HoopsHype Coaching rumors

LATEST HOOPSHYPE VIDEOS

January 21, 2015 Updates

His history with Mullin is ancient, to be sure, but still part of this picture that even Karl isn't quite sure what to make of. And as Mullin's title (advisor to the chairman) clearly indicates, he is known to have serious sway with second-year Kings owner and chairman Vivek Ranadive and D'Alessandro. Mullin, who some believe is interested in coaching the team next season, played under Karl early in his career for the Golden State Warriors when both men were going through a tough time in their respective lives. They got off to a good start, with Golden State making the playoffs for the first time in a decade in the 1986-87 campaign that Karl's first with the Warriors and Mullin's second in the NBA. But it all fell apart in the following season, as Mullin was out for a month as he went through an alcohol rehabilitation program and the then-35-year-old Karl resigned when a flurry of trades and Mullin's absence led to the Warriors losing 48 of 64 games. USA Today Sports

There could be unexpected candidates who become available, too, coaches like Scott Brooks (Oklahoma City) and Tom Thibodeau (Chicago Bulls) who could find themselves on the hot seat this season and who would certainly be of interest to the Kings. Alvin Gentry — the Golden State Warriors associate head coach who has been a head coach for the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns — is also expected to be a candidate. Coincidentally, Gentry interviewed for the Kings' lead assistant job under Malone last summer before ultimately deciding to join the Warriors and partner with head coach Steve Kerr. Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson has been discussed internally as well, and even had an informal visit with Mullin, D'Alessandro and Cousins at Sleep Train Arena on Dec. 17 that lasted nearly two hours, but his chances at the job appear to be minimal. USA Today Sports

Thibodeau wasted very little time – or words – dwelling on the “hot seat’’ topic following the Wednesday practice, saying “Could care less, I could,’’ when asked for a reaction of the rumors. His front office was equally dismissive. “No,’’ general manager Gar Forman said in a text, when asked if there had been discussions about Thibodeau’s job security. “It’s not a story.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

As far as this idea that Thibodeau was losing the locker room or the players were tired of his grind-it-out mentality, that seemed to be an idea very lost on Gasol. “That was not a concern,’’ Gasol said. “To me, honestly, I don’t think Tom is that hardcore. I don’t think we practice that hard. We do what we need to do, and he tries his best with us just like we try our best. We have to get on the same page, not really pointing fingers but being positive with each other.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

But why, after the Bulls rattled off 13 wins in 15 games last month, would things suddenly take such a turn for the worse? Why would a team that usually plays so hard start rolling over and not fighting back for long stretches? Why would a team defined by intensity go long stretches without showing any? "That's a great question," Thibodeau said. "We're going to continue to look at it. [We have] a lot of moving parts, hard to build continuity. We have to find some continuity. Maybe we look at different people. I'm going to think about it, study the film, and try to come up with some answers." ESPN.com

"It comes from within," Gibson said. "There's nothing more you can say. It's all about how much heart you have and how determined you're going to be. Like Thibs said before, we got to practice harder. We can't take days off. "Like Thibs said, everybody's got to put a little bit more into the jar." ESPN.com

And as Cleveland fans worry that Blatt isn't using his roster properly, Israelis are proudly sticking behind him. Boston-born Blatt, 55, remains one of the country's most beloved figures, thanks to his winning history as a coach in his adopted homeland and national pride in his making it big time. "It means a lot from two perspectives: Number one, I can do something for the people in Israel, and number two, I can do something about bringing seven million new fans to the Cavaliers," Blatt said Monday night after a third straight win put the Cavaliers at 22-20. "I've been very fortunate, we had a great deal of success in Israel the last several years, so people are positive about this and about me and I've got Bron and Kevin and Kyrie and they love the NBA over there so it's a natural tie-in, and it's great." NBA.com

His roots in Israel remain deep. He's married to an Israeli woman, Kinneret, and raised his four children here, with the oldest two having completed their military service. He speaks fluent, albeit American-accented, Hebrew and is a popular pitchman for TV ads who has professed a desire to one day serve as an ambassador for the country. An economic newspaper recently reported Blatt just purchased a pair of high-rise Tel Aviv apartments. NBA.com

January 20, 2015 Updates

A source close to the Bulls tells SheridanHoops that eating the remaining money (roughly $11 million) and years (two after this season) on Thibodeau’s contract will not be a concern to management or ownership if they decide to fire him. The feeling among some players in the locker room is that Thibodeau is simply too hardcore, too much of an oddball personality, and runs his best players into the ground both in practices and games. SheridanHoops

So in a case like this one, if Thibodeau has lost his locker room, he should not expect a ton of support from management. People close to the organization have told me that relations between Thibodeau and the front office have improved in the two years since assistant coach Ron Adams was let go against Thibodeau’s wishes, but I have heard enough anecdotes from people close to the team to realize that Thibodeau still views Bulls management with a jaundiced eye. And some have told me that team president John Paxson remains lukewarm at best regarding Thibs. SheridanHoops

So you can be damn sure that Thibodeau’s job will be on the line as the Bulls, losers of four of their last five, begin a brutal stretch that includes games against the Spurs, Mavericks, Warriors and Suns before the end of January. The pre-All Star break schedule concludes with a home game against the Cavaliers — but it should be noted that Chicago does not exactly enjoy a home court advantage. They are 12-10 at home and 15-6 on the road. SheridanHoops

Clippers coach Doc Rivers admitted again that a prime reason he left the same job with the Celtics is that he simply wasn’t up for the process the club is undergoing now. “I was afraid of rebuilding,” Rivers said. “I’ve done it. I’ve been through it, and it’s hard. People think rebuilding is easy, and I don’t think they understand how hard it is on a coach. You’re losing games, and any coach that I know — and I know Brad well enough — every game you go into, you convince yourself you’re going to win that night. And you don’t, and then you’re down, and then you build yourself up for the next game, and then you don’t (win). It’s hard. It’s emotionally hard. Even though the big picture is rebuilding, coaches don’t coach to lose games; they coach to win games.” Boston Herald

With the Pelicans’ fan base becoming more antsy after each loss due to the team’s glaring inconsistent play, Coach Monty Williams said he’s been doing plenty of self-evaluating to improve the situation. Yet, the Pelicans (20-20) still have not strung together three consecutive wins with their season reaching the halfway point. New Orleans Times-Picayune

January 19, 2015 Updates

But, having seen the way Sterling had fired coaches and then had to be sued to pay the remainder of their guaranteed contracts, Rivers knew enough to get a strong pre-nup. His deal actually called for any contractual discrepancies to be arbitrated by the NBA commissioner, thus avoiding a lengthy and costly court proceeding. "That was the delay, the contract,” says Rivers. “People don’t realize it, but the deal could have been done three weeks before it happened. ... It’s the longest written contract in coaching history. Five different lawyers had to look at it. Even my lawyer sent it to another lawyer. That tells you the hesitation in who I was going to be working for.” Boston Herald

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.