Mark Jackson to Have Second Interview With Hawks
Jackson -- who is currently calling the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Boston -- is a finalist along with former Minnesota coach Dwane Casey, former Dallas coach and ESPN analyst Avery Johnson and Hawks assistant Larry Drew.
Casey has been believed to be the front-runner for the job, due in part to his ties with Atlanta general manager Rick Sund from their time together in Seattle (Sund was general manager, Casey an assistant under Nate McMillan). But Jackson, who is campaigning from a platform of natural born leadership and on-court credibility, appears to be making a push.
He previously interviewed for the New Orleans head coaching job, and told Philadelphia he wasn't interested in the position before it went to Doug Collins. The 18th overall pick out of St. John's in 1987, Jackson, a point guard who was taken by the Knicks, finished his career with 12,489 points and 10,334 assists in 17 seasons. Despite never having been an assistant or head coach, he's expected to meet with the team's owners for the first time in his second sit-down.
Money may well be a factor in this outcome, with Drew appearing to have the biggest edge in that regard as he pursues his first head coaching job. Yet the question there is whether the Hawks are looking to cut all ties to fired coach Mike Woodson, as Drew, who reportedly has strong support from the players, may be indicted for some of the persistent problems Atlanta endured. There were in-house complaints of laid-back practices, too few adjustments during games and the lack of development of rookie guard Jeff Teague that could hurt Drew's case.
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