Clippers Interview Sam Cassell For Head Coaching Job

The Clippers interviewed assistant coach Sam Cassell on Tuesday for their open head coaching job, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Cassell, a former NBA player who won two titles with the Rockets and a third with the Celtics, transitioned into coaching after he retired in 2009. He spent five seasons on the Wizards’ staff as an assistant and has worked since 2014 under Doc Rivers in Los Angeles. Rivers endorsed his longtime assistant as a deserving NBA head coaching candidate last month before he parted ways with the Clippers.

“Sam Cassell should be a head coach, period,” Rivers said at the time.

Cassell is the second Clippers assistant to have interviewed for the team’s coaching vacancy so far, joining Tyronn Lue. The club has also reportedly met with Mike Brown, Darvin Ham, and Wes Unseld Jr. and is said to have interest in Jeff Van Gundy. It’s not clear how many other candidates the Clippers may interview before making a decision.

Cassell was also said to be drawing some interest from the Rockets, but it doesn’t appear that he has interviewed with Houston to this point. If he doesn’t receive a head coaching job this fall, it will be interesting to see whether Cassell remains in his assistant role with the Clippers, follows Rivers to Philadelphia, or ends up on another team’s coaching staff.

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8 thoughts on “Clippers Interview Sam Cassell For Head Coaching Job

  1. It appears Sam does not have the personality to be a head coach. I don’t think he has that strong aura or presence about him. I would have thought watching his playing career that he would have been a born leader but that seems to not be the case. He’s hesitant for some reason and doesn’t exude Supreme confidence and stand by my opinion no matter what type of guy. I could be wrong but that’s the vibe I get. Not a strong enough personality.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Ya, I don’t agree with any of that. Dude was a leader on the floor in his career, he’s never been afraid of the spotlight (he’d be on TV if he didn’t have a face for radio), he knows the game, and he’s put in quality time on the bench.

      He’ll be at least as good as any new head coach will be, which is to say roll the dice.

      • Why hasn’t he been given a lead gig yet? How many years has he been retired? There’s a lot of EX point guards that secured jobs in less time than Sam Cassell.

        Mark Jackson was hired right away, Jason Kidd was hired right away, Steve Kerr was hired as soon as he decided he wanted to coach after the broadcast booth… Nash was hired as soon as he gave an indication he wanted to coach. Why hasn’t Sam Cassell been hired? Believe me I thought the same thing he should be primed for a head coaching spot. Something has to be going on?

        • Jason Lancaster

          I think most head coaches are hired by GMs who are trying not to get fired. The rule is, if you have to fire a coach you hired, you’re probably on the way out yourself.

          So, GMs look for the lowest risk hire. A guy on TV that the fans like, and that the owner (who is usually an idiot) likes? There’s your hire.

          Cassell obviously knows the game, and obviously knows how to coach. He won’t have advanced to the coaching level he’s at now if he didn’t – assistants are chosen almost exclusively on merit.

          I think a GM that’s very secure in his job will take a chance on Cassell. But since there are only like, 4 of those in the NBA, Cassell could be stuck as an assistant for years…just like a lot of other guys.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        If Ty Lue doesn’t take the job with Houston I could see them adding Cassell to their list of potential candidates.

        • Jason Lancaster

          Now that Morey is out, you can bet they’ll hire a Van Gundy. The owner is in idiot, after all.

  2. Chief Two Hands

    He was pretty good opposite Dennis Quaid in the 80s movie Enemy Mine, though.

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