Grizzlies owner plans to interview multiple candidates

Updated: April 26, 2007, 8:29 PM ET
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley said he interviewed Larry Brown on Thursday about the coaching vacancy with his young team, but other candidates are also being considered.

"Anybody would have to be impressed with Larry, OK? He's one of the great coaches in NBA history," Heisley told The Commercial Appeal of Memphis in a story posted Thursday. "I wouldn't be talking to Larry Brown if I wasn't interested, but I wouldn't be having a process if I was interested in just one person."

Heisley did not immediately return a telephone message left at his Illinois office by The Associated Press. A call to Stan Meadows, the team's senior corporate counsel, was not immediately returned.

Heisley is looking for a new coach for a franchise that went from the playoffs to the NBA's worst record at 22-60 in one season. Coach Mike Fratello was fired in December and replaced on an interim basis by Tony Barone Sr.

Another possible candidate is Phoenix assistant Marc Iavaroni.

Heisley also must hire a new president and general manager, with Jerry West leaving once his contract ends June 30.

Former Denver GM Kiki Vandeweghe, who once played for Brown, is possible for general manager.

Heisley said it's a puzzle.

"The question is whether they fit our team at the particular time and whether there's a personality clash or not. It's like any interview process. I don't have any preconceived notions about what I'll do," Heisley said.

The Philadelphia 76ers gave permission for Brown, a Hall of Fame coach, to interview with the Grizzlies. Brown joined the 76ers as executive vice president in January after being fired after one season by the New York Knicks. Brown, 66, has coached 11 teams in the ABA, NCAA and NBA. He won an NCAA championship at Kansas (1988) and an NBA title in Detroit (2004). He also coached at UCLA.

His agent, Joe Glass, said it's a known fact that Brown wants to coach again after taking a season off.

"Larry Brown will be a popular candidate for any basketball enterprise whether it be college or pro that's looking for a coach because he's a good coach," Glass said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press