Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson Interviewed For Lakers’ Coaching Job

Former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson, who is currently a broadcaster for ABC/ESPN, has interviewed for the Lakers‘ head coaching vacancy, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link).

Jackson compiled a 121-109 record in three seasons with the Warriors from 2011-14, reaching the postseason twice. He’s a finalist for the lead coaching job in Sacramento, and reportedly the favored choice of the team’s owner. One report stated that the Kings are expected to select their new coach by the end of the week.

A report last month from Sam Amick of The Athletic indicated that LeBron James would be “very enthused” to see Jackson become the Lakers’ next coach, though James also favored Tyronn Lue and Jason Kidd before the team ended up hiring Frank Vogel in 2019. L.A. won the championship in Vogel’s first year, but he was fired after the team had a disappointing season in 2021/22, finishing with a 33-49 record.

The Lakers anticipate they’ll interview eight-to-10 candidates for the position via Zoom before narrowing down their list, tweets ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. The interviews are being conducted by the Buss family, GM Rob Pelinka and senior advisor Kurt Rambis.

Although the search has picked up steam this week, it’s still considered to be in the early stages, per The Athletic’s Bill Oram (Twitter link). In case you missed it, the team also interviewed former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts.

Kings To Make Head Coaching Decision By Week’s End?

The Kings, who are completing a second round of interviews with the three finalists for their head coaching job, are expected to make a decision by the end of the week, sources tell Sam Amick of The Athletic.

According to Amick, Mark Jackson and Steve Clifford have completed their final interviews, while Mike Brown had an informal visit with Kings officials on Wednesday and will have his formal sit-down with the team on Thursday.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report stated earlier this week that Jackson appears to be team owner Vivek Ranadive‘s preferred choice for the position, and Amick has heard the same thing from sources close to the situation. However, the Kings insist Ranadive isn’t putting his thumb on the scale and that general manager Monte McNair will be given the opportunity to make the final decision, says Amick.

There have been recent reports indicating that McNair has been given more authority and power in the Kings’ organization than previous heads of basketball operations under Ranadive. Amick suggests that the team’s decision to let Joe Dumars walk rather than promoting him to a level above McNair is a signal that Ranadive is showing support for his GM.

One of three teams currently seeking a new head coach, the Kings appear on track to finalize a hire before the Hornets or Lakers complete their respective searches.

Mark Jackson Frontrunner To Become New Kings Coach?

The Kings are interviewing the three finalistsMark Jackson, Steve Clifford and Mike Brown — for their vacant head coaching position this week, and it looks as if one might have the upper hand. League sources tell Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report that Jackson appears to be the frontrunner for the job and the favored choice of owner Vivek Ranadive.

Ranadive, who was the vice chairman of the Warriors when Jackson was their head coach from 2011-14, has long been an admirer of Jackson and pushed Sacramento’s front office to consider him for the lead assistant/associate head coach position that ultimately went to Alvin Gentry in 2020, sources tell Fischer.

It has been previously reported that the Kings are searching for a defensive-minded coach with previous head coaching experience, and all three finalists check those boxes. However, Ranadive is said to be looking for a vocal, public face for the franchise to create a day-to-day identity, according to Fischer, who notes that Jackson is popular among players.

A report last month indicated that LeBron James would be “enthused” to see Jackson as a candidate for the Lakers‘ vacancy, and sources tell Fischer that LaMelo Ball also favors Jackson for the Hornets‘ opening.

One major wrinkle to the notion that Jackson appears to be the favored choice of Ranadive is that the owner has repeatedly told colleagues around the league that general manager Monte McNair has full authority over the team’s basketball operations. Fischer points out that the decision to fire Luke Walton early in the season came from McNair, not Ranadive.

McNair appears to be leaning toward Brown as his top candidate for the position, multiple sources tell Fischer. Brown also has Warriors ties – he has been an assistant coach for Golden State for the past six years – and used to work with Kings assistant GM Wes Wilcox when the two were with Cleveland.

Fischer writes that if Jackson isn’t selected for the position, it could be partly because Joe Dumars left the organization to work in the league office — Dumars wanted to hire Jackson to become Detroit’s head coach in 2011. Dumors reportedly wanted more control over Sacramento’s front office, with McNair reporting to him instead of Ranadive, but the owner wasn’t interested in that arrangement.

