The Kings made Kevin McHale their top target as they seek a new coach, as Zach Lowe of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link), but McHale has withdrawn his candidacy, league sources told Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The ex-Rockets coach had reportedly had extensive discussions with Sacramento about the opening, if not a formal interview, though doubt about his willingness to ultimately take the position has existed for weeks.
McHale’s withdrawal comes shortly before a 10am Central time press conference that Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird has scheduled. Coach Frank Vogel‘s job is in jeopardy, and belief around the league is rising that the Pacers will let him go, Stein writes. McHale and Bird were Celtics teammates from 1980-92.
Sacramento also reportedly had interest in Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks, Kenny Atkinson and Luke Walton, but all have since taken head coaching jobs with other teams. Still no shortage of Kings candidates remain. Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro and Mike Woodson have already interviewed, according to earlier reports. The same appears to be true of David Blatt and Mark Jackson. The team reportedly has plans to interview Ettore Messina, James Borrego, Henry Bibby, Patrick Ewing, Mark Jackson, Nate McMillan, Jeff Hornacek and Corliss Williamson.
Sacramento has reportedly received permission from the Grizzlies to interview assistant Elston Turner, but USA Today’s Sam Amick reported Monday that he’s a candidate to serve as lead assistant for the Kings, casting doubt on the idea that he’s in the running for the head coaching job. Jay Larranaga, Brian Shaw, Ime Udoka, Jeff Van Gundy and Monty Williams are the other reported head coaching candidates for Sacramento.