Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 6/7/13
The Clippers appear to be moving forward in their search to find a new coach and are focusing on Lionel Hollins, Brian Shaw and George Karl, said NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Hollins, whose contract with the Memphis Grizzlies expires June 30, had a lengthy telephone conversation Thursday with Gary Sacks, the Clippers' vice president of basketball operations, one of the executives said. Shaw, associate head coach of the Indiana Pacers, is expected to have a formal face-to-face interview with the Clippers on Monday. Now that Karl has been fired by the Denver Nuggets, Karl has become a "strong" candidate to replace former Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, executives said. Karl's representative has had conversations with the Clippers about their opening. Hollins is one of the candidates Sterling likes, according to one of the executives. Hollins led the Grizzlies to a 56-26 record and the Western Conference finals, in which they were swept, 4-0, by the San Antonio Spurs. In the Clippers' front office, Sacks and director of basketball administration Eric Miller, Sterling's son-in-law, both like Shaw. Shaw has won three NBA championships as a player with the Lakers and two as an assistant coach with the team. Because of Shaw's lack of head coaching experience, some in the Clippers' front office wonder about how he'll deal with players. But Lamar Odom, who played under Shaw when both were with the Lakers, and several other Clippers players have let the front office know they are in favor of Shaw's being hired, executives said. Shaw has been credited with helping Pacers small forward Paul George become an All-Star and with developing guard Lance Stephenson. He also is credited with helping Andrew Bynum evolve into an All-Star center when both were with the Lakers. The Brooklyn Nets also are interested in Shaw and are trying to interview him soon for their head coaching vacancy, according to one of the executives. The Nuggets are interested in Shaw as well. Sterling really likes Karl, one of the executives said, because Karl was named the NBA's coach of the year in 2013 for the Nuggets after leading them to a 57-25 record. Karl, 62, had one year left on his contract when Denver fired him Thursday. Karl's Nuggets had the best home record (38-3) in the NBA this season, but Denver was upset by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Karl has a 1,131-756 record over 25 seasons as a coach. Karl led the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1996 NBA Finals, where they lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. -- Broderick Turner
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