Warriors Head Coach Search: Latest News and Rumors on Vacant Position

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMay 6, 2014

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04:  Broadcaster Steve Kerr smiles on the court before the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament between the Butler Bulldogs and Connecticut Huskies at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Updates from Wednesday, May 14

TNT's David Aldridge reports that Steve Kerr has accepted the Warriors position:

The Warriors later confirmed the news: 

Prior to that, Sam Amick of USA Today provided an update on Golden State's hunt for a head coach:

Updates from Tuesday, May 13

As the Golden State Warriors continue to look for a new head coach, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has the latest on the state of their search:

This comes on the heels of a report from Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated that Stan Van Gundy had emerged as the Warriors' top choice to fill the team's vacant head-coaching position:

Van Gundy, however, wants more control of basketball operations than the Warriors are willing to give, as Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News and Wojnarowski report:

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News has more insight into the Pistons' negotiations with Van Gundy:

Updates from Monday, May 12

Marc Stein of ESPN.com has the latest on the Warriors and their pursuit of Stan Van Gundy as a candidate for head coach:

Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski continued:


Updates from Saturday, May 10

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports has the latest on the Warriors' search: 

ESPN's Marc Stein and Ian Begley have an update on Steve Kerr's status:

The Golden State Warriors are increasingly pessimistic about their chances of convincing Steve Kerr to turn down the New York Knicks in favor of Golden State's coaching job, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Warriors fear Kerr is "too deep" in talks with the Knicks and new shot-caller Phil Jackson to convince Kerr to rebuff Jackson now, despite Kerr's close relationship with Warriors owner Joe Lacob and team president Rick Welts, as well as Golden State's proximity to Kerr's offseason home in San Diego.

But sources also stressed that Stan Van Gundy is actually the closest thing to a top target at this early stage of Golden State's search for a successor to the fired Mark Jackson, based at least in part on the premise that an experienced coach can ensure that the Warriors maintain upward momentum in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.


Updates from Thursday, May 8

Ian Begley of ESPN reported the latest in the Warriors' interest in Steve Kerr for their head coaching vacancy:

According to two sources with knowledge of the proceedings, Kerr has the support of Golden State management but some of the players have expressed support for Stan Van Gundy. That schism may help lead Kerr toward settling on the Knicks job. 

Kerr on Thursday was believed to be home in San Diego with his family. One of Kerr’s friends on Thursday said he was in the process of “collecting information” to make a decision. 

The Warriors, according to a source, are hoping that Kerr's ties to president Rick Welts will "bring [Kerr] over since they are so close."


Updates from Wednesday, May 7

USA Today's Sam Amick has the latest reports on potential candidates for the Warriors' head coaching job: 

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports later reported another candidate to whom the Warriors have reached out:


Original Text

The Golden State Warriors already have candidates in mind to replace fired head coach Mark Jackson, who was dismissed by the team on Tuesday.   

Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, hot commodity and current TNT NBA analyst Steve Kerr and Lionel Hollins, who has coached the Memphis Grizzlies in the past, are reportedly on the Warriors' short list.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN confirmed a report that came from earlier in the day from colleague Marc Stein with regard to Van Gundy and Kerr:

There is clear interest in Kerr, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News logged a statement from Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob regarding Jackson's ousting:

Mark Jackson has had a big impact on the improvement of our team and the success that we’ve had over the last couple of years. Nonetheless, we must make some difficult decisions in our day-to-day operations of the club and this would certainly qualify as one of those examples.  We wish Mark the best of luck in his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions over the last three years.

Jackson did a noble job at the helm for three seasons with Golden State, but clashes with management and ownership led to his dismissal. The players fought hard in a seven-game first-round series versus the Los Angeles Clippers, but were eliminated. 

Kawakami's report also lists more candidates the team is considering: Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Clippers assistant Alvin Gentry and, from the collegiate ranks, Connecticut's Kevin Ollie and Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State. The report named Van Gundy as well.

Jay King of MassLive.com weighed in on Van Gundy's potential hiring, suggesting his style and personality could aid the development of talented forward Harrison Barnes:

Fox Sports' Jimmy Spencer feels that Kerr's lack of experience as a coach may not make him the ideal successor, and though he acknowledged Kerr could get the job, he felt that Van Gundy was a better fit:

Bomani Jones of ESPN provided his humorous take on Hollins potentially landing with the franchise:

A strong personality seems preferable in order for this Warriors core to live up to their big expectations. Next season should be viewed as an opportunity to get over the hump and contend for the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Untimely injuries have hampered Golden State in the past two postseasons—last year with David Lee and this time around with Andrew Bogut. The front line could use a bit more depth, but this is a perimeter-oriented squad headlined by the "Splash Brothers" backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

To focus on the coaching candidates being mentioned most prominently at the moment, Marc Berman of the New York Post previously reported that Kerr was readying to accept the New York Knicks coaching job—unless the Warriors were eliminated.

That makes Kerr a bit more of a possibility, but he's a wild card since he hasn't coached in the NBA before. Past success should be an important factor for Golden State to weigh, and it's something the Warriors appear to be taking somewhat seriously in light of Van Gundy and Hollins appearing on their reported short list.

Hollins builds his teams around defense, something that Jackson preached. It helped reverse Golden State's fortunes, so the Warriors have to buy in to that to continue to keep pace in a deep Western Conference. That fortifies Hollins' case to return to the bench after not coaching this last season.

But the best fit seems to be Van Gundy. Considering he handled a superstar in Dwight Howard well in Orlando and took that team to the NBA Finals, he seems cut out for Golden State's situation. Also, his Magic teams were built around heavy three-point shooting and uptempo offense, which is perfect for what Curry and Co. like to do.

Whatever Warriors management decides, this is a monumental decision that the organization can't afford to miss on. Taking a step back next year with a new, struggling coach would cause turmoil amongst the players and create even more tension in the front office. That is precisely what Golden State is attempting to get away from by letting go of Jackson.


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