Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Warriors Zeroing in on Head Coach

Well, according the KNBR's Ray Woodson, the Golden State Warriors have narrowed their coaching search to just 4 candidates, and they appear set on going the assistant coach route.

The 4 most likeliest candidates appear to be former NBA point-guard Mark Jackson, now an NBA analyst for ESPN, Lakers' big name assistant coach, Bryan Shaw, Mavs assistant Dwane Casey and Hornets assistant Mike Malone. I was kind of hoping they'd bring in a younger coach, maybe an NCAA guy, but with the new list of finalists, I think I would prefer Mark Jackson or Bryan Shaw. Jerry West knows Shaw well from his time in LA, so if "The Logo" thinks Shaw is fit for the job, then so be it. Other than that, we saw how well the assistant coach thing worked last year with Keith Smart, who I don't think ever gained the Warriors' players full confidence. Mark Jackson would be a good choice because he's played in the league, and would be an ultimate "players coach", but he's also been an analyst for a while now, and knows the NBA like very few candidates do. I say I don't want another teams assistant, but Shaw is a different animal. He's been the the finals numerous times and is a known winner. He's another guy who has a reputation as a players coach, so obviously the Warriors are making it a priority that their new coach will be able to communicate on the same level as the players, something Don Nelson never really did, outside of that run in 2006.

So, after hearing the new group of finalists, I really say push hard for Jackson or Shaw, who have each played long careers in the NBA and have been around the league a long time. I do like the fact that they're insistent on a first-time head coach at least, and passed on the likes of Rick Adleman and Jerry Sloan. Sure, I think a great college coach like Callipari would have been a helluva a fit, but who knows if that was ever even an option, or if Callipari even wants to come to the NBA. Either way you slice it, you can see the Warriors front-office, already, much more decisive and efficient, and one would have to assume that it's been the addition of Jerry West that has solidified their front office. As I said in the last post talking about the West hiring, I didn't feel GM Larry Riley (a coach before moving into the front office in 2009) was completely inept at finding a coach and prepping for the draft, all while assessing free agents and their own talent, all by himself, with no coach or qualified assistant GM or any notable advisers. West's hiring immediately installed credibility into a front-office that hasn't produced a winning team since 2006.

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