HoopsHype Coaching rumors

April 23, 2014 Updates

In an interview Wednesday morning with ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike," Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders downplayed the idea he might return to the Wolves' bench after this week's retirement of Rick Adelman. "I don't really see that scenario," Saunders said, insisting that his duties running the Wolves' front office were too consuming to make a coaching comeback. "I know it's been brought up a lot, and you never say never, but we have a lot of things going on here," Saunders continued. "I've got a lot on my plate and that's enough right now to deal with." ESPN.com

Persuading any of those college basketball heavyweights to leave the comfort and security of their respective programs is regarded as a major challenge, to say the least, but NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com this week that the Wolves would indeed prefer to fill their opening with a top name from the college game if Saunders is staying put. ESPN.com

Sources also said that the Wolves are already highly pessimistic about their ability to lure Hoiberg -- who played for Saunders in Minnesota and later worked for the Wolves as an executive -- away from Iowa State after he recently received a contract extension. "That's not happening," Saunders told local reporters Monday when referring to the Wolves' ability to land Hoiberg. ESPN.com

Knicks president Phil Jackson said Wednesday that Steve Kerr is a candidate to replace the recently fired Mike Woodson as the team's head coach. At a news conference Wednesday morning, Jackson said he is "looking for a leader" and that whoever the new coach is be must be "a forward thinker." Jackson said he and Kerr have a strong philosophical connection and that he planned to speak with him later this month to see if he's up to the job of coaching the Knicks. Jackson did not divulge the names of other possible candidates. Newsday

Mike Hamrick put the full-court press on Mike D’Antoni. The ultimate press breaker: A multi-year, multi-million dollar contract. Hamrick, who is in his sixth year as Marshall’s athletic director, courted D’Antoni, the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, from the moment Tom Herrion resigned as Marshall University’s coach March 14. The courtship, however, is over. Sources told the Charleston Daily Mail on Tuesday afternoon that D’Antoni will remain the head coach of the Lakers and, thus, will not be in position to accept the vacant Herd hoops job. Charleston Daily Mail

A sleeper possibility in New York could be Tyronn Lue, who has been hailed as a future head coach by Alvin Gentry and played for Jackson. For Kerr, the bigger coaching allure has to be the potential of that Golden State job opening, so he could have a more talented team with the young star he once coveted and thought he landed in Phoenix — Stephen Curry. Arizona Republic

Just one month into his role as Knicks president, Jackson has already clashed with Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden, over personnel decisions, the Daily News has learned. According to a team source, Jackson is looking to remove several staff members, which is commonplace when a new administration takes over, but Dolan opposes removing certain employees. New York Daily News

April 22, 2014 Updates

Saunders knows firsthand about allures of the position. He coached the Timberwolves for 10 years, leading them to the only eight playoff appearances in franchise history. He also coached in Detroit and Washington, and many believe he would like to return to the bench with the Wolves. "I'm not going to answer that," Saunders said when asked if he could do both jobs. "You never know. Ideally right now we're going to do a search. The search isn't just coming to talk to me. We'll sit down and put together a list, see the interest those people have and we'll make decisions based on that." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named NBA coach of the year on Tuesday, making him just the third coach in league history to win the Red Auerbach trophy three times in his career. Popovich has received the league's top coaching honor in two of the last three seasons, joining Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to win the award three times. In a career full of masterful coaching performances, Popovich may have delivered his best in season No. 18. USA Today Sports

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