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Hey Warriors management, who will you get that’s better? Seven names to watch.

May 7, 2014, 12:01 AM EDT

Who are you going to get that’s better?

Mark Jackson being let go as the head coach of the Golden State Warrior had been rumored for months, and as Monte Poole of noted this was more mutual than people thought. Still, Jackson’s team won 51 games, made a strong playoff showing without their best defensive player, and are a team not far from contending. Golden State just had its best back-to-back seasons in decades. The players love him.

So who you going to get that’s better, Joe Lacob? As Jackson himself noted, the pressure is on the Warriors owner and front office now to find a replacement that is an upgrade.

MORE FROM CSN BAY AREA: Lacob explains rationale for firing Jackson

Here are the names that have been floating around the league as candidates and have been mentioned in reports:

1) Steve Kerr. He is the first name mentioned by everyone, owner Lacob and his son Kirk (working in the front office) have ties to Kerr, plus others in the front office are high on him. It’s why they moved fast on Jackson — Kerr was about to start talks with the Knicks (but hasn’t yet) and reportedly will listen to the Warriors, but they had to get their hat in the ring. There is one big question here: Do they want to replace one coach plucked out of the broadcast booth with no experience on the bench with another? This is going to be an upgrade? Maybe Kerr is easier to work with off the court (Jackson was described as “disruptive” to me), but is Kerr going to be a better coach? That’s a big gamble. This job has a very different pressure than the New York one, but with an ownership group that thinks the team is a contender there is real pressure.

2) Stan Van Gundy. This would be a potential upgrade — Jackson is not near the strategist Van Gundy is (Jackson let the assistants do a lot of the game planning, setting the defensive system, etc). Van Gundy has coached a team all the way to the Finals before and he seems to be itching to get back into it. Of course, if you just let go of Jackson because he is hard to work with and you bring in the outspoken Van Gundy, then you pressure him from the outside… go ask Orlando management how that goes. Still, he may be the betting favorite to get the gig.

3) Fred Hoiberg. He is on a lot of NBA teams’ radar. He worked in the Minnesota front office, is a former NBA player who has shown at Iowa State he knows how to coach the game. If he wants to come out of college to the NBA a number of teams (including Minnesota) would like to talk to him. So far he hasn’t shown any inclination to head to the pros, but the option is there.

4) Kevin Ollie. Another college coach on everybody’s list, he just won a national title at UConn. He is wisely parlaying that into new contract negotiations with UConn, and he is expected to stay, but apparently he will listen to the Lakers’ overtures. He may do so with the Warriors as well. Still smart money says he stays put.

5) Alvin Gentry. The former NBA head coach and current Clippers assistant next to Doc Rivers is a name put out there by the well connected Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. He has 12 years experience as a head coach, the last five of those with the Suns where the team went back to an up-tempo style. He’s well liked around the league. That said, does a guy with a career .475 winning percentage that has made the playoffs twice (once getting to the conference finals) have the star power to replace Jackson? Not really.

6) Tom Thibodeau. Another name Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News put out there from his sources. Even with the reports of friction between Thibodeau and the Bulls GM Gar Forman, it’s highly unlikely the Warriors would even get permission to speak with him, let alone having the Bulls let him walk. But like the Lakers, the Warriors may ask if they can approach him about the deal.

7) George Karl. He’s not on any rumor list, but he’s an available name coach who plays an up-tempo, free-flowing offensive style that would mesh well with the current Golden State roster. Just a name to keep in the back of your mind, particularly if the top few on this list do not pan out. The Warriors need to make a splash with this hire.

  1. cantonb0und13 - May 7, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    Thibodeau should be number one, if he’s available. Curry, Thompson, Iggy, Lee, Green, Barnes, (not counting Bogut, he doesn’t play when it counts). Much better team than the Bulls. Bulls without Thibs is a 7th or 8th seed. The entire team is a product of Thibs.

    • apkyletexas - May 7, 2014 at 12:16 AM

      Why not look at Mike D’Antoni now that he’s out in LA? Talk about a team that could run his system perfectly – this Warriors’ group is tailor-made for his system.

      • beach305 - May 7, 2014 at 12:51 AM

        I agree, D’ Antoni would be a perfect fit for this team.

      • spursareold - May 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Is his system going to get you where you want to go, though? You need defense, but Bogut is a horrible fit for 7 seconds or less.

    • cantonbound13 - May 7, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      Maybe Stan won’t get screwed again like he was in Miami. Nice “family”.

    • stayhigh_247 - May 7, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      well i heard Hilary wants Kerr for her running mate, and Letterman has decided Kerr would be a better fit than Cobert, rumor has it the taliban is scouting Kerr, but not before Khloe convinces him to become a Kardashian his options are endless right now.

  2. cantonb0und13 - May 7, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    And one more thing, why is Kerr all of sudden the next Phil Jackson? I like Kerr a lot from his playing days and TNT commentating, but come on man, really?

    • mogogo1 - May 7, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      It’s starting to get funny. Phil Jackson has dinner with the guy and suddenly every team wants him. The Lakers expressing interest was the best: They let the real Phil Jackson go but suddenly now they’d want his protege?

  3. alfiemonstaa - May 7, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    You forgot my nigguh Lionel Hollins cuh

    • cantonb0und13 - May 7, 2014 at 12:15 AM

      Nah it wouldn’t be a good fit.

    • duhwighthoward - May 7, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      Sorry, he’s too much like Mark Jackson – he’ll make a team the best its ever been.

    • sal11 - May 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      Mr. Sterling, you’ve already been asked to leave once.

