Jul 19, 2011, 9:39 AM EDT
For the past few weeks, once the ownership change went through and John Kuester was let go, it was thought Mike Woodson was he frontrunner to be the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons. But Celtics assistant (and former Nets head coach) Lawrence Frank reportedly impressed owner Tom Gores in the interview. The Pistons have been split, and stalled.
So Woodson had another interview Monday — with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Detroit News had the report.
Timberwolves GM David Kahn said he wanted an up-tempo coach to take over his team, which makes this interview puzzling. When helping rebuild Atlanta, Woodson’s teams never finished higher than 13th in the NBA in pace, and his best teams were close to the slowest teams in the league. Woodson is a defense first guy — something the Wolves could use — who wants to grind out games. Not really a fit with Minnesota’s personnel (especially Ricky Rubio) or what Kahn said he wanted.
It is possible Woodson (or his agent) was able to get the interview jus to put some pressure on Detroit.
Minnesota has also interviewed former NBA head coach Terry Porter (whose two teams in Milwaukee did not play at a terribly fast tempo, but when he took over for Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix his Suns did run a lot).
Then there is Don Nelson, who has talked with Kahn on the phone and is interested. Nelson’s teams run, but they don’t play much defense and Nelson has his own views on who should and should not get minutes (just ask Anthony Randolph). Nelson coaching the Wolves would be interesting, and they would win more, but the off-the-court train wreck that would inevitably happen might be the more interesting part of that pairing.
But Nelson still seems a better fit or what Kahn wants than Woodson.