After news of Los Angeles Clippers brass reaching out to Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Malone, Chris Broussard of ESPN reports Byron Scott, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach, has heard from the group also:
Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks reached out to Scott via telephone this week, asking if he has interest in coaching the team. Scott, recently fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers, has interest in the job, a source close to the situation said.
The talks were preliminary, no offer was made and no official interview has been set up yet. A source said the Clippers’ front office is putting together a list of candidates that it will take to owner Donald Sterling.
via Sources: Clippers, Byron Scott talk – ESPN Los Angeles
The list that Broussard speaks of consists of Jeff Van Gundy, Nate McMillan, Brian Shaw and Lionel Hollins.
Byron Scott’s ties make likely make him the leading candidate. The Los Angeles Clippers (then San Diego) drafted Scott 4th overall in 1983. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers where he went on to win three NBA championships in the 1980s playing alongside Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
As for ties to the superstar Chris Paul, Scott coach Paul from 2005 to 2009 as a New Orleans Pelican. When Scott was relieved of his duty, Paul had a lot to say then.
Obviously change needed to occur. I’m not sure that’s what should have happened,” Paul said. “I’m not sure it was all coach’s fault. You can [only] play with the cards you’re dealt. It’s a tough situation. The team went a different direction. Now we’ve got to play.
Coach was more than a coach to me. He was a mentor, someone who has made me the player I am today,” Paul said.
You don’t have to have my approval. I’m just a player. … Just let me know.
Scott brings the championship pedigree that players respect and with him coaching the Brooklyn Nets to back to back finals appearances in the early 2000′s, the players will know he has what it takes to get a team there. His overall coaching record isn’t one to boast (416-521), but he’s shown that given a roster he’s a capable coach.