Mark Jackson better get ready to apply some ice to his derriere.
The chair he's sitting on is getting so hot that it might be capable of causing third-degree burns at this point, especially after a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of a memorable first-round series. And even though he's still actually in that chair, the Golden State Warriors are already looking into other options.
Two coaching names known to interest Golden State greatly, sources say, are Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy. I find it equally tough to picture Kerr turning Phil Jackson down now, as far as Kerr's dalliance with the Knicks has gone, so look for the Warriors to explore the SVG option hard if (when?) Jackson's reign is brought to an end.
Kerr's name has been an intriguing one for a while now, and he's made no effort to hide his desires to end up in the coaching ranks. Luring him away from the New York Knicks would indeed be tough, but it's also rather intriguing to picture him giving some pointers to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Every great shooter can learn something from another one, after all, and Kerr was quite the perimeter marksman during his playing days.
Van Gundy is an interesting case as well, simply because it's been a while since he threw on a suit and paced an NBA sideline. He last did so during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign, and the public-relations disaster that was Dwight Howard ultimately did him in.
He's been pursued since then, but as he stated on on The David Baumann Show prior to the 2013-14 campaign, he wasn't interested in rejoining the Association in a coaching capacity:
As you get down the road more and the longer you are out, the harder it is to get back in and that was certainly a difficult part of the decision process for me because it’s certainly something that I miss and don’t want to close the door on for the rest of my life, but, it is not right now anyway, in the best interest of my family, so it won’t be next year.
It's no longer "next year."
Well, it is for eight teams, but that's beside the point. We're talking about the Dubs, who are already thinking about their offseason plans now that their shot at the Larry O'Brien Trophy has withered away into nothingness.
There's no telling how SVG's family situation has changed, but he hasn't officially ruled out a return for 2014-15. And if a job opens up in the Bay Area, that could be a nice landing spot for him.
Despite the support of his players—Stephen Curry most of all—Jackson is still on the wrong end of a growing rift with the franchise's management. As Stein writes, "Comparisons have been drawn between Jackson and Lionel Hollins, who was let go in Memphis after last season's trip to the conference finals largely because the Grizzlies' new owners wanted to work with a more collaborative coach."
But ultimately, Jackson is still the man in charge of Golden State...for the time being.
Given the emergence of these candidates, it's hard to see him remaining in the chair for too much longer. It's bound to get too hot before we're very far into the NBA's official offseason.
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