Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune and Darren Wolfson and Nate Sandell at ESPN 1500 posted a couple of very good round-ups of where the process stands today. Candidates such as Lionel Hollins, Scott Skiles, and Sam Mitchell have maybe/probably/informally interviewed with Flip Saunders. College coaches Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo, and Fred Hoiberg have all apparently told the Wolves to take a hike. And other veteran coaches such as Nate McMillan, George Karl, Alvin Gentry, Vinny Del Negro have apparently yet to be contacted.
Of course, one of those names is not like the other. George Karl has won 1131 career games as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, and Denver Nuggets, and has been expressing interest in the Wolves’ head coaching job since the beginning of the process. The two links above include the following quotes from Karl:
“I respect the process. I want to coach again. Minnesota fits my criteria.”
“I do think it is a great job and good roster!!”
That’s right. An 1100+ game-winner and offensive-minded coach that most recently won 57 games and NBA Coach of the Year without a bonafide “superstar” on his roster hasn’t even been contacted by the Wolves. Granted, the strong personalities of both Saunders and Karl may not mesh, but come on. At some point, there has to at least be an interview or an inquiry, a shot at trying to get Karl’s vision for the team to see if maybe, just maybe, it would line up with Flip’s.
There is also a nice piece over at the St. Paul Pioneer Press website with a number of quotes from long-time NBA head coach and current NBA TV analyst Mike Fratello regarding the Kevin Love situation’s affect on the head coaching search. It’s obvious insight, but enlightening nonetheless to hear it from a respected coach.
It’s becoming more frustrating by the day. Wolfson has been surmising for awhile now that there is at least one serious mystery candidate, but it’s hard to see that as a positive development. Here’s hoping that the hire at least takes place in advance of the June 26th draft. But I’m not holding my breath.