Mark Jackson, having just completed his second year on the Warriors' bench, is the longest-tenured coach in the Pacific Division. Mike D'Antoni, whom the Lakers hired at midseason, is next, while the division's other three teams are making offseason changes. Jeff Hornacek is the new Suns coach, and Michael Malone is poised to take over the bench in Sacramento. It's unclear who'll lead the Clippers, but there's news on that among the items out of the Pacific this evening:
- Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game counts Alvin Gentry and Jeff Van Gundy as the leading candidates for the Clippers coaching job. A source tells Bucher that Nate McMillan and Byron Scott probably won't end up with the gig. The Clippers want a proven head coach, making Brian Shaw another unlikely choice, particularly given his reputation for interviewing poorly (Sulia link).
- The idea that Chris Paul didn't have anything to do with Vinny Del Negro's ouster as Clippers coach is preposterous, according to Bucher, who hears that Paul is telling team management who he wouldn't want to have as the next coach, rather than giving them his preferred choices. That way he can retain an air of removal from the team's decisions, as Bucher explains (Sulia link).
- Michael Malone, set to become head coach of the Kings, might not be the only Warriors assistant coach headed out of town. Bob Beyer is a candidate to wind up on Malone's staff or with new Bobcats coach Steve Clifford, Bucher reports (Sulia link). The Warriors might not rush to fill those vacancies, Bucher says, but Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes that the W's have prior interest in 'Cats assistant Stephen Silas (Twitter link).
- With Malone perhaps just the first of many Warriors to make the jump up the road to Sacramento, the new Kings owners are concerned about the perception they're poaching from Golden State, tweets USA Today's Sam Amick. Sacramento principal owner Vivek Ranadive has yet to formally divest himself of his Warriors share.