With the Nets recently hiring Avery Johnson as head coach, effectively removing him from the Hawks coaching search, the team is now down to three candidates: Larry Drew, Mark Jackson and Dwane Casey. Each candidate brings a different perspective to the job with varying degrees of playing and coaching experience. Here is how they breakdown:
Larry Drew has been a Hawks assistant since 2004, and is well known throughout the organization. Drew is considered the favorite due to his experience with the team in place, and the owners’ familarity with him. Drew is an NBA lifer who played point guard for ten seasons with the Pistons, Kings, Clippers and Lakers. After retiring, Drew has paid his dues being an assistant for the Lakers, Pistons, Wizards and Nets before latching on with the Hawks. This guy deserves a shot at a head coaching position and this is probably the best chance he will get. If Drew does not get the head coaching gig, it will be a mild upset.
Mark Jackson’s name has circulated in head coaching searches for the past few years. He was thought to be a lock for the Knicks position in 2008 before Mike D’Antoni was hired. Jackson has absolutely zero coaching experience, which is said to have hurt him in the past, and likely is hurting him now. Despite the easy availability of latching on to an NBA staff, Jackson has refused to leave his gig as an announcer for ESPN/ABC. He was a great point guard in the League, and I think he would make a great coach, but his lack of coaching experience is obviously a concern. Jackson is said to have wowed Hawks GM Rick Sund in an interview, and it is being said that he needs to wow the Hawks owners as well in order to beat out Drew.
Dwane Casey was considered the early front-runner for the position if Drew wasn’t hired, but that was until Jackson interviewed. Casey is the only one of the three candidates with head coaching experience, going 53-69 in a season and a half for the Wolves. While the record doesn’t indicate great coaching, Casey suffered due to the fact that the Wolves’ roster was not suited for winning basketball, and Casey was fired mid-season when his team was 20-20. Many people actually saw Casey as overachieving with the group of players he had. Since his firing, he has worked on Rick Carlisle‘s staff in Dallas.
What do you think? Who should the Hawks hire as their next coach?
Follow Daniel on Twitter at @dgm591.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.