Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg has been a hot name in the NBA coaching carousel for quite some time, with his experience as both a player and executive at the professional level being one of the reasons why. With that being the case, it’s understandable if some Iowa State fans get a bit nervous when hearing his name with regards to head coach openings at the professional level.
According to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Hoiberg was one of the coaches the Golden State Warriors attempted to discuss its opening with before ultimately hiring Steve Kerr. In his story breaking down how the Warriors ended up hiring Kerr, Kawakami discussed the team’s interest in Hoiberg.
And it should be noted that the discussions didn’t get much further than the proverbial “kicking the tires” to see if the leader of the Cyclones would be interested in moving to the NBA.
Hoiberg, a former NBA player and executive, was interested enough to at least hear what the Warriors were saying and to discuss some general ideas about how he’d handle an NBA team.
This was all just testing the waters, according to a league source, on both sides.
Hoiberg is extremely happy at Iowa State–he isn’t called “the Mayor” of Ames for nothing–and the Warriors weren’t ready to offer the job quite yet, either.
Given the amount of success the Warriors enjoyed this past season, winning 51 games before falling to the Clippers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, and the talent on the roster that opening was certainly an intriguing one in basketball circles. And for coaches such as Hoiberg and Kevin Ollie (UConn), the combination of their experience in the NBA and success as a college head coach is likely to make them popular figures every spring when NBA jobs become available.
That may spark uneasy feelings within the fan bases that would like nothing more than to hold onto their successful leader for years to come, and that’s certainly understandable. But it should also be seen as a compliment, because those opportunities don’t exist for coaches who aren’t productive in their current position.