Instead of narrowing the candidate list down, the Hornets' interview process is seemingly broadening it. Of course, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Honestly, what was the last coaching search you remember that was this extensive, by any team? The Hornets are talking to literally every prominent assistant coaching name in addition to the usual suspects. I'll take thoroughness over brevity every day of the week; Chris Paul's future might depend on it.
On to the links!
Missed this from John Reid's Twitter feed over the weekend:
Former #Hornets coach Byron Scott was in New Orleans over the weekend to help Chris Paul celebrate birthday
That brings up two interesting points of note: (a) how many more times is Bill Simmons going to be hilariously proven wrong for his "ooh look at me, I have insider knowledge that Chris Paul hates Byron Scott" rant and (b) how involved should we presume CP is with the current hiring process after his displeasure with the way the FO handled Scott's dismissal?
Dime Mag calls the Hornets' coaching gig "The Best NBA Job Nobody Wants":
[It's] the one head coaching job opening nobody seems to be talking about, the one for which the top candidates aren’t reported to be fighting over: New Orleans. Why wouldn’t you want to coach the Hornets? The next coach walks onto a team that has perhaps the best point guard in the League and a Top-15 player in Chris Paul, a certified All-Star big man in David West, and a solid rebounder/shot-blocker in Emeka Okafor; and all three of them under contract through 2012 at least. You’ve got Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton, an explosive young backcourt tandem coming off stellar rookie seasons...
They’re in a warm weather city and one of the few NBA franchises with a distinct home court advantage via the Bourbon Street hangover factor.
I don't necessarily agree with some of the points in that article or the premise that people aren't interested in the Hornets job. But it's still an okay read, if only for the Bourbon Street hangover line.
The USA today, writing about Lawrence Frank's job prospects, has an interesting note:
If Frank were to get the job in New Orleans, it would mark the second time he was named the head coach of a club that had fired Scott less than one full season earlier.
Another bit of news that's neither here or there, from Marc Spears' Twitter:
Due to NBPA Regulations, Avery Johnson's longtime agent Tony Dutt can't represent him for coach jobs. AJ recently interviewed with NO & Phil
Hornets247 chimes in with a story about the Hornets' big man situation:
Okafor and West aren't bad players. They both do certain things well, and more often than not I'm happy to see them on the floor, especially instead of Songaila. The case can even be made that both of them are capable of seeing major minutes on a very good team. The problem is that when certain match ups arise, they are overwhelmed and over matched.
This is where a defensive minded guy like Chris Anderson would be key. It would be nice to have someone capable of defending centers or power forwards, playing good help defense, and providing some interior toughness that the team has so clearly lacked since Tyson lost his legs after the 2007-2008 season.
The story goes on to speculate about potential West and Okafor deals. I'm not huge on trade speculation, especially ideas that haven't been leaked by legitimate sources. Still, the analysis of West and Okafor's defensive struggles is worth a look.
Finally, it might be worth it to keep our eyes on other teams with coaching vacancies. The Sixers began their interview process alongside New Orleans last week (off the top of my head, Johnson, Casey, and Thibodeau are among the front runners in Philly). They've interviewed six candidates, to our seven. The Chicago Bulls will reportedly begin interviewing candidates this week. And Mikhail Prokhorov, the new Russian billionaire owner of the New Jersey Nets, had his purchase of the team approved yesterday, freeing N.J. to concentrate on its coaching search.
It's commendable that the Hornets are making their hiring process as extensive as possible. But as more teams jump into the fray, the advantage New Orleans gained with its early interview process will slowly wither away.