CLEVELAND (AP) — Mark Price’s basketball background is loaded with honors and awards. His head coaching resume is a little thin.
That might not matter to the Cavaliers.
A four-time All-Star point guard during nine seasons with Cleveland, Price interviewed Tuesday with the Cavs, who fired Mike Brown nearly a month ago and have been on a twisting search for his successor. The quest has brought them to Price, who spent last season as an assistant in Charlotte under Steve Clifford, who believes the 50-year-old is ready to slide into the top seat.
“Obviously we don’t want to lose him,” Clifford said. “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.”
Price started Tuesday doing his usual routine, working with Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on his jumper — a continuing work in progress. Afterward, Price left for Cleveland to meet with the Cavs, who have certainly caught the attention of their fans by bringing in Price, one of the most beloved players in franchise history.
What Price may lack in head-coaching experience — he’s only coached the Melbourne South Dragons in 2005 and Orlando’s summer league team — he makes up for with his experience as a high-caliber player, his ability to teach and overall hoops knowledge.
There’s been a recent trend of NBA teams signing unproven coaches. The hirings of Steve Kerr in Golden State and Derek Fisher in New York, both former point guards without extensive head coaching backgrounds, could prompt the Cavaliers to take a shot with Price.
Price is the sixth known candidate to meet with the Cavs. The team intends to bring back Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry for a second interview this week. 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.
Cleveland has also contacted Kentucky coach John Calipari, who signed a seven-year, $52 million contract with the school last week.
The Cavs have not commented during the search for their third coach in three years.