Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Sources: Warriors eye Mike Brown
By Marc Stein
Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown and Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Dwane Casey will receive two of the first interviews that the Golden State Warriors conduct in their search to replace Keith Smart, according to sources close to the process.
Brown, an ESPN NBA analyst, and the Warriors have registered mutual interest in discussing the job since Smart's dismissal on April 27 and are expected to meet formally soon, sources said.
The Warriors, sources said, have also requested and received permission from the Mavericks to interview Casey, with an interview expected to take place before Dallas begins its Western Conference finals series against either Oklahoma City or Memphis, which will start Sunday at the earliest.
It's believed that the Warriors also have strong interest in Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank. ESPN.com reported Friday that Frank and Casey have emerged as two of the Houston Rockets' most serious candidates, with multiple media outlets reporting that TNT's Kevin McHale is also a Rockets finalist.
But Warriors officials have also spoken of their desire to take their time with the search to interview several candidates, not unlike the Rockets' approach in their search to replace Rick Adelman.
NBA coaching sources say that the Warriors also do intend to reach out to coaching veterans Jeff Van Gundy (also an ESPN NBA analyst) and Jerry Sloan to gauge their interest in succeeding Smart, but it is not immediately known if those conversations will progress to the interview stage.
Warriors general manager Larry Riley has said little publicly about the search but has not ruled out the possibility that the team would make a hire before the June 23rd NBA draft.
Brown, the 2008-09 NBA Coach of the Year, coached the Cavaliers for five seasons and posted a record of 272-138 before his dismissal after last season's second-round loss to the Celtics.
The 54-year-old Casey has been waiting for second shot at a top job since being dismissed by the Minnesota Timberwolves with a record of 20-20 during the 2006-07 season. He narrowly missed out on coaching jobs last summer with the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers and could see his chances in Houston boosted by his association with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who is highly regarded by the Rockets. Casey has been working largely as the Mavericks' defensive coordinator since coming to Dallas with Carlisle starting with the 2008-09 season.
Smart took over shortly before last season and posted a 36-46 record after Don Nelson was informed by new owner Joe Lacob and Riley in September that he would not be retained. The Warriors are thus looking for their third coach in three seasons, which prompted Riley to say "some stability once we make the next selection" is high on Golden State's list of goals.
Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.