks' Game Three loss to the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. According to Berger, Sanders called out the team for selfish play, saying that the Bucks needed "to start playing together as a team and stop worrying about next year."
- Ellis "took umbrage" with Sanders' comments, rightly assuming that they were aimed at him and fellow free-agent-to-be Brandon Jennings, according to Berger. Both Ellis and Jennings are likely to test the free agent market this summer, and reports have suggested that Milwaukee won't necessarily be either player's first choice.
- A member of the Sacramento group attempting to keep the Kings in the city has done some research on Ellis as a potential target if the team parts ways with Tyreke Evans, a source tells Berger.
- Berger notes that Nate McMillan and Kelvin Sampson have interviewed for the Bucks' head coaching job so far, and adds that the team is expected to reach out to Stan Van Gundy and Steve Clifford as well. Berger had reported both of those names previously, though last week he suggested Van Gundy would interview for the job, whereas now that doesn't seem quite so certain. Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times has indicated Van Gundy is unlikely to end up in Milwaukee.
May 3 at 5:34pm CST By Luke Adams
We'll have to wait until July for most of this summer's player movement, but a handful of coaches are already on the move. Here's the latest on a pair of head coaching searches and a Trail Blazers assistant heading south:
- A new candidate has emerged in the Pistons' head coaching search, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who reports that Detroit is eyeing Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer. Wojnarowski says Joe Dumars traveled to San Antonio and met for several hours with Gregg Popovich's top assistant earlier this week. The Pistons are also expected to line up a meeting with Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson when possible, says the Yahoo! scribe.
- Despite their reported interest in Sampson, the Bucks haven't asked for permission to speak to him yet, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, noting that the Bucks are still free to talk to Sampson's agent.
- Sampson himself told reporters, including John Rohde of the Oklahoman, that he won't talk to any interested teams until the Rockets/Thunder series is over "one way or the other."
- The Bobcats have requested and received permission to interview Lakers assistant Steve Clifford, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
- Former Blazers interim head coach and current assistant Kaleb Canales is leaving Portland to take on
a similar assistant role with the Mavericks, according to Jason Quick of the
Oregonian (Twitter link). Canales will replace offensive coordinator Jim O'Brien, who is retiring from coaching, Rick Carlisle tells Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com (Twitter link). As TNT's David Aldridge points out (via Twitter), this isn't the first time Carlisle attempted to get Canales to Dallas.
May 2 at 12:24pm CST By Luke Adams
Earlier this morning, we passed along word that the Sixers have received permission to interview Michael Malone and Jeff Hornacek for their head coaching position. Philadelphia is currently one of four teams actively seeking a new coach, but that number figures to increase in the coming weeks. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has a little more on the Sixers and other teams exploring the coaching market, so let's round up the highlights from his piece:
- Nate McMillan, who has met with the Pistons twice, is also near the top of the Bucks' list of targets, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
- After the Bucks parted ways with Jim Boylan yesterday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that Stan Van Gundy and Kelvin Sampson were expected to be among Milwaukee's top targets. According to Berger, both Van Gundy and Sampson will interview with the Bucks. Lakers assistant Steve Clifford is also expected to be considered for the position.
- Bucks GM John Hammond is seeking a defensive-minded coach who can "control the locker room," says Berger.
- Pistons owner Tom Gores is taking a lead role in in the club's coaching search, with one source telling Berger that Gores is "looking to put his stamp on this one." Sampson and Nate McMillan are among the Pistons' potential candidates.
- Sampson, McMillan, Nate Tibbetts, and Quin Snyder will likely all be considered by the Bobcats, according to Berger.
- In addition to the Philadelphia targets we've already heard about, the Sixers are eyeing Heat assistant David Fizdale, says Berger, adding that the team is also doing its homework on potential GM candidates.
- Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni would like to add a defense-first assistant to his staff, and McMillan may be his first choice. However, with McMillan a decent bet to land a head coaching job this summer, D'Antoni may turn to former Suns coach Alvin Gentry, according to Berger.
- Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times also provides a coaching update this morning, tweeting that he has been told Jerry Sloan is "seriously considering" returning to the sidelines.
April 19 at 9:21pm CST By Chuck Myron
Three Pacific Division teams are preparing for the playoffs this weekend, while the other two have May 21st, the date of the draft lottery, circled on their calendars. By the end of that night, the Kings will know which pick they'll have in the first round, and apparently which city they'll be playing in next year, too, according to comments David Stern made today. We've been keeping close tabs on Kings developments, and there's news involving the other four teams in the division as well.
- A source close to Chris Paul tells HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram that there's no way CP3 will leave the Clippers (Twitter link). That's in keeping with the signals Paul's camp has been putting out all season.
- Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports unveils his final power rankings of the 2012/13 season, and in so doing passes along news that the Suns are thinking about keeping interim coach Lindsey Hunter, according to a source.
- Steve Nash has endured a season of injuries and dished out his fewest assists per game since 1999/00, but he's giving no thought to retirement, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Sulia link).
- From conversations with general managers, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports gleans the names of four assistant coaches who appear to be top candidates to wind up as head coaches (Twitter link). Three have Pacific Division ties: Michael Malone of the Warriors, Steve Clifford of the Lakers, and former Lakers assistant Quin Snyder, who's now an assistant in Russia with CSKA Moscow. The other name on Wojnarowski's list is Kelvin Sampson, who temporarily took over head coaching duties for the Rockets this season while Kevin McHale tended to his ailing daughter.
November 12 at 1:43pm CST By Luke Adams
Adrian Wojnarowski's latest column at Yahoo! Sports includes plenty of details about the Lakers' coaching search and the process that resulted in the team hiring Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson. Let's dive in and round up some of the highlights from Wojnarowski's piece:
- Jackson, who appeared to be the Lakers' clear-cut choice after Mike Brown was fired on Friday, wanted "significant allowances on travel, coaching duties and an ability to veto player personnel moves that didn't fit his vision," according to Wojnarowski.
- "Phil wanted Jim Buss to walk away with his tail between his legs," one source told Wojnarowski. "He thought
he had time to still negotiate with them, and see how much they would
- Wojnarowski echoes ESPNLA's report that suggested Jackson was "stunned" when the Lakers hired D'Antoni. According to the Yahoo! scribe, Jackson believed he was the only head coach Kobe Bryant would approve, and that the Lakers would circle back to him today to continue negotiating.
- While there are some concerns about D'Antoni's defensive acumen, the Lakers front office believes that the presence of Dwight Howard can make D'Antoni a far better defensive coach.
- Stan Van Gundy has been in touch with D'Antoni, encouraging him to keep assistant coach Steve Clifford on his staff. Clifford had been on Van Gundy's staff in Orlando, and has a history with Howard.
September 7 at 5:52pm CST By Alex Lee
We heard several weeks ago that Mike Brown and the Lakers planned to bring Eddie Jordan, Bernie Bickerstaff and Steve Clifford on board as assistant coaches this season. Mike Trudell of Lakers.com tweets that the team made it official today. Here is the press release from the Lakers, who also announced that former assistant John Kuester has been reassigned as an Advanced NBA Scout based on the East Coast.
According to Trudell, Kuester worked extensively with the offense last year, which was his first with the Lakers after coaching the Pistons for two seasons. Trudell fully expects those responsibilities to now fall to Jordan, who is known for his expertise with the Princeton offense. He also says Chuck Person and Darvin Ham are expected to remain on staff as assistants. In addition to the reassignment of Kuester, the new trio will also be replacing Quin Snyder and Ettore Messina who left the team this summer to coach for CSKA Moscow.