Hawks Expect to Name Coach by Monday
A team official told FanHouse on Thursday the Hawks could name their new coach as soon as Friday and at least expect to have him in place by Monday, the day Atlanta starts draft workouts. In an interview Thursday with FanHouse, Mark Jackson, one of three candidates for the position, said he's heard the same information.
The other candidates are Dallas assistant Dwane Casey and Hawks assistant Larry Drew.
"I just sit back and do this and then just wait,'' said Jackson, a former NBA guard and now an ABC television analyst, said before broadcasting Thursday night's Game 4 of the Finals between the Lakers and Boston. "It works out either way for me. ... I'm God-fearing, and no matter what I win.''
Jackson said he hasn't heard any clues who might get the job. Casey and Drew did not return messages, and Atlanta general manager Rick Sund was unavailable.
The Hawks have been seeking a coach since Woodson was let go May 14 after six seasons. Four men got multiple interviews, with Avery Johnson already having agreed to coach New Jersey.
If Jackson doesn't get the Hawks job, he's expected to emerge as a top candidate for the Los Angeles Clippers position. Casey also is expected to be looked at by the Clippers if not hired by Atlanta.
"It's a great job,'' Jackson said of the Clippers' position. "So we'll see how it plays out.''
Jackson said he wasn't concerned about mentioning the Clippers while still a candidate in Atlanta.
"It's not like I'm the only guy (the Hawks are) looking at,'' Jackson said. "It's a great job. I'll say that today.''
A source close to the situation believes the Clippers might wait until after July 1 to hire a coach, believing that could aide their chances of landing Cleveland star LeBron James, expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent that day.
Jackson, 45, played in the NBA from 1987-2004, including 1992-94 with the Clippers. He was Rookie of the Year and appeared in the 1989 All-Star Game.
Some of those pushing for Jackson to be named Hawks coach have referenced a 2008 study by Cornell University's Industrial and Labor Relations School and England's University of Warwick. Using data from 15,000 games between 1996-2004, scholars determined NBA teams tend to win more games if led by coaches who were star players or who had long playing careers.
"I agree with it 100 percent,'' Jackson said of the study. "Not just (the NBA. The study) says business in general. I think it makes a lot of sense in this league. I would think it makes a lot of sense.''
With Casey never having played in the NBA and Drew having logged 10 years between 1980 and 1991 without an All-Star appearance, soon it will be known if the Hawks believe Jackson's cause was aided by that study's findings.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson