Seven candidates to become next Warriors head coach
Who will Lacob and Myers pick?
The Warriors are well into the search for their next head coach, and there are plenty of candidates from which to choose. If the bad news is that the Warriors are one of four teams with openings, the good news is they have a more attractive roster than the other three. Here are seven coaches that will be or should be under consideration, with their chances of getting the job listed from hot (very possible) to warm (a reasonable chance) to room temperature (don't count him out) to cool (not likely).
TNT NBA analyst Steve Kerr
Suddenly, Kerr is the Pharrell Williams of the NBA. Teams are lining up in droves to work with him. At least four teams, including the Warriors, have reached out. The University of Arizona product spent 15 seasons in the league, playing for seven different teams, most notably winning three championships with the Bulls and two more with the Spurs. He briefly was an executive with the Suns. The Warriors like him more than he likes them, as of Wednesday. Multiple sources say Kerr, 48, is leaning strongly toward the Knicks, where he would work under Phil Jackson, who coached him in Chicago. Kerr's chances of getting the Warriors job: Warm.
Unemployed coach Stan Van Gundy
After being out of coaching for two full seasons, largely by choice, Van Gundy, 54, is reenergized and willing to listen to offers. Considered a good strategist but not particularly inspirational, Van Gundy spent two-plus seasons coaching the Heat before five seasons with the Magic. He has extensive playoff experience, and reached the NBA Finals with Orlando in 2009. That Stan is the older brother of Jeff Van Gundy, who staunchly supported Jackson this season, should be no more of a factor than the Van Gundy brothers having spent their formative years in Martinez, a half-hour drive from Oakland. Van Gundy's chances: Hot.
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg
After a 10-year NBA career, Hoiberg was diagnosed with a heart defect, retiring shortly thereafter to become a coach before joining the Timberwolves' front office. Hoiberg, 41, left Minnesota to return to his alma mater to become head coach. He has completed four seasons there, taking the Cyclones to the NCAA tournament in each of the last three. He has been praised for his offensive schemes and all you need to know about Hoiberg's engaging personality is his nickname: "The Mayor." Hoiberg's chances: Hot.
Unemployed coach Mike D'Antoni
A veteran coach and one of the game's foremost offensive strategists, D'Antoni has been criticized for an inability to get his teams to play defense. D'Antoni's last two stops, with the Knicks and Lakers, have been most notable for his clashes with franchise players Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. Such recent history lowers his stock. He would be considered because he was able to turn Steve Nash into a two-time MVP. The Warriors have an updated version of Nash in point guard Stephen Curry. D'Antoni's chances: Room temperature.
Unemployed coach Lionel Hollins
Another veteran coach who was dismissed a year ago after his biggest achievement, taking the Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals, Hollins is a bit like Jackson, only with softer personal edges and slightly more coaching credibility. Hollins, 60, spent 10 seasons in the NBA, winning a championship with the 1977 Trail Blazers, before spending the last 29 years coaching in college and in the NBA. Hollins is perceived as a defense-first coach with a highly professional demeanor. Hollins' chances: Room temperature.
UConn coach Kevin Ollie
Fresh off winning the NCAA Championship, Ollie finds himself in demand by NBA franchises familiar with his mature approach and ability to bond with his players. A UConn product, Ollie spent two seasons in the old CBA before becoming a 14-year NBA journeyman (12 different teams). His star rose not only with UConn's title but also with the universal praise from ex-teammates in the NBA, notably Kevin Durant. Ollie, 41, is willing to leave UConn, but it would take an offer he couldn't refuse. Ollie's chances: Warm.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
Izzo is the undisputed king of Midwest basketball, having established himself as a fabulous coach and class individual during his two decades with the Spartans. In his favor is his reputation for solid strategy and getting his players to buy in despite a tough exterior. Warriors forward Draymond Green swears by Izzo. There are two potential roadblocks. One is Izzo's age (59) and the other is that he probably won't want to leave Lansing, Mich., where he is regional royalty. Izzo's chances: Room temperature.