With Kevin Eastman promoted to vice president of basketball operations and Alvin Gentry headed to Golden State, Doc Rivers has two positions to fill in his coaching staff–and possibly a third with Tyronn Lue a final candidate in Cleveland. According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Clippers may look to former New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson as a replacement.
LAC is considering ex-NBA head coaches Mike Woodson and Lawrence Frank as asst candidates to replace Gentry & might hire both, a source said
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 20, 2014
With the New York Knicks ushering in a new regime, that regime headed by 11-time NBA champion in Phil Jackson, Mike Woodson was caught as a casualty of the change, being fired following a 37-win season. Soon after the firing, Woodson made it known that he would look to continue as a coach in the NBA.
“Keeping my eyes on coaching,” said Woodson. “I want to get back into coaching. So that’s my next move. So we’ll see what happens. … That’s a big goal. That’s what I’m going to push to do, absolutely.”
While Doc Rivers and Mike Woodson have no previous relationship in regards to coaching, this wouldn’t be Woodson’s first soiree with the Los Angeles Clippers. In the late ’80s, Woodson played two seasons with the Clippers, averaging 17.5 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.3 rebounds.
Ironically, the Clippers interest in Woodson plays against the former head coaches thoughts of Donald Sterling as Woodson stated he’d never play for Sterling if the racist comments were deemed true.
“No, if this comes out to be true, no, absolutely not,” Woodson said on NBA TV. “But again, we’ve got to let this unfold and see where we are with it.”
Of course, the Clippers are expected to be sold to Steve Ballmer, but with Donald Sterling taking the issue to court, there’s no timetable to determine how long this case will be prolonged.
A possible Woodson addition to the bench draws a 2 on the Richter-scale. Woodson doesn’t compliment Rivers in the same manner Gentry did–offensively. Defensively, Woodson falls under the umbrella that Rivers projects as he’s one of the better defensive-minded head coaches in the league and when you add the Lawrence Frank rumors to the equation, another guy whose niche is defense, it makes you wonder why Woodson is a candidate in the first place.
Alas, Rivers knows who may best fit beside him. The Clippers are a potential 60-win team, so it’ll be rare if any incoming assistant coach makes a huge impact on the players, but if Rivers strongly seeks Woodson for the job, Woodson definitely be there for the taking.