Mark Jackson, a former NBA player and current ABC television analyst, will interview next week with Hawks owners for the team's vacant head coaching job.
Jackson already has met with general manager Rick Sund, who is directing the coaching search. Now Jackson will get a chance to make his pitch to the Hawks' ownership group.
“He wants to be a head coach,” said Steve Kauffman, Jackson's agent. “This is a pretty good team, and he thinks it can get better. He'd like the opportunity to coach it.”
Jackson will have to persuade Hawks ownership that he can do the job despite his lack of coaching experience. Unlike the other candidates for the job, Jackson hasn't been an assistant or a head coach at any level; he started a career as a television analyst after retirement from basketball.
When he meets with Hawks owners, Jackson plans to highlight his reputation as a natural leader as a point guard. Jackson played in 1,296 career games with 1,091 starts, including 131 postseason games. Longtime playing experience can be an indicator of coaching potential.
Kauffman said Jackson developed strong communication skills as a player.
“Mark is very to the point, very honest,” Kauffman said. “He tells you what you need to do: ‘This is your responsibility.' In that respect he's like [Boston coach] Doc Rivers. They have different personalities but [similar] approaches.”
Jackson will interview after co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. returns from a business trip early next week. The Hawks are looking for a successor to Mike Woodson, who wasn't retained following his sixth season.
Jackson will be the third known candidate to interview more than once for the position. The others are Dwane Casey, a Dallas assistant and a former Minnesota head coach, and Avery Johnson, a former Dallas head coach.