The Cleveland Cavaliers will interview Charlotte Hornets assistant coach Mark Price for their head coaching position later today. This news was first reported by The Plain Dealer on Monday evening before being confirmed by multiple outlets since.
UPDATE (1:30 pm ET) via Charlotte Hornets. Steve Clifford speaking to media earlier this morning about Mark Price.
“Obviously we don’t want to lose him. I mean, he has done a great job here. He’s ready to be a head coach and the fact that they called and got permission to speak with him shows how much they think of him as a coach and it would be great if it worked out. Bad for us but good for him.” – CHA Head Coach Steve Clifford
When Mike Brown was relieved of his duties, following the 2013-14 campaign, StepienRules.com immediately put its full support behind Price as the Cavaliers next coach. As he heads into his interview with David Griffin and Dan Gilbert later today, our complete support remains.
Hiring Mark Price is the best move the Cavaliers franchise could make at this point in time.
Price’s coaching resume over the last decade in the NBA speaks for itself. He’s worked under the likes of Stan Van Gundy, Mike Fratello and others before working with Steve Clifford in Charlotte this past season. He is prepared to succeed as an NBA Head Coach.
But with candidates like John Calipari, Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo, Tyronn Lue and Alvin Gentry being tossed around in consideration, it seemed the Cavs were on their way to making the mistake of overlooking Price and his credentials. Credit Griffin and Gilbert, however, for eventually doing what’s best for the organization by giving him a long look.
Price not only deserves this interview, but he also deserves the job.
Cleveland Jackson explained why on May 15, 2014, when he wrote the following article: Hire Mark Price As The Cavs Next Coach. Below is a brief excerpt:
“This is the Mark Price of today, the one that learned to persevere by shooting his own endless shots as a young man in Enid, Oklahoma, who learned to coach under his father, an Oklahoma basketball legend, who discovered the concept of a spread team play on offense and defense under Lenny Wilkens, who was taught defensive theory under Mike Fratello and Rick Adelman. Who played for Hall of Famer Chuck Daly on the Orlando Magic. Who won a gold medal on Dream Team II with the winningest coach in NBA history Don Nelson. This is who Kemba Walker will miss if he moves on and into a head coaching role.
The Mark Price of today has been coaching in the NBA for a decade and his time in the NBA as a coach is quickly approaching his tenure as a player. His NBA coaching resume, which began in 2004, was preceded by coaching both high school and college ball. Price has coached at every level. He is as ready to be a successful head coach as any name that will be mentioned in this offseason as a potential head coach, and likely as qualified for the job as many who are already employed.
Before being hired by the Golden State Warriors yesterday, Steve Kerr had never held any coaching job at any level. He replaced Mark Jackson, who made the playoffs two years in a row despite never coaching at all at any level ever before being hired. This now makes it 19 of 27 current NBA coaches in their first head coaching job. Just like Jason Kidd, who just lost Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals as the coach of the New Jersey Nets who had barely been retired for a few weeks before he was offered the position. Doc Rivers, who is currently coaching the Los Angeles Clippers, had never coached basketball at all at any level before he was hired by the Orlando Magic in 1999. Gregg Popovich, widely regarded as the best coach in basketball, is currently serving in his first head coaching job.”
Read More: Hire Mark Price as the Cavs next Head Coach
On April 20, 2013, I spoke with Price about the job in Cleveland after Byron Scott was fired. An excerpt of our conversation is also below:
StepienRules: Do you feel like your experience in player development on the NBA level would help you connect with a young core on a rebuilding team like the Cavaliers, for example?
Mark Price: Yeah, I do. This Cavs group actually reminds me a lot of my playing days when I came in with Brad Daugherty, Ron Harper, myself and a bunch of rookies—playing together as a young group and then growing together. So that experience as a player has always helped me understand the development side in the NBA.
I’ve worked with a lot of young players over the years as far as player development and coaching, and I definitely enjoy that. I’ve always had a good relationship with my players. I really love teaching the game and helping guys get better.
StepienRules: You’ve coached with guys like Mike Fratello and Mike Woodson, as well as most recently with another good one in Stan Van Gundy. Can you talk about what you’ve learned from Stan, along with the others you’ve worked with?
Mark Price: I’ve been fortunate to have played for a lot of great coaches—Hall of Fame Coaches. But I’ve also gotten to work, like you said, alongside a lot of great coaches as well. Guys who are doing really well right now too, like Mike Woodson and the Knicks for example.
Working with Stan Van Gundy was a great experience. I feel like one of Stan’s strengths is preparation and defense and there is not a more prepared guy, night-in and night-out, than Stan Van Gundy. I learned a lot being a part of his staff, working with Stan, and then I learned a lot working with Mike [Woodson] as well.
Every coach–coaches that you played for or coached alongside–you take things that you learned from those guys. I’ve always tried to combine those different things, while also incorporating my own personality to find what works best.
If you still need more details on Coach Price’s resume, there is also this from the Cleveland Jackson archives on April 19, 2013.
We will have much more later this week after Coach Price dominates his interview. Thanks to John Calipari for staying in Kentucky.