Sports Out West

Clippers eye Byron Scott, Jeff Van Gundy

Photo by Schroder + Schlombs / Flickr

As the Los Angeles Clippers continue their search for a new head coach this offseason, some familiar faces among coaching circles in Byron Scott and Jeff Van Gundy have surfaced. 

From TNT’s David Aldridge: 

Byron Scott’s got a very good chance with the Clippers,” Aldridge said on Saturday’s broadcast of “Inside the NBA”. So does Jeff Van Gundy —  if he feels comfortable with the way management and ownership go.” 

The Clips are under scrutiny for the way they handled the dismissal of recently-ousted head coach Vinny Del Negro. Team owner Donald Sterling suggested last week that superstar Chris Paul could be a potential person of influence in the decision not to retain him. Paul took offense, and is now upset with the organization for his portrayal. For that reason, the Clippers will likely tread carefully in the way they handle their new coaching hire. 

For Scott, a move to Los Angeles would mean familiar surroundings. In addition to already having coached Paul when both were with the New Orleans Hornets from 2004-2009, he grew up in Inglewood, Calif. in the proverbial shadow of the Great Western Forum, where he enjoyed the best years of his professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Clippers organization is another special place for the former Arizona State Sun Devil as he was drafted by the then-San Diego Clippers with the fourth overall pick in the 1983 NBA draft. 

Van Gundy is a well-respected veteran coach and analyst who would likely only take the job with some assurances that the ownership would stay out of personnel matter. With a notorious meddler in Donald Sterling, that scenario is more difficult to imagine coming to fruition. Still, if he’s open to what the Clippers pitch him and they feel he could take them to the next step, then it could very well be an intriguing hire. 

Photo Credit: Schroder + Schlombs / Flickr

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.