Tahlequah Daily Press


June 10, 2014

Source: Cavaliers to interview Oklahoma native for coaching job

CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers will talk to a former star about being their coach.

Mark Price, a sweet-shooting All-Star guard for Cleveland, will interview for the team's coaching job, a person familiar with the meeting told The Associated Press. Price is scheduled to sit down with members of the Cavs' front office on Tuesday, said the person who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because the team is not making any plans public.

Price — who was born in Bartlesville and played high school basketball in Enid — spent last season as an assistant coach on Steve Clifford's staff with Charlotte. The 50-year-old has previously worked as an assistant coach in Orlando and Golden State. He has also been a shooting consultant with several teams.

A steady point guard on some of Cleveland's best teams in the late 1980s and '90s, Price was a four-time All-Star in nine seasons with the Cavaliers. The team retired his No. 25 jersey in 1999, one year after he retired as an NBA player.

With Price in the backcourt and Brad Daugherty up front, the Cavs made several strong runs at an NBA title, but were stopped by Michael Jordan. Price averaged 16.2 points and 7.2 rebounds for Cleveland. He has the second-highest free-throw percentage in league history.

Price has long been one of the Cavs' most popular players, and his addition adds a new wrinkle to a twisting coaching search now in its fourth week. The Cavs are looking to replace Mike Brown, who was fired on May 12 — for the second time — following a 33-49 season. Brown was previously fired by owner Dan Gilbert following the 2010 season.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer was first to report Price's interview.

The Cavs hope to hire a coach before the June 26 NBA draft. Cleveland has the No. 1 overall pick for the second year in a row and third time in four years.

Price is the sixth known candidate to meet with the Cavs, who plan to bring back Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry for a second interview. Gentry's meeting has not yet been scheduled, a person familiar with the talks told the AP.

Gentry previously worked in Phoenix with new Cavs general manager David Griffin.

The Cavs have also met with Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue, Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin, former Memphis coach Lionel Hollins and former Clippers and Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro.

Last week, the team contacted Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt, but have not yet set up an interview with the highly regarded international coach.

The Cavs' wide-ranging search has also included the team contacting Kentucky coach John Calipari. Yahoo! and ESPN reported the Cavs offered a contract to Calipari, who signed a new seven-year, $52 million deal last week to stay with the Wildcats.

During an interview on Kentucky Sports Radio, Calipari confirmed he was approached by NBA teams "in a hard way." Calipari did not offer any details of his discussions to return to the pros. He coached the New Jersey Nets from 1996-99, making the playoffs once.


AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

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