As for former interim head coach Gentry, sources tell Bleacher Report that he’s been offered a role in Sacramento’s front office, but Gentry is looking into pursuing a job as a consultant, similar to the role Clifford recently held with the Nets.

Pacific Notes: Green, Poole, Booker, Kings Job

Draymond Green picked up a Flagrant Foul 2 in the second-round opener against the Grizzlies but he’s not going to alter his style, Kendra Andrews of ESPN writes.

“I am never going to change the way I play basketball,” the Warriors forward said. “It’s gotten me this far. Gotten me three championships, four All-Stars, Defensive Player of the Year. I’m not going to change now.”

We have more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Jordan Poole‘s dramatic improvement is chronicled by Andrews in a separate story. The Warriors’ guard put in extra work during the early days of the pandemic and it has paid off. Poole’s 31-point, nine-assist game against Memphis on Sunday was the latest example of his breakthrough year. “I’ve always made people eat their words,” Poole said. “I never went to the media and said anything about anybody else. I just shut up, take it all in and let my game do the talking. It feels a lot better. Oh, my god, it feels so good.”
  • Prior to the conference semifinals matchup against Dallas on Monday night, Suns All-Star Devin Booker said the hamstring injury that cost three games in the opening round is no longer an issue, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets“Feels great. Ready to go,” Booker said.
  • Among the three finalists for the coaching job, Mike Brown is the Kings’ best choice, James Ham of The Kings Beat opines. Brown checks all of the boxes, has the best résumé, and deserves another head coaching opportunity, Ham writes. Steve Clifford would be a safe choice but hasn’t enjoyed previous success like Brown, while Ham believes Mark Jackson would be a major risk.

Kings Interviewing Coaching Finalists This Week

The Kings are in the process of conducting the second round of interviews with the three finalists for their head coaching opening and owner Vivek Ranadive is heavily involved, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports.

Steve Clifford, Mark Jackson and Mike Brown were revealed as the finalists on Saturday.

Clifford, the former Hornets and Magic coach who mostly recently has done consulting work with the Nets, interviewed Sunday and continued his visit Monday, according to Amick. Jackson, the former Warriors coach and now longtime ESPN/ABC analyst, will then come to Sacramento for his follow-up interview.

Brown, now the Warriors’ associate head coach, is expected to speak with the Kings’ brass later this week. Brown’s interview(s) may take place in San Francisco as well as Sacramento, since the Warriors remain active in the playoffs.

The first round of interviews were conducted via Zoom and Ranadive wasn’t involved, Amick reports. GM Monte McNair, assistant GM Wes Wilcox and now former chief strategy officer Joe Dumars handled those interviews. Dumars was named on Monday the league’s executive vice president of basketball operations.

Dumars’ contract was expiring and he wanted more direct control over the front office if he was going to stick around, sources told Amick. He wanted McNair to report to him rather than Ranadive but the owner was not interested in doing that. It does not appear Dumars’ role will be filled.

As noted by Marc Stein in a Substack piece and affirmed by Amick, the Kings are seeking a defensive-minded coach.

Stein’s Latest: Kings, M. Jackson, Russell, Brunson, Hornets

Mike D’Antoni‘s inability to advance to the second round of head coaching interviews with the Kings suggests that the team is making it a priority to upgrade its defense, according to Marc Stein, who observes in his latest Substack article that Sacramento ranked 27th in defensive efficiency this season after placing 30th in 2020/21.

According to Stein, former Golden State coach and current ABC/ESPN broadcaster Mark Jacksonreportedly one of three finalists along with Steve Clifford and Mike Brown – impressed Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, and appears to have a legitimate shot of returning to an NBA bench. All three of Sacramento’s finalists are known for their “fondness for defense,” says Stein.

