Warriors get permission to talk with Lakers' Shaw

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Warriors get permission to talk with Lakers' Shaw

May 12, 2011STEINMETZ ARCHIVEWARRIORS PAGE WARRIORS VIDEOMatt SteinmetzCSNBayArea.com

The Warriors have officially reached out to Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw about their head coaching opening, CSN Bay Area has learned.According to two league sources, the Warriors called Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak earlier this week and asked for permission to talk to Shaw, the lead assistant to Phil Jackson.Shaw, an Oakland native, is considered a leading candidate to succeed Jackson, who retired this week after the Lakers were swept in the Western Conference semifinals by Dallas.
At the same time, the Lakers' front office has indicated it will interview other candidates, too. Shaw is under contract with the Lakers until June 30, but they have given him the OK to interview with other NBA teams.Shaw interviewed last offseason with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but decided to return to the Lakers. He also interviewed for the Chicago Bulls' heading coaching position in 2008, a job that went to Vinny Del Negro.Shaw is considered among the best of an assistant coaching crop that also includes: San Antonio's Mike Budenholzer, Dallas' Dwane Casey, Boston's Lawrence Frank and New Orleans' Mike Malone.Shaw, who played 14 seasons and helped the Lakers to titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002, would seem to have opportunity to become a head coach for the first time in his career. The Lakers, Warriors, Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers all have vacancies.In addition, it's possible jobs could also open up in Minnesota, Detroit and maybe even Toronto. The Rockets are said to be down to three finalists for their position, none of whom are Shaw but all of whom are former head coaches. Still, Rick Adelman's old job hasn't been filled.It's likely the Pacers would have interest in Shaw. Indiana president of basketball operations Larry Bird has not yet decided to rehire interim coach Frank Vogel and is reportedly also interested in former Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown and current Dallas assistant Dwane Casey.Bird and Shaw have a history. They played together for three seasons in Boston in the late 1980s and early 1990s.That the Warriors would bring in Shaw for an interview is a virtual no-brainer. Shaw grew up in Oakland and played high school basketball at Bishop O'Dowd before attending St. Mary's for two years.He played for the Warriors and still has a house in the Oakland Hills. He has indicated in the past he would relish an opportunity to coach the Warriors and help turn his hometown franchise around.Shaw is the third known candidate to draw interest from the Warriors. ESPN reported on Tuesday that Brown and Casey were going to be among the first to interview with Golden State.It is unclear whether the Warriors have spoken to Shaw yet or set up an interview. The Warriors had no comment and have said they will not comment on any aspect of the coaching search.Calls to Shaw's cellphone were not returned.The Warriors decided not to pick up Keith Smart's option for the 2011-12 season on April 27. At that time, Warriors owner Joe Lacob and general manager Larry Riley said they would be deliberate in their search for a new coach.They also were non-specific regarding the type of coach they were looking for, saying it would be desirable to have coach with experience and yet they are also open to a current assistant getting a shot at a head job.Lacob and Riley also said that they wanted a coach who was committed to more of a defensive approach, but that it likely wouldn't be someone whose main attribute is mostly that.Riley also has said that his preference would be to maintain an uptempo style.In other words, the Warriors have a pretty big umbrella.In the days after the decision to make a change at coach, the Warriors were said to be gauging the interest of former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and perhaps former Knicks and Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy.It is unknown whether the Warriors have contacted either of those two or whether they would have interest in the first place.Among the top assistants, Budenholzer told reporters last Friday he was keeping his name out of any coaching search and that for now he wants to stay in San Antonio. Casey, whose Mavericks are in between series right now, is a candidate throughout the league.As for Frank, the Celtics were eliminated on Wednesday so he likely already has gotten a call or two or is likely to soon. Steve Kauffman, the agent for Malone, wouldn't acknowledge whether his client had been contacted for available jobs or not.

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that the limited minutes allotted to former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the All-Star Game Sunday was unrelated to a pending trade.

Cousins played only two minutes -- the shortest stint by any All-Star since Connie Hawkins in 1971 -- because that was the big man’s wish.

“I asked every guy before the game started how much they wanted to play,” said Kerr, who coached the Western Conference All-Stars for the second time in three seasons. “He told me he wanted to play two minutes. He was serious. He said he was banged up. It had nothing to do with (a trade).”

After six-plus seasons in Sacramento, Cousins was traded to New Orleans shortly after the All-Star Game, with the official announcement coming Monday.

Kerr initially thought Cousins was requesting to be limited to two minutes per half. When Kerr and assistant coach Mike Brown conveyed that plan, Cousins was quick to clarify.

“He said, ‘No, no: two minutes total,’” Kerr recalled.

When Kerr pointed out that Cousins actually played two minutes, 24 seconds, the newest Pelican flashed a sense of humor.

“I went over? By 24 seconds?” Cousins said. “That should be a fine for you, coach.”

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

OAKLAND -- The Warriors reconvened Wednesday and received good news, going through a light scrimmage that for the first time in weeks included centers Zaza Pachulia and David West.

The better news for the Warriors is that both were upgraded to questionable and could return as soon as Thursday night, when they face the Clippers at Oracle Arena.

“I would say there’s a good chance both of them would play tomorrow,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see.”

Pachulia has missed the last eight games after straining his right rotator cuff on Jan. 29 at Portland.

“The pain is gone,” Pachulia told CSNBayArea.com. “I can’t say I’ll be cleared, but there is no more pain.”

Pachulia is expected to reclaim his starting role despite Kerr’s acknowledging that JaVale McGee has been “fantastic” while starting the last eight games.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Kerr said. “I’ve got to make that decision. I want to make sure first that (Pachulia) is healthy. And it depends, too, on what happens with David. Is David healthy? Are they both playing? There’s kind of a domino effect on all of this stuff.

“I would anticipate that, ultimately, Zaza will be back starting. I liked that whole rotation. JaVale has helped us dramatically, and he’ll be playing a role. It’s a center-by-committee situation. But right away, we’ll see how we play it.”

West has missed the last 14 games with a non-displaced fracture in his left thumb, sustained Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City.

West was to undergo an X-ray late Wednesday, after which it was anticipated he would receive a clean slate.

The only players that did not scrimmage are All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. All four were given an extra day off in the wake of their participation in All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

“Just being in New Orleans for those four days, there’s no rest whatsoever,” Kerr said. “Those are the guys who played the most minutes. The All-Star break is such a great time to recharge.”