Sources: Hawks meet with Casey again
NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com that Casey met Wednesday in Atlanta with members of the Hawks' ownership group after an initial interview last weekend with Hawks general manager Rick Sund.
Sources said Johnson, who has worked as an ESPN analyst for the past two seasons since leaving the Mavericks in 2008, had separate sitdowns with Sund and Hawks owners earlier last week.
Atlanta has not ruled out interviewing additional candidates and has also considered current Hawks assistant coach Larry Drew and Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Dean Demopoulos in its search to replace Mike Woodson. However, only Johnson and Casey have been interviewed twice by the team since it announced May 14 that Woodson would not be receiving a new contract.
Yet it remains unclear how soon the Hawks plan to name Woodson's replacement and whether they prefer Johnson or Casey.
Casey was an assistant coach in Seattle when Sund served as the SuperSonics' general manager and was quickly billed in coaching circles as the favorite to succeed Woodson. He has served as a top assistant to Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle for the past two seasons after getting fired from his only previous head coaching job in Minnesota with a record of 20-20 halfway through his second season in 2006-07.
But sources with knowledge of the Hawks' thinking say that Johnson, who won NBA Coach of the Year honors in Dallas in 2006 and posted a gaudy record of 194-70 in his three-plus seasons, made a strong impression in his two interviews.
According to the Bergen (N.J.) Record, Johnson will be interviewed Saturday by the New Jersey Nets. He interviewed previously with the Philadelphia 76ers for the job that went to Doug Collins and the New Orleans Hornets for a job that sources say has been offered to Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau and will be subsequently offered to Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams if Thibodeau turns it down.
Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.