Majerle interested in Bulls job
PHOENIX -- Phoenix Suns assistant coach Dan Majerle said he hasn't discussed the Chicago Bulls head coaching vacancy with Bulls general manager Gar Forman or executive vice president John Paxson, but he is willing to listen if they call.
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"Of course," he said to ESPNChicago.com before Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday night. "Yeah, I'm willing to listen to anybody."
Majerle recently interviewed for the Philadelphia 76ers job that ultimately went to former Bulls head coach Doug Collins. Majerle is intrigued by the possibility of coaching a team that could feature LeBron James if the Bulls land the Cavaliers superstar during free agency later this summer.
"To me, any job would be a great job to be able to be a head coach at," he said. "The Chicago franchise is a storied franchise, a great city, one of my favorite cities. Derrick Rose is great, [Joakim] Noah's got a lot of energy -- they've got a lot of young, nice pieces. Anytime James is talked about, any coach would love to coach a player like that."
Majerle agreed with the notion that the Bulls job is one of the best on the market.
"It's pretty good," he said. "Chicago's a great market. Obviously, they've got a nice talented team. I thought [former Bulls head coach] Vinny [Del Negro] did a great job. [He's] a good friend of mine, but obviously they're looking for something different. But I think that would be a great organization for anybody to go into with a guy like Rose at the point guard and some of the other guys they've got, it's a great foundation."
If Majerle ends up interviewing for the Bulls vacancy in the next few weeks, he believes that his interview with the 76ers will help him with the process.
"It was a great experience," he said of the Philadelphia interview. "This is my second year in coaching, and I didn't really know what to expect going in. I just tried to be as prepared as possible. We all have our philosophies and what we believe in, how the game should be played. How would we institute different things. It was a good experience.
"The people I dealt with were great. They were easy to talk to. Just asked me simple questions about basketball and my philosophies. And if there were any different situations that would pop up how would I handle them. It was one of those experiences that is really going to help me down the line if and when I have other opportunities for jobs."
The Bulls have started to interview candidates for the position that was created when Del Negro was fired earlier this month after two seasons on the job.
Majerle believes that a coach is a crucial part of any recruiting pitch a team has to make to prospective free agents.
"It's awfully important," he said. "Because players want to know who they're going to play for, what style they're going to play in. Coaches have certain styles that they like. Some like to slow it down, some like to speed it up, and players have an idea in there head how they'd like to play. So I think a head coach is a big part of the philosophy of the team and any player wants to know who they're going to play for."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.