Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan has already met with the Milwaukee Bucks about their head coaching position and is being “seriously considered”, according to a report by USA Today.
Sloan’s involvement with the Bucks is a huge development in the team’s coaching search, as the 71-year-old’s credentials overwhelm any of the other candidates.
Out of basketball since resigning as head coach of the Jazz in Feb. 2011, Sloan is third all-time with 1,221 wins in 26 seasons as an NBA head coach. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Sloan confirmed to FOX Sports Florida that Milwaukee general manager John Hammond came last week to his farm outside McLeansboro, Ill., along with assistant general manager Jeff Weltman and director of scouting Billy McKinney.
Asked if he believes he’s seriously in the mix for the job, Sloan said, “You’d have to ask them.”
Fired after three seasons as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, Sloan coached in the CBA before becoming an assistant coach in Utah in 1985. Sloan was named head coach of the Jazz in 1988 and led Utah to 19 playoff appearances in his 23 seasons on the bench.
The Jazz won six division championships under Sloan and had 10 seasons with 50 or more victories, including trips to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998.
Sloan resigned in the middle of his 23rd season in Utah, citing a drop in energy, though spats with then-Jazz point guard Deron Williams and other players were also thought to play a role in his February 2011 decision.
First reported by Yahoo! Sports, Los Angeles Lakers assistant Steve Clifford interviewed for the job Friday.
A disciple of both Jeff and Stan Van Gundy, Clifford will meet with Bucks general manager John Hammond on Monday. According to Yahoo, Hammond contacted Stan Van Gundy about the position but the veteran coach declined. He instead gave a “strong recommendation” for Clifford.
Clifford spent time as an assistant under Jeff Van Gundy in New York and Houston before spending five years on Stan Van Gundy’s staff in Orlando. Clifford followed Dwight Howard to the Lakers prior to this past season and is expected to return to Mike D’Antoni’s staff if he doesn’t get hired as a head coach.
A defensive-minded coach, Clifford coached with Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau in New York and Houston and is expected to carry a lot of the same defensive principles.
The Bucks have already interviewed former NBA head coach Nate McMillan and Rockets assistants Kelvin Sampson and J.B. Bickerstaff since not offering Jim Boylan a contract for next season.