Mike Dunleavy met with Lakers about coaching job

Mike Dunleavy SrMike Dunleavy appears to be a fairly hot name for NBA coaching vacancies.

First there was a report that the Knicks had interest in the former Clippers coach, and now it sounds like the Lakers have interest in bringing the veteran coach back for another spin.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak met with Dunleavy to discuss the position, which became vacant after Mike D’Antoni resigned/was pushed out last month.

Dunleavy, 60, has had a lengthy coaching career. He coached the Lakers for two seasons in the early ’90s, the Bucks and Blazers for four seasons apiece, and he was the longtime coach of the Clippers until resigning during the middle of his seventh season in 2010. He has not coached since then.

I don’t think Dunleavy is anything special as a coach, but he was able to consistently win when he had a roster full of talented/competitive players. You could do worse for a hire, but you could also do better.

Mike Dunleavy a candidate for Brooklyn Nets coaching job

Mike Dunleavy SrMike Dunleavy is a serious candidate for the Brooklyn Nets head coaching job, the New York Daily News reports.

The Nets decided not to retain interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, who went 35-19 during the regular season after replacing Avery Johnson as the team’s head coach in December.

Jeff Van Gundy was initially reported to be a candidate for the job, but Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski later said the interest did not appear to be mutual, likely because Van Gundy is happy serving as a commentator for ABC/ESPN. Phil Jackson has been mentioned as a candidate, but he may be more interested in a front office position.

The Daily News says Dunleavy has a good relationship with Nets GM Billy King and is golfing buddies with him.

Dunleavy, 59, lost his job as Clippers coach/GM during the 2009-2010 season and hasn’t coached since. The Daily News says Dunleavy had discussions with King about the job during the season.

Dunleavy and Jeff Van Gundy were mentioned as candidates for the job in December before Carlesimo was made interim head coach. At the time, Dunleavy openly lobbied for the position on his radio show.

Stan Van Gundy, Brian Shaw, and Jerry Sloan have also been mentioned as candidates for the position.

We’re thinking that the Nets won’t be able to land the big name they’re seeking and that someone like Dunleavy is much more realistic.

Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Dunleavy reportedly on Nets’ coaching candidates list

Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Dunleavy reportedly are two of the names on the Brooklyn Nets’ list of potential head coaches. The Nets fired Avery Johnson on Thursday, just 28 games into the season. Assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo was promoted to interim head coach, but the team is believed to have its eyes on some other candidates.

At the top of the team’s list is Phil Jackson, who is said to be open to hearing their offer. Jackson reportedly was prepared to accept the Lakers job until it was given to Mike D’Antoni. He famously is only interested in coaching teams he believe can win a championship. The 14-14 Nets likely will not fit that criteria, so we doubt he will seriously consider the position, though CBS Sports’ Ken Berger says Jackson is “intrigued” by the job.

Van Gundy is said to be high on the Nets’ list if they are unable to get Jackson. ESPN New York says the Nets hold Van Gundy “in high regard” and consider him a serious candidate for the job. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski says Van Gundy is interested in the position, but he will not talk to the team until after the season out of respect for the current coach. The Nets were turned down by Van Gundy before hiring Johnson in 2010.

In addition to Van Gundy, Wojnarowski mentioned Kelvin Sampson as a potential candidate for the job. Sampson served as the Rockets’ head coach while Kevin McHale took a personal leave of absence last month. The New York Times’ Howard Beck says Sampson’s name has been discussed, but he is not viewed as a “significant candidate.”

Beck mentioned former Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy as a candidate (as did ESPN New York). Dunleavy lobbied for the job on his radio show.

“First off, I’m from Brooklyn, so if ever given the opportunity to coach a team from Brooklyn, it would be a dream come true,” Dunleavy said on his SiriusXM show, via the New York Times. “Right now, to the best of my understanding, is that P. J. has been given the job on an interim basis — I’m not sure with the opportunity to keep it or not — but he’s a friend of mine, he’s a good coach and I wish him all the best in what he’s doing right now.”

Both ESPN New York and the Times mention Larry Brown as a potential candidate, citing his relationship with Billy King. Brown is currently in his first season as coach at SMU. Nate McMillan and Flip Saunders have also been mentioned as candidates for the job.

The Nets beat the Bobcats at home 97-81 on Friday in their first game under Carlesimo.

Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

So Eight Games and Baron Davis Already Isn’t Fitting in with the Clippers

Just to show you how bad the Mavericks are, that’s the only team the Clippers beat this season. The Clips are 1-8 and were pretty much doomed from the start when Elton Brand deserted them in free agency and Maggette bolted for Golden State. Baron Davis was their key offseason acquisition, but he only signed with them to be back in LA where he grew up and to make some money. It’s pretty clear he didn’t consider much else otherwise he wouldn’t have signed with that garbage organization. And he had no idea that leaving the Warriors meant he would have a new coach with a different coaching style. And that as you could imagine has caused some problems. Quoting Baron:

“There’s definitely a disconnect there. I’ve never had so many plays in my entire career. I have to figure out how to fit more into his system, and [Dunleavy] has to figure out how to relax his grip.
“It’s like every time we come down the floor, everyone is trying to figure out the play, and by the time I get it called out and everyone knows it, there is eight seconds left on the shot clock,” Davis said. “It takes away some of our instincts.”

As far as I see it, Davis has really only had one year where things worked — two years ago with the Warriors when they took out the Mavs in the playoffs. He’s a picky guy who only works in certain systems (the free-wielding kind), and butts heads with his coaches (not named Nelson). With four years left on his contract, I’m just wondering who will be the first to go: Baron Davis, or Mike Dunleavy. It’ll be hard to fire Dunleavy now that he’s GM of the team, too. Hope Baron’s open to an offseason trade.

Mike Dunleavy is Smoking Something

The Clippers did what they had to in order to stay alive in the Western Conference race — by a barely beating pulse. They beat the Suns 103-99, as Phoenix did rotate their normal lineup, albeit not for as many minutes as usual. The Clippers were banking on a Mavericks win over the Warriors in the other significant game on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, Dallas decided to rest Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse, and Erick Dampier. Meaning, it was like a one-legged man challenging you to an ass-kicking contest. Although the Clippers were hopeful Dallas would battle Golden State on Tuesday night, Elton Brand understood that the Mavs owed nothing to the Clippers:

“They handled their business all season. If they wanted to rest guys, that’s their right … Those guys deserved a rest. It was our responsibility to take care of our own business, and we didn’t do that.”

Precisely. Anyone with a sane mind agrees with Brand on that point. HOWEVA, it’s Mike Dunleavy’s quote that I don’t quite get.

“From what I’m hearing, Dallas didn’t play their guys … Obviously Phoenix played their guys, so it tells you they (the Mavericks) probably prefer to play Golden State than us. That’s what it comes down to.”

Nothing quite like puffing up your chest and trying to find the silver-lining eh Dunleavy? Right … because Dallas really wants to play the same Golden State team to whom they lost three times during the regular season. The same Golden State coached by the man who knows the Dallas organization so well — Don Nelson. That has to be it Dunleavy. Boy you’re really onto something there.

As for the Clips, don’t be surprised if they lose Wednesday night to the Hornets. Why? Chris Kaman makes it sound like their season is already over

“Is Golden State going to lose? More than likely, they’re not … But there’s really nothing we can do about it now.

“What happened is over. We just have to prepare ourselves for [tonight] and then it’s all about next year.”

Yeah, maybe next year won’t be a lost season for the Clippers.