This week, the Sacramento Kings have taken a major step toward finding their next head coach.
Former Wizards and Kings Coach Eddie Jordan has emerged as the likely successor to interim coach Kenny Natt.
Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, along with General Manager Geoff Petrie spent most of the day Tuesday at the Palms in Las Vegas speaking with Jordan. By all accounts, the meeting went extremely well and a job offer to Jordan may be imminent.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Jordan spent the last three hours of the day campaigning for the job.
Jordan was asked if he would welcome a return to Sacramento where he once ran the show. Jordan coached the team in the 1997-'98 season, just before the Maloofs took over the team.
"No. 1, I have great respect and admiration for Geoff Petrie, (Kings consultant) Pete Carril, and the Maloofs, for their energy, enthusiasm, and excitement with their team.”
"Second of all, I love coaching and developing, especially young players.” This would fit in well with a rebuilding Kings team whose core players are in the 20-24 year old range.
“Third, I love Northern California. There are a lot of positives, a lot of good things. But before I get to the step of, 'Would I accept an offer?' it has to be offered to me, and it hasn't been offered to me yet."
That offer may come soon.
The Kings will interview former Sonics and Suns coach Paul Westphal on Wednesday, after which the Maloofs will leave it up to Petrie to decide if more interviews are needed.
"We've got another interview today, so we'll see how that goes and then it's really up to Geoff and whether he wants to interview more people or whatever," Gavin Maloof said.
"We're just kind of leaving it all to Geoff. Ultimately, he's going to make the final decision. He just wants to make sure we're comfortable with whoever he chooses.”
This runs in contrast to the hirings of past coaches Eric Musselman and Reggie Theus, who were believed to be Maloof choices.
Gavin Maloof noted that he had never met Jordan before Tuesday, saying "I really liked him personally and he certainly has the credentials. I was very impressed with him."
While the Kings have long been known as an offensive-minded team, Gavin was impressed with Jordan's defensive teachings.
"He's a good teacher," Maloof said. "He was going over some Xs and Os (of Wizards games on video) with Joe and I, and I really learned a lot in the first three hours about his defensive strategies, his offensive philosophies. And I'm thinking to myself, 'If I can understand it, then maybe these players can understand it.'”
"He speaks very simple, very direct, and you understand it. He's a good teacher, which is what we're going to need with the young team that we have."
The team will follow through with the interview of Westphal and may reach a decision by the end of the week.