  4. djstat - May 7, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    Only in the nba does a coach who led his team to 51 wins get fired.

    • antistratfordian - May 7, 2014 at 12:32 AM

      That could also get you fired in the MLB.

      • miamatt - May 7, 2014 at 5:54 AM


  5. xli2006 - May 7, 2014 at 12:17 AM

    Terrible move Warriors.


  6. hahapapa - May 7, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Tyrone Corbin.

  7. 1harrypairatesties - May 7, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    Thibs isn’t leaving Chicago so that’s not an option. I don’t understand all the hype about Steve Kerr or Kevin Olie. What’s Jerry Sloan doing nowadays?

    • phillyguyindc - May 7, 2014 at 8:19 AM

      I agree 100% but I doubt Sloan wants to come out of retirement to coach this generation of NBA players.

  8. jamesmfitzpatrick - May 7, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    “The Warriors need to make a *splash* with this hire.”

    I get it

  9. Wammy Giveaway - May 7, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    There is a rumor that the Warriors are interested in trading for Kevin Love, which would give Golden State a second superstar to pair with Stephen Curry. The dynamic duo of Curry and Love would supposedly match up to that of the Clipper’s Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

    With that being said, if the Warriors do trade for Kevin Love, expect Mike D’Antoni’s name to be on the coaching carousel. His Seven Seconds Offense and preference to jump shooters of all sizes from 3-point range would help catapult Golden State back into the dark horse juggernaut they once were in the 2012-13 season. They will lose the ability to defend (depending on what happens with Andre Iguodala), but they’ll still be an exciting bunch with an offense that is basically impregnable.

  10. wilsonsoriano - May 7, 2014 at 4:33 AM

    How about Lionel Hollins?

  11. vstyle23 - May 7, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    First off I totally disagree with the fire but now that it’s done the best coach as much as I hate to say it would be D’an Toni. His style really would work well with this team. The could easily have one of the best records in the league because they’re loaded. The problem as always with Toni is the playoffs. Everything slows down and you have to play a half court set. This is where you need Stan Van Gundy. He could coach up a half court set.

    Kerr is unproven and undeserving just because of lack of experience. I tell you what, this team is loaded and just needs a coach to bring them over the hump.

  12. ebrownwareagle - May 7, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    Lol at ALL OF THESE COACHING SUGGESTIONS. D’antoni has proven What? Steve Kerr has proven What? Mark Jackson has proven that he is a stud coach. Why isn’t Lionel Hollis name in the Pot. It sounds and look like a recycling of The same Good ol Boys in the Good ol Boys System.

    • campcouch - May 7, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Hollins hasn’t proven anything either.

  13. philliesblow - May 7, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    If Tom Izzo really wants to try the NBA, this would be a good spot for him, with one of his all time favorite players (Green) a major contributor in the playoffs. I’m sure his best buddy Steve Mariucci has told him how nice life is in SF. Would be odd watching him coach a team wearing blue and yellow.

  14. ningenito78 - May 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    Ebrownwareagle- I know you LOVE an opportunity to play the race card but playing that card when it comes to the freaking NBA shows how much of an ignorant race baiting tool you are. Seriously go educate yourself you pathetic POS.

  15. jzone954 - May 7, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    @ canton bound. Maybe Stan is the next Knick head coach? lol. He should be able to get the most out of Lamar Odom and Barnani.

  16. phillyrox - May 7, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    I can’t believe they fired Red Auerbach! Grow up people he’s decent coach who doesn’t have the offensive mind that THIS team needs.

  17. mogogo1 - May 7, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Likely this will be an example of why some franchises never really reach the top. Taste a bit of success and suddenly management decides nothing short of the Finals will do. Within a couple years we’ll all be doing the bit about “remember when the Warriors looked like they were going to be the next big thing?”

  18. socalgal64 - May 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Hey Warriors management, who will get that’s better?

  19. colink54 - May 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Bob mcadoo

  20. jimsjam33 - May 7, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Why not George Karl ? Up tempo , fast break , high scoring basketball from a coach that knows how to win and the players like him . Trade Bogut , not really a bad move because he’s injured most of time anyway , and get a tandem team of ( Denver’s ) McGee and ( OKC’s ) Peterson . Speed , speed , and more speed .

  21. dreamer5873 - May 7, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    The Warriors are light years away from a championship. Jackson was the right fit, but you gotta love Jackson for doing it his way. He was in a no win situation. Either way the management mind was already made up.

  22. rushbacker - May 7, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    I’ll laugh if they hire George Karl. Granted, he could have some success with that roster, but he’s simply NOT a better coach than Mark Jackson. I’m a Nugs fan who watched the entire GK era, and the way Jackson coached rings around him in last year’s playoffs was laughable.

    You have to respect GK as a long-time winner– and two-time cancer survivor– but it’s time for the guy to move to a front office or consultant position, or do TV. You could see him yawning in post-game interviews his last year; he doesn’t have the energy for the daily grind of coaching anymore. And his lazy refusal to run a big boy half-court offense effectively prevents his teams from competing at a high level in the post season. He was the coach of the old Bucks that were the first one seed to ever lose to an eight seed (coincidentally, the Denver Nuggets). The one time his Nugs team did make a run, Chauncey Billups was more or less the coach on the court.

    No way is George a better coach than Jackson at this point. I expect Jackson to catch on somewhere and do well. Stan Van Gundy is probably the best hire if he’s interested. If not, I think Hoiberg is the type of strong fundamentals coach who could transition well to the pro game, and be able to work well with the current generation of players.

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