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Report: Mike Dunleavy a candidate for head coaching jobs with Knicks and Lakers

May 17, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

Mike Dunleavy AP

The Knicks lost out on their initial head coaching target when Steve Kerr chose to take the job with the Warriors instead, possibly due to the initial lowball offer he received and extended negotiations with New York that allowed Golden State to swoop in.

The Lakers, meanwhile, haven’t yet started their head coaching search, primarily because there are too many uncertainties with the roster right now to determine who exactly the right person would be to put in charge.

Both teams, however, appear to have at least one of the same names somewhere on their respective lists of candidates.

From Chris Broussard of

While one source close to the situation said Dunleavy is not at the top of Jackson’s list, the source acknowledged that Dunleavy is indeed a candidate.

Dunleavy, who has coached four NBA teams over 17 years, is also a candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers’ job, according to a source.

Dunleavy has had a friendly relationship with Jackson since their playing days in the 1970s. With both living in Los Angeles, they have periodically met for lunch over the years.

The New York Post reported that Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson met with Dunleavy over breakfast at a hotel in Chicago on Friday, the site of the NBA’s Draft Combine.

Just as it did when Jackson was considering Kerr to coach the Knicks, it makes sense that he would do the same with Dunleavy given their prior relationship. Jackson needs a familiar face on the sidelines that he trusts in order to have his philosophies trickle down to the players, and Dunleavy has proven to be a capable head coach in a variety of circumstances.

For the Lakers, the hiring of Dunleavy would be a short-term move aimed at trying to win now while Kobe Bryant remains on the roster. Bryant has two years left on his deal, and the only way the hiring of an aging coach like Dunleavy would make sense is if L.A. is somehow able to re-load with a ton of talent this summer, to the point where the Lakers are able to elevate themselves to the level of contenders once again.

Frankly, the L.A. scenario feels like a long shot. But the connection Dunleavy has with Jackson might make a job with the Knicks a real possibility — even if it ultimately ends up being in the front office rather than on the sidelines.

Dunleavy has coached 17 NBA seasons with four different teams, most recently with the Clippers from 2003-10. He coached the Lakers against Jackson’s Bulls in the 1991 NBA Finals, which was the year that Jackson won the first of his 11 championships as a head coach.

  1. mackcarrington - May 17, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Dunleavy left the Lakers the first time because he got more money, power and control in Milwaukee.
    He certainly isn’t going to get any power or control with either of these jobs.
    He also had a hand in botching the re-signing of Elton Brand with the Clippers a few years ago.

    • sportsfan18 - May 17, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      And that was many years ago when he was younger and trying to make his mark in the league… he was only 38 yrs old when he left the Lakers in 1992…

      Now, he is older (60 yrs old) and simply making several million a season would suffice…

      He hasn’t been in the league since 2010…

      • smoothaswilkes - May 18, 2014 at 3:50 AM

        wait, what? seriously, what are you trying to say? Mike D. has been terrible everywhere he’s gone after the Lakers, and he wasn’t that great with the Lakers. Talk about the team was better than than the coach.

        No. No to Mike D. for the Lakers. Or anyone else named Mike. Been there and done that with Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni.

  2. zackd2 - May 17, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Lol keep calling it a “low ball offer” from the Knicks all you want. It topped more than 6 other proven playoff coaches and/or new coaches. Kerr’s success in GS is tied to Curry and Bogut’s health. Hope giving him 20m will keep both of them healthy.

    As for Dunleavy or any coach, very overrated story. Knicks won’t improve until they get rid of dead weight contracts and get a real superstar to play next to Melo. Then I’ll worry about who’s coach. Until then, they’re just a name and guy at the end of the bench.

  3. Gordon - May 17, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Retread coaches…catch the fever!

  4. cantonb0und13 - May 17, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Mike Brown. Mike D’Antoni. Mike Woodson. Now Mike Dunleavy Jr.? Yeah, Lakers and Knicks this is going to end very well…

    • musician0785 - May 17, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      Cantonbound13 and now cantb0und13? Yea this is going to end very well….


      • cantonbound13 - May 17, 2014 at 9:12 PM

        He ‘s a pathetic little troll trying to be me. So sad. He has no identity like most heat bandwagon fans.

      • cantonb0und13 - May 17, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        You copy my name. I hope you realize people just so happen to have the sane name: Mike, Thomas, Greg, Lindsey, Melissa, the list goes on and on. You’re not the only cantonbound13. Stop crying. Loser.

      • cantonb0und13 - May 17, 2014 at 9:18 PM


        My bad. Troll.

    • cantonbound13 - May 17, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      Get a life, follower.

      • mackcarrington - May 17, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
        You guys should go to dinner and have a few drinks and talk it over.
        I’ll cover the tab. Order what you want.

      • ranfan12 - May 17, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        Take it like a man. you knew what it was before you became a part of it lol

      • kb2408 - May 18, 2014 at 12:19 AM

        I feel your pain, cantonbound13. No one is impersonating me but I’ve been stalked on here for 2 years now. Yeah, I’m looking at you, bb53!

  5. cantonbound13 - May 17, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    He looks like a divorce attorney from Boca Raton Florida.

    • cantonb0und13 - May 17, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      Who cares

      • cantonbound13 - May 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM

        Obviously you do. You reply to all my posts & even copy my name. You can try to be me but you will never come close. You’re pathetic!

      • cantonb0und13 - May 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        Thanks for the bedtime story.

