Posted on: June 1, 2009 2:53 pm
The Sacramento Kings already have interviewed Paul Westphal and Tom Thibodeau for their head coaching position and hope to sit down with Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis on an off-day during the NBA Finals.
Sacramento had hoped to meet with Rambis as early as Wednesday, but a person with knowledge of the situation said a date has not yet been set. One possibility under consideration is a Saturday meeting -- two days after Game 1 of the Finals and a day before Game 2 at Staples Center.
Internally, there was a strong feeling in the Sacramento front office that former Kings and Wizards coach Eddie Jordan would emerge as the front runner. According to a source, Jordan called the Kings two days before accepting the Philadelphia job and said he was getting close to an agreement with the Sixers. The Kings informed Jordan that, while they believed he would be a good fit, they needed to interview two other candidates.
Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee has speculated that Westphal has emerged as the front runner for the job, having thoroughly impressed Kings G.M. Geoff Petrie in his interview and having floated a reasonable price tag -- $1.5 million per season. The fact that Westphal and Rambis (two candidates with head coaching experience) and Thibodeau (whose reputation as a defensive mastermind has him at the forefront of every coaching search) indicates that Petrie and his basketball lieutenants have seized control of the search from the Maloof family. The Maloofs have pushed an in-house candidate -- John Whisenant, G.M. of the WNBA's Ssacramento Monarchs -- during previous coaching searches.
Posted on: November 24, 2008 10:56 am
Edited on: November 24, 2008 7:08 pm
Wow, first day on the job and I’ve already gotten a coach fired.
P.J. Carlesimo got canned over the weekend, and now comes word from D.C. that the Wizards have fired Eddie Jordan after a 1-10 start. Ed Tapscott, the team’s director of player development and a longtime assistant and confidant to G.M. Ernie Grunfeld, takes over as coach.
I guess Ernie didn’t take too kindly to injured star Gilbert Arenas’ recent statement that last place isn’t the worst place in the world to be – especially in the NBA, where there’s a draft lottery.
According to a person familiar with the situation, associate head coach Mike O'Koren also was let go.
As the Washington Post points out, Tapscott traveled with the team and essentially served as an extra assistant coach. According to a person who knows him well, coaching isn’t in Tapscott’s long-term plans. He was the logical interim choice for Grunfeld, who goes back to his Knicks days with Tapscott. (Tapscott was the Knicks’ director of player personnel when the team infamously drafted Frederic Weis over Ron Artest.)
This firing is as curious as they come. Just a month ago, the Wizards picked up Jordan’s option for 2009-10, and he finished seventh in the coach-of-the-year voting last season. One name that has to shoot to the top of the list of candidates for Jordan’s long-term replacement is Avery Johnson, who was fired by the Mavericks last May and replaced by Rick Carlisle.
Oh, by the way: I’m your new NBA columnist. I was going to introduce myself sooner, but more important things got in the way. More on that later.
UPDATED 7:08 p.m. Some interesting details and angles have emerged after the Jordan firing. First, the Washington Post reports that Jordan was informed of the decision around 8 a.m. -- after he and his wife finished handing out Thanksgiving turkeys to the needy. Gobble gobble!
Second, it's unclear how much of a role Arenas' recent comments about last place not being all that bad played into this. Management evidently was less concerned about the job Jordan was doing with the depleted talent he had than it was about the lack of fight and desire the team had shown recently. Exhibit A was a putrid defensive performance Saturday night in which Washington gave up 122 points to the Knicks, who only had seven players available.
A person familiar with the Wizards' thinking disputed the notion (floated above) that Avery Johnson would be in the mix here. Grunfeld said Tapscott will coach the rest of the season. Then every unemployed coach (there will be more then) will be jockeying for position. (Every one except Jeff Van Gundy, who lost an infamous power struggle to Grunfeld in New York).