NBA / Feb 5, 2010 / 12:45 pm

My Top 5 Coaching Options For The Clippers

After Mike Dunleavy was relieved of his coaching duties last night, there is already speculation about who will replace him permanently. Dunleavy will stay on as GM because of the $5.5 million he is owed next season, and Clippers fans are praying that he makes better decisions choosing a coach than he did while pacing the sideline himself. Kim Hughes will most likely serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season, but with a good foundation of veterans and young talent, expect the Clippers to attract the attention of big-name coaches currently out of work, along with a good selection of assistant coaches and college coaches looking to make the jump.

One thing to keep in mind is that working for Dunleavy is not necessarily an attractive prospect for just anyone, as the Tony Soprano look-a-like has proven to be abrasive, controlling and unpredictable throughout his career.

Clippers fans have waited for Dunleavy’s exit long enough, and although they will continue to suffer in the Lakers’ shadow, they at least deserve a coach who can get them to the postseason. Donald Sterling has screwed them for years, and with Hollywood studios right down the freeway, why not make the coaching search a reality show and let fans make the decision?

We’ll start with five coaching candidates making pitches, and each week we’ll eliminate a coach until one remains. I know I’d love to see Jeff Van Gundy channel his personality in other mediums and Mark Jackson attempt to explain his defensive philosophy by continually saying “Hand Down, Man Down!”

Here are the initial five candidates, in order, I’d like to see in L.A.:

1. Sam Cassell – A former Clipper in its Glory Day (2005-2006), essentially a player-coach in his waning years and now an assistant coach with the Wizards, Cassell would be a good fit for this team as a beginning coach. And maybe Dunleavy can repay Cassell a favor for making him play for the Clippers.

2. Jeff Van Gundy – Personality, defense and hanging onto legs of players, JVG would let B-Diddy run the offense and bring good offensive assistants. Best of all, guys will want to play for him. Why hasn’t this guy made it to L.A. yet?

3. Byron Scott – Former Laker, wicked mustache, and experience with uptempo offenses, Scott won’t get the job but his seriousness would give the Clip Show some credibility.

4. Mark Jackson – One of the all-time great PG’s, a great complement to JVG in the booth and the guy knows his stuff. Still, I don’t think the Clippers will give Jackson the position because the guy has zero coaching experience. Sure he’d potentially be a great coach, but he should have gained some experience as an assistant instead of taking the broadcasting route. If this were just up to Dunleavy, he’d probably be brash enough to give it to Jackson.

5. Greg Anthony – Does the guy even want to coach? Who knows, but Anthony would be a good fit having played under Dunleavy on the 1999-2000 Blazer team that was one memorable Bryant to Shaq!” alley-oop away from making, and probably winning, the NBA Finals. Anthony has been one of the smartest NBA and NCAA commentators since retiring from the League, and though he wouldn’t necessarily make for good reality TV, he would be a guy Clippers fans would want to attempt to pry from the booth.

What do you think? Who do you think the Clippers should hire as their next coach?

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  • hahns

    bring back the player-coach and let bdiddy coach.

  • bsteezy3

    I was thinking Van Gundy the whole time… But Cassell? I can dig it–let’s get him out there!

  • Diggity Dave

    Free Patrick Chewing! FFS, give the guy a break already.

  • life-p
  • LakeShow84

    Yeah they need a good big coach seeing thats the strength of their team..

    BoomDizzle is nasty and all but you know what ur going to get from him.. Kaman, Griffin and even Thornton could use a good teacher..

    Ewing?? Mmmmmaaaaayyybbbbeeeeeeeeee.. Would hate to see him get that job though.. Its gonna be rough..

  • jmg

    apparently Dime didnt do their homework because Byron Scott and Baron Davis had a falling out in New Orleans. that mix wont work again

  • Adam Flomenbaum

    @ Diggity Dave – we were thinking Chewing in the office, but the guy’s got zero personality and would ruin my fantasy reality show. And, oh wait, remember when he was supposed to come to Orlando to help develop DH’s post moves? What happened to that? The Dream taught Kobe more moves in a summer session than Ewing has taught DH in 3 years.

  • MBE18

    Mark Jackson needs to coach St. John’s!!!

  • b

    i like the greg anthony idea definitely. elston turner might get a look too – seems like he barely missed out on the phoenix and minny jobs. Adam makes a good point about ewing and DH, i bet jack sikma could turn griffin into a beast if we’re going along those lines.

  • the_don_mega (reppin the 3 stars and a sun)

    “wicked mustache”!!!

  • isotope

    Sam Cassell is probably the best of what you posted. Scott is a no-go. Van Gundy will be so depressed with the losing it’d send him to suicide watch.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    Free Sam Cassell!

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    Good call, jmg. That’s totally true. Baron Davis pulled the prima donna act on Byron Scott in New Orleans and basically left the team. I doubt that would work.

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    Avery Johnson?

    this is actually a good coaching job. an excellent position. this team is gonna have a lottery pick and Blake Griffin next year.

    add that to Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Al Thornton and Chris Kaman. not to mention (depending on Amar’e), the Pacific division is gonna be weak next year with Phoenix, GS and Sacto all going to suck.

    If I’m an out of work head coach looking to coach again….this is a good job.

    and it aint gonna be THAT hard to get a FA to sign to play in LA. not with the amount of slim goodie groupies in LaLa Land….

  • flavur

    What about John Lucas who is already an assistant coach for the clippers.

  • Adam Flomenbaum

    @ Flavur: John Lucas was considered to be interim – but comon, he would be a downgrade.

    @ Heckler: Avery Johnson? His voice alone would provide high comedy for a coaching search reality show, but he is more of a control freak than Dunleavy. I think those days in the league are over.

    @jmg – Byron Scott has no chance and I don’t know why I had him at 3, he’s more like 5. To tell you the truth, I think Greg Anthony would be a perfect fit for this job, i’ve just never seen him express an interest in coaching.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Pat Ewing
    Mark Jackson
    Paul Silas (Hey Lenny Wilkens was coaching old)
    John Thompson Sr.
    Kenny Smith
    Charles Barkley (just cause it would be funny)
    Alonzo Mourning might make a good asst. coach

  • vince

    there are rumors the clippers want isiah thomas as a gm and coach


  • Patrick Chewing

    What’s up Ryan?

  • http://www.protectthepaint.com Adam