  6. cantonb0und13 - May 17, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    cantonbound13 has acne all over his back and cheeks. #loser

    I would know because I seen him in person. He just doesn’t know who. Remember I live in South Florida.

    • cantonbound13 - May 17, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      You’re too much of a coward to confront me in person.

      • duhwighthoward - May 18, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        I have this feeling that when you two finally are face to face, and you run at each other, fists raised, right when you’re about to come to blows, you’ll look each other in the eyes, and end up smooching.

      • cantonb0und13 - May 18, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        No, that will not happen. I’m not Michael Sam. I’m more of a Rampage Jackson.

      • cantonbound13 - May 18, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        You don’t know who you are, follower.

  7. marcusfitzhugh - May 17, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Based on the *story*, he’s not at the top of the list, but he’s a “candidate”. News flash: a candidate is any person who seeks the job, or is sought out for a job. Basically, anyone who applies for any job is a “candidate”. Does that mean they have any chance of getting the job? So if they have zero chance of getting the job, where is the story? Steve Kerr was “sought out” for the job – that was a story. Every ex-NBA coach who would “like” the job, isn’t a story.

  8. rajbais - May 18, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Not surprised on him as a laker candidate.

    Kobe thought of going to the clippers because of his respect for Dunleavy.

    • kb2408 - May 18, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      Kobe NEVER would’ve played for the Clippers…he just wanted the LAKERS to get him some help. Enter Pau…2 rings later Kobe is still in the PURPLE AND GOLD.

      • sportsfan18 - May 18, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        Pau had a HIGHER win share per 48 from 2008 to 2013 than Kobe…

        In the 2009 NBA Finals, Kobe shot .430% from the field to Pau’s .600% and Pau only played a total of 7 min’s less than Kobe for the entire series.

        In the 2010 NBA Finals, Kobe shot .405% from the field to Pau’s .478% Pau even played more total min’s in those Finals than Kobe did…

        Considering Shaq was the reason Kobe won his first three titles (seriously, look THOSE NBA Finals stats up and Shaq’s stats mop the floor with Kobe’s stats), Kobe is lucky Pau was there with him as Kobe would not have won those titles without Pau in ’09 & ’10.

      • rajbais - May 18, 2014 at 6:57 PM

        You don’t remember 2004 free agency?

        Apparently you were born in 2005.

      • rajbais - May 18, 2014 at 7:12 PM

        There’s on the record quotes from Kobe and you’re not the idiot??

        You’re a piece of crap!!!

    • duhwighthoward - May 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      “Kobe thought of going to the Clipper.”

      I can’t stop laughing. Thank for making my day!

      • rajbais - May 18, 2014 at 6:58 PM

        Were you born in 2005?

        He thought about going in 2004 and Dunleavy, his dad’s ex-teammate, was a factor.

      • rajbais - May 18, 2014 at 7:12 PM

        There’s on the record quotes from Kobe and you’re not the idiot??

        You are a piece of crap!!!

  9. rajbais - May 18, 2014 at 12:15 AM

    Kobe knew Mike Sr. Through Mike Sr.’s ex-teammate, his father joe “jelly bean” Bryant.

  10. rpmcc116 - May 18, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    The Knicks will hire anyone at this point. I feel bad for whoever takes the job.

  11. 00maltliquor - May 18, 2014 at 2:45 AM


    • 22yearsagotoday - May 18, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      Lakers fans are mad, bro!

    • duhwighthoward - May 18, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      How insightful of you! To notice that his name is Mike. Did you come up with that on your own?

      Hold on, wait. You’re like the fifth person now to comment that his name is Mike.

      • 00maltliquor - May 18, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        Yeah, because I read everrrry comment on here before I made my own in a rage.

        Nice to know you can count though. You’re kindy-garten teacher must be so proud of you! Here, take this gold star*.

      • 00maltliquor - May 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM


        And that’s for the rest of you 5th grade spelling police.

  12. campcouch - May 18, 2014 at 2:57 AM

    these guys want to make a splash hire. do like Boston,blow it up,actually draft players and grab a solid college coach…D’Antoni and Woodson are chuckling right now.

  13. 00maltliquor - May 18, 2014 at 2:58 AM


    • 22yearsagotoday - May 18, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      They hear ya. All caps will do that.

      • 00maltliquor - May 18, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        Yeah, was in an all-caps rage upon reading this last night. lol

  14. Dogsweat - May 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Lets try Mike Brown again.

  15. addict2sport - May 18, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    Lucky for Laker fans, this story’s source is Chris Broussard which means it won’t happen. A

    • 00maltliquor - May 18, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Yeah, just my luck watch him FINALLY be right this time. I would’ve rather kept D’Antoni. Uggh.

  16. dougmanoh - May 18, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Another ex-member of the Clippers not quite good enough to stay with the team going to the Lakers. Welcome to the new post Jerry Buss era! #NewRecordsInFutility

  17. genericcommenter - May 18, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Maybe Phil thinks he learned the Zen Master ways when he beat him for the first (NBA coaching) ring.

  18. davesmall1 - May 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    In mathematical terms, the chances of the Lakers being good next year, no matter who the coach is, are approximately zip squat to the tenth power.

  19. mackcarrington - May 17, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    I was willing to humor you because I found you amusing in a pathetic sort of way.
    Now I hope you get beat down so bad that your jackal of a mother won’t recognize you.

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