Ron Harper

Coaching Rumors: Jazz, Knicks

The Jazz do not currently have a timeline set for finding their new head coach, writes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. Genessy adds that GM Dennis Lindsey is entering uncharted territory, as the only time he had been involved in a head coaching search was in 2003 with the Rockets, when he assisted then-GM Carroll Dawson as vice president of basketball operations. Despite his inexperience, Lindsey insisted that the search will be conducted with the “right professional decorum” and later added:

“…we’ll meet quickly, internally…We’ll set some criteria. We’ll look at some objective measures. We’ll look at some subjective measures about coaches and who’s going to be the new leader of the Utah Jazz and define some timelines about who we’re going to interview.”

According to Genessy, the new coaching hire will be decided on as a group that includes Lindsey, Jazz owner Gail Miller, CEO Greg Miller, Miller Sports Properties president Steve Miller, team president Randy Rigby, executive VP of basketball operations Kevin O’Connor, and CFO Bob Hyde.

You can read more coaching-related links below:

  • Genessy mentions that in addition to Jazz assistant Brad Jones, Lindsey has close ties with Jeff Van Gundy (who the Rockets ultimately hired to succeed Rudy Tomjanovich in 2003), Suns assistant Mike Longabardi, and Bulls assistant Andy Greer. Along with Jones, Genessy lists Jim Boylen and Ettore Messina as possible candidates, just as we had noted from Mike Monroe of the San Antonio-Express News and ESPN’s Marc Stein earlier today.
  • Former Bulls player Bill Wennington tells Newsday’s Al Iannazzone that Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson would fit together well in New York: “Their history together and just the way they work together and have worked together in the past with the offense and everything is a good combination…To me it’s a no-brainer.” Though Wennington admits that he has an interest in coaching, he tells Iannazzone that he hasn’t spoken to Jackson about possibly joining the Knicks.
  • Iannazzone lists Frank Hamblen, Jim Cleamons, Bill Cartwright, Scottie Pippen, Kurt Rambis, and Derek Fisher as a few names who could join the Knicks in some capacity at some point. As Marc Berman of the New York Post mentioned earlier, Ron Harper could surface on the team’s radar as well.

And-Ones: Harper, Kerr, Rockets

Since Phil Jackson joined the Knicks, there has been ample speculation about him bringing along connections from his winning past to work for the organization. As we’ve noted recently, Steve Kerr appears to be the strongest candidate being considered for the team’s head coaching position. We also relayed that former Jackson-assistant Jim Cleamons has his sights set on joining the team in any capacity. Today, Ron Harper – who played for Jackson in Chicago and Los Angeles – told Marc Berman of the New York Post that he expects to interview for a position:

“I would expect so…A few guys are expecting to hear from (Jackson). We’re in a wait-and-see mode. Whatever he needs me to do, I will do. He knows that.”

Here are more of tonight’s miscellaneous notes:

  • Though there are reports that the Kerr wants the Knicks job, Berman writes that his ideal preference would be a West coast team, echoing Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. Kerr currently lives in San Diego, and an opportunity to stay close to home could present itself with Mike D’Antoni allegedly on thin ice in Los Angeles; however, it wouldn’t seem likely that Lakers president Jeanie Buss would try to compete with Jackson for Kerr’s services.
  • If Carmelo Anthony doesn’t remain with the Knicks as expected, the Rockets would be in prime position to acquire him this summer, says Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW. Sefko imagines that the Mavericks would also try to land Anthony, but isn’t sure if putting hope in him as a number one guy would be the most prudent thing to do at this point.
  • Kevin McHale doesn’t seem to be the right coach for Houston, opines Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders, who in his weekly chat addressed a scenario in which the Rockets attempted to pursue George Karl if they ultimately decided to make a coaching change. Such a courtship would be incompatible with the team’s interest in Carmelo, opines Ingram, to the point that Karl would not even consider accepting the job if they acquired the star forward.
  • It’s worth pointing out that almost all of the potential coaching candidates for the Jazz opening are represented by Warren LeGarie, who also happens to be the agent of Utah GM Dennis Lindsey (Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune mentions via Twitter).
  • Former NBA forward Dominic McGuire has signed with Gigantes de Guayana of the Venezuelan league, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.