Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 5/22/12
Jerry Sloan once coached temperamental star Karl Malone for 15 years. Perhaps his next challenge could be another such guy in Dwight Howard. Sloan told FOX Sports Florida on Tuesday he has interest in the Orlando Magic job, which became open Monday when Stan Van Gundy was fired. Yes, I think so, Sloan said from his farm in McLeansboro, Ill., about his interest. It would be very intriguing. But they would have to be interested in me. Sloan, a Hall of Famer, resigned from the Utah Jazz in February 2011 after 23 seasons. But he said not long after that he got the urge to return to coaching. Sloan, who has a 1,221-803 career NBA coaching mark over 26 overall seasons, said he has not heard anything yet from the Magic. He also said he has interest in the Charlotte job, but hasnt heard from the Bobcats. Its not always about starting at the top, Sloan, 70, said when asked if he really would interested in a rebuilding situation such as the one with Bobcats, whose 7-59 record resulted in the worst winning percentage in NBA history (.106). The Orlando job is obviously a much better one. Howard, who had plenty of friction with Van Gundy, is the NBAs best center and is at least under contract next season. Id let other people judge that, Sloan said when asked if he could coach Howard, who had been flirting with leaving small-market Orlando but did decide just before the March 15 trade deadline he would not opt out of his contract and delay possible free agency until the summer of 2013. The Magic also Monday let go of general manager Otis Smith. That makes the Orlando situation a little tricky for Sloan to gauge. You dont know what direction that theyre going to go, said Sloan, who coached Malone and star point guard John Stockton with Utah from 1988-2003, leading the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. You have to see what happens with their staff. Id have to weigh the pluses and minuses. But Id be interested in listening. When Sloan left the Jazz, he didnt know if he wanted to coach again. But Sloan, while not pinpointing an exact moment, said he eventually got the urge to again be back on the bench. I felt like I needed to get away from basketball, Sloan said. I worked (26) years (as a head coach). It was time for me to move on and see what was going in the world. Thats been kind of interesting. But I still have that void of basketball. Sloan was asked what he learned about what was going on in the world. Well, the sun comes up every day, he said. That sure sounds like a guy who got bored not coaching. And right now he would welcome another chance to get back. I dont have an agent, Sloan said. I dont need for anybody to talk for me. If somebody calls me, I will listen. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson.
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