NBA rumors: Vivek Ranadivé, Monte McNair have Kings coach favorites

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Report: Vivek wants Jackson; McNair favors Brown for coach originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Then there were three in the Kings’ coaching search, and the one who will be hired could come down to preference.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer cited league sources Tuesday in reporting that “early indications” are that Mark Jackson is Kings owner Vivek Ranadive’s favorite, while multiple sources with knowledge of the situation believe Mike Brown is preferred by general manager Monte McNair and the front office.

Brooklyn Nets consultant Steve Clifford is the reported third finalist for the job.

Jackson has been a longtime Ranadive target, with the Kings owner pushing for him to be hired as associate head coach in 2020, Fischer reported, citing sources. That job, however, went to Alvin Gentry, who later took over as interim coach this past season after Luke Walton was fired.

Ranadive was a Warriors minority owner during Jackson’s last NBA coaching tenure, which ended after the 2013-14 season. He went 121-109 in three seasons with Golden State, and often is credited with laying some of the foundation that later led to the franchise’s three NBA titles under successor Steve Kerr.

Fischer also cited sources in reporting that LeBron James and LaMelo Ball are interested in having Jackson coach the Los Angeles Lakers and the Charlotte Hornets, respectively, such is the former All-Star guard’s popularity among current NBA players.

Brown, on the other hand, has direct ties to the Kings’ front office. As Fischer noted, McNair’s lieutenant, assistant GM Wes Wilcox, was in Cleveland’s front office in various from 2005 to 2010, when Brown was the Cavaliers’ coach. Brown, a Warriors assistant for the past six years, also has the NBA head-coaching experience that the Kings reportedly desire, with a 347-216 record and one NBA Finals appearance in eight seasons with the Cavaliers and Lakers.

RELATED: Report: Dumars left Kings after front-office proposal denied

The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported Monday that while Ranadive wasn’t involved in the first round of interviews, he is in the final round. That process started Sunday, with Clifford first up, followed later this week by Jackson and then Brown.

Whomever is hired will be tasked with ending the Kings’ 16-year playoff drought. And while it’s not unusual for an owner to be involved in the last round of interviews for such an important position, the decision could say a lot about whose vision won out, as well as which coach made the best final impression.