If Jackson isn’t hired by the Kings, he’s expected to be a candidate for the Lakers‘ job, though he may not be high on their wish list, Stein writes, adding that L.A. is expected to take its time with its head coaching search and likely won’t move as quickly as Sacramento’s has.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • A number of rival teams expect the Timberwolves to attempt to trade guard D’Angelo Russell this offseason, according to Stein. Russell, who is good friends with Karl-Anthony Towns, will be on an expiring $31.4MM contract in 2022/23 after struggling in Minnesota’s playoff series vs. Memphis.
  • Mavericks team officials are expressing plenty of confidence behind the scenes that the team will be able to work out a new deal with free agent point guard Jalen Brunson this summer, says Stein. New York, Detroit, and Indiana have frequently been cited as potential suitors for Brunson.
  • If Quin Snyder decides to leave the Jazz this spring, the Hornets would have interest in him for their head coaching position, league sources tell Stein. Charlotte is in the market for a replacement for James Borrego.

Jackson, Brown, Clifford Are Finalists For Kings’ Coaching Job

5:36pm: Jackson, Brown and Clifford are the three finalists for the job and will all have in-person meetings with the Kings’ front office, tweets James Ham of ESPN 1320.

The other four candidates — Mike D’AntoniCeltics assistant Will Hardy and Bucks assistants Darvin Ham and Charles Lee — are no longer under consideration.


4:19pm: ABC/ESPN announcer Mark Jackson is a finalist to become the next head coach of the Kings, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic, who adds that general manager Monte McNair has started notifying the candidates who will receive in-person interviews.

Warriors assistant Mike Brown and Nets consultant Steve Clifford are finalists as well, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Jackson, who is among the candidates that LeBron James reportedly wants the Lakers to consider, hasn’t coached since the 2013/14 season and is currently employed as an ABC/ESPN broadcaster. He compiled a 121-109 record in three seasons with the Warriors and reached the playoffs twice.

Brown has been an assistant on Steve Kerr‘s staff since the 2016/17 season. He has a 347-216 record as a head coach with the Cavaliers and Lakers and was named Coach of the Year in 2009.

Clifford spent three years as head coach of the Magic before he and the team decided to part ways last summer. He also served five seasons as head coach in Charlotte and has a career record of 292-345.

Kings To Interview Mike D’Antoni, Mark Jackson, Others

The Kings will interview former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Mark Jackson for their open head coaching position, sources tell Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Sacramento has also received permission to interview former coaches Mike Brown and Steve Clifford, as well as Celtics assistant Will Hardy and Bucks assistants Darvin Ham and Charles Lee, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Of the former head coaches, D’Antoni currently serves as an advisor to Pelicans head coach Willie Green, Jackson is an ABC/ESPN broadcaster, Brown is an assistant with the Warriors, and Clifford is a consultant for the Nets.

The Kings have done their homework on a wide range of candidates and narrowed their list down to a smaller group, according to Charania and Amick, though the above list of candidates isn’t necessarily complete, tweets Sean Cunningham of ABC10 in Sacramento.

The Kings will begin conducting virtual interviews with candidates next week, according to James Ham of ESPN 1320, who tweets that in-person meetings will take place after that first round of Zoom interviews.

Sacramento is in the market for a new head coach after firing Luke Walton near the start of the 2021/22 season and then opting not to retain his interim replacement, Alvin Gentry, last week.

When word first broke that the Kings weren’t bringing back Gentry, Wojnarowski said they would consider candidates who have previously turned lottery teams into playoff clubs. D’Antoni (Phoenix), Jackson (Golden State), Brown (Cleveland), and Clifford (Charlotte and Orlando) all technically fit that bill.

Ham, Lee, and Hardy don’t have head coaching experience, but have all interviewed for head coaching positions in recent years. Ham and Lee reportedly received consideration from multiple teams in 2021, while Hardy was in the mix for multiple jobs in 2020.

Lakers Rumors: LeBron, Westbrook, M. Jackson, Coaching Candidates

LeBron James may be leaning toward playing out his current contract and making a decision on his future next summer, sources tell Sam Amick of The Athletic. In August, James will become eligible for a two-year extension that would pay him $97.1MM and tie him to the Lakers through the end of the 2024/25 season.

Although that’s more than he could get from any other team, the organization’s turmoil and lack of success on the court could make him think twice about extending him commitment to the Lakers. James, who said in February that he would like to someday be on the same team with his son, Bronny, could return to playing on one-year contracts the way he did during his second stint in Cleveland, Amick adds, citing sources close to the situation.

James is intrigued by by the idea of setting the all-time scoring record in a Lakers’ uniform, but he also wants to contend for championships, which may be out of reach in L.A. When asked about the extension on Monday, he didn’t offer a direct answer.

“The conversation hasn’t been talked about,” James responded. “Technically it’s because (with) the collective bargaining agreement (it) cannot even be discussed until later on in the year. So, you know, I know what’s out there. But we can’t even — myself and (agent) Rich (Paul) — can’t even begin to talk with (GM) Rob (Pelinka), or the front office at all, because of the collective bargaining agreement. So (when) we get to that point, we’ll see.”

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • If Russell Westbrook remains with the team next season, there will be “significant pressure” for him to become a sixth man, according to Amick, who states that “some key Lakers figures” thought that should have been his role this year. Westbrook clashed repeatedly with just-fired head coach Frank Vogel, so it’s possible that he would be more accommodating to a new coach.
  • James would be “very enthused” to see Mark Jackson become the team’s next head coach, Amick adds. Jackson, a broadcaster for ABC and ESPN, has been out of coaching since the Warriors fired him after the 2013/14 season. Amick notes that the Lakers haven’t always taken coaching advice from James, who preferred Tyronn Lue and Jason Kidd before Vogel was hired in 2019.
  • Many of the prominent names mentioned in the Lakers’ coaching search are already under contract and may be out of reach, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Quin Snyder‘s deal with the Jazz runs for at least another year, and sources tell Turner that Snyder has less interest in the L.A. job after seeing how the organization mishandled Vogel’s firing. Nick Nurse has two years left on his contract in Toronto and it’s assumed around the league that the Raptors won’t let him leave, Turner adds, while Juwan Howard reportedly wants to stay at Michigan and coach his sons. However, even though he has three years left on his contract with the Sixers, Doc Rivers “should not be discounted as a candidate,” a source familiar with the situation tells Turner.

Kings Not Retaining Alvin Gentry As Head Coach

1:06pm: The Kings have officially confirmed that Gentry won’t be back as the team’s head coach.

“The entire Kings organization is grateful for the leadership of Alvin Gentry, who stepped up when he got the call mid-season,” GM Monte McNair said in a statement. “We appreciate his leadership on and off the court.”

Although Gentry is out as head coach, he still may stick with the organization. Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Gentry and the Kings are discussing a possible front office position, with a resolution expected later this week.


12:37pm: The Kings have informed Alvin Gentry that he’s no longer the team’s head coach, according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link), who report that Sacramento will immediately launch a “comprehensive” search for a new coach.

Gentry was named the Kings’ interim head coach just 17 games into the 2021/22 season following the ouster of Luke Walton. After starting 6-11 under Walton, the Kings were hopeful that Gentry could lead the team to at least a spot in the play-in tournament. However, Sacramento went just 24-41 the rest of the way and finished in the lottery for a 16th consecutive season.

Gentry, who has previous head coaching experience with the Heat, Pistons, Clippers, Suns, and Pelicans, previously stuck around following interim stints in Detroit and Phoenix to become those teams’ permanent head coaches, but that won’t happen in Sacramento. It appears he’ll be in the market for a new job this spring despite having spoken on Sunday about wanting to remain with the franchise.

“Obviously, I have a desire (to stay),” Gentry said, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “I love it here and I think we’re on the right path. We’ve got some good pieces. We’ve got good people from our medical staff all the way up to the top. It has been done here before. It’s not something that’s impossible to do. It’s been done here before, so you just have to wait and see, but all of those things, I don’t make those decisions, so whatever happens, if it doesn’t work out, then I’ve had a great two years here. Love the people here. Love the franchise.”

The Kings, meanwhile, will conduct a wide-ranging search that includes candidates who have previously turned lottery teams into playoff clubs, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Marc Stein previously identified Terry Stotts, Mike D’Antoni, Mike Brown and Steve Clifford as names who have come up in coaching circles as possible targets for Sacramento. Wojnarowski confirms that Clifford and Brown are expected to be considered and adds Kenny Atkinson, Mark Jackson, and Bucks assistants Charles Lee and Darvin Ham to the list of potential candidates.

Rick Adelman was the last coach to take the Kings to the postseason, back in 2006. Since then, Sacramento has employed 11 different head coaches — the new hire will be the 12th.