Joe Lacob to Interview Spurs’ Mike Budenholzer

Add Mike Budenholzer to the Warriors’ list of finalists for their head coach vacancy.

It’s not a new name, as the San Antonio Spurs assistant coach was mentioned almost immediately after Golden State parted ways with Keith Smart. According to a team source, owner Joe Lacob is flying to San Antonio on Wednesday to interview Budenholzer. And if Lacob is going to the Alamo to interview him, Budenholzer is must be a serious candidate.

Budenholzer joins Boston assistant coach Lawrence Frank, Dallas assistant coach Dwane Casey and ESPN analyst Mark Jackson and former Houston coach Rick Adelman as confirmed finalists. Throw New Orleans assistant Mike Malone in there as well, though I haven’t heard him mentioned among the favorites.

At least three notable candidates have been taken out of the mix. Two were hired by other teams (Mike Brown and Kevin McHale). Oakland native and Lakers assistants Brian Shaw, according to a source, is out of the mix after the first round of interviews.

Another team said the likelihood is that a coach will be hired before draft though that isn’t a deadline the team has set. But this Budenholzer twist proves the Warriors still have a ways to go before they name a head coach.

Not too long ago, it appeared Budenholzer wouldn’t be a candidate. He told the San Antonio Express-News he was flattered but planned on staying in San Antonio. What changed?

Was he in the mix all along and just didn’t want to stay on the low?

Did he change is mind after Shaw got passed over (proving the expected successor isn’t guaranteed the job)?

Is this a product of the Jerry West influence? Maybe West encouraged Lacob to aggressively pursue Popovich’s understudy. Or maybe Budenholzer changed his mind once he saw West was on board.

Either way, it seems Budenholzer is a factor in this thing.

Marcus Thompson

  • Tony

    Nice work, Marcus!

  • ivanbe

    Boy, really gotta wonder what’s going on with Brian Shaw in these interviews. Has he been a smokescreen all this time with the Lakers? Did he not handle the LA situation right, and now has alienated himself from other teams? He was such a rising star not that long ago.

  • DSuave

    Finally a bit o news. Was pulling for Shaw but didn’t think he’d be the one once West came a on board. Brown surprised me in LA as I thought they’d go Adleman and brown would be in mix with Warriors. Don’t want Adelman on this squad. Budz from SA would be good as I would hope he would intsill that SA execution and good team defense if it’s him.
    Stuck at 11 in the draft and I see a lot of people saying the Warriors should draft one of the Morris twins but my guy is the euro center not named kanter. Or demelo next year. Thoughts Marcus?

  • A Dude

    Very little info about Budenholzer out there at first glance, but the following article seems really encouraging, and makes him sound far better than anyone else who has been mentioned:


  • dw

    Welcome back Marcus, the Mrs. finally let start typing on the computer again?

  • WarriorsWin

    What about giving Bill Laimbeer a look? He would emphasize toughness and defense for sure.

  • Joe

    Marcus, this is why you get paid! Thanks for droppin the latest 411.

  • Vegas Bill

    If the Warriors cannot hire a big name coach what was the point of firing Keith Smart? All it appears the Dubs can get is an up and coming assistant coach. We already had that with Smart and he had a 10 game improvement over last season. They should have just kept Smart and let him coach 1 more year and see what happens. There is no improvement with any of the names mentioned above.

    Marcus, what are your thoughts on this?

  • Vegas Bill

    I am with you DW. I wish Marcus would be half as good at writing things on his blog as Baggarly is with his. I am truly disappointed in the coverage provided here. We need someone who actually wants to write sidenotes and keep us fans in the loop.

  • Vegas Bill

    Oh and I do not want anyone from the Spurs to be our coach. The Spurs are the most bland and boring team in the NBA. I do not know if I could bear watching this team if they made Monta and Steph play that boring a** style.

  • W’s in 2010

    Lacob could totally nail this if he wants it bad enough. Money talk$!

  • deano

    Is Budenholzer’s sudden interest in GSW a result of the West Effect? I think so. Regardless of whether or not Bud is hired, West has made GSW a respected franchise throughout the NBA.

  • Gatling

    Actually The Spurs had a High scoring offense this past season
    And we saw them run a little more. I read that Mike Budenholzer
    Was responsible for most of the Offensive schemes. They were also one
    Of the top 3 pt shooting teams and had great spacing.

    Oh and they Kicked our butts too . I’m totally all aboard the Mike B. Bandwagon
    Make it happen Lacob!

  • gsw_lifer

    @Vegas bill: you know, I wouldn’t mind seeing a boring style if that meant playoffs every year. Still, if we have no solid big man we gonna be in the same situation. Management needs to grow some ballz and pull the trigger at getting a big man. No matter the cost (nothing grossly overwhelming)

  • Yoda

    Vegas Bill, you think winning championships is bland and boring? And Keith Smart is a good coach?


    Pops is flat out the best coach in the NBA, the Spurs front office has easily done the best job in the league since they lucked into Duncan, and if this pathetic franchise could get anywhere close to that level of efficiency we will all be cheering.

    Smart did nothing to keep his job. You may have noticed that with all the coaching vacancies his name never got mentioned. He’s got a long way to go before he could be considered a mediocre NBA head coach.

    What I like is that they’re looking at guys from winning organizations for the most part, who have experience.

  • TownBiz

    I am rooting for Mike Malone, but I wouldnt mind Budenholzer.

    I was not in favor of Shaw. He is a great guy, but I nobody wants to see that boring triangle crap…including the Lakers.

  • Ron

    The Spurs have been one of the top organizations for years. Nothing wrong trying to copy that if Bud is the man!

  • Ron

    Is Vegas Bill related to Rowell?

  • Singleton at 11

    I wanted Shaw, but I am pretty stoked about Bud. As mentioned he has been pops assistant for the past 15 years, they have won 3 championships, are one of the top teams every year, and if they can do good with Parker at pg, Steph will be great because IMO he is better than Parker was at this age.

  • A Dude

    Vegas wrote:
    “I do not know if I could bear watching this team if they made Monta and Steph play that boring a** style.”

    Vegas – don’t worry, you won’t see that because either Monta or Steph will be traded for a big man.

  • Italy415

    Budenholzer or Marc Jackson