Mark Jackson leading candidate to coach Wolves


The latest word on the Timberwolves coaching front is that Mark Jackson is the leading candidate to replace Kevin McHale as the Wolves' head coach.

Pro Basktetball News has the scoop:

New Minnesota president of basketball operations David Kahn has gone on record in saying he won't look for a replacement for fired coach Kevin McHale until after the NBA draft, but multiple sources have told Pro Basketball News that Mark Jackson has emerged as the leading candidate for the position and will wind up with his first coaching gig.

Jackson, who relied on his exceptional court vision and passing to mount a successful journeyman career in the NBA, ranks second all-time in career assists.

Non-basketball junkies might know Jackson from his ABC/ESPN color commentary alongside Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen during this year's Playoffs and Finals. (He's the one who would exclaim, "Mama there goes that man!" after a player made a particuarly assertive play-- "a grown-man move," in Jackson parlance).

There's a couple reasons why Timberwolves should welcome Jackson. His often hilarious banter with NBA luminary Van Gundy revealed a first-rate basketball mind. And his days as a premier NBA point guard--during which he functioned, in effect, as an on-floor extension of the coach--should command a certain level of respect among his players.

But there's also a reason for skepticism: in a word, inexperience. Jackson has never coached an NBA squad, not even as an assistant. And boasting a high basketball IQ as a player doesn't always translate to coaching excellence. (For exhibit A, see Magic Johnson).

Nevertheless, Jackson shows no shortage of confidence. From the same story:

Jackson, meanwhile, said as recently as last week that he's hopeful the opportunity will come sooner than later.

"The right situation will come and I look forward to making that guy who has the courage to pull the trigger, I'm looking forward to making him look awfully good," Jackson said.

Mama here comes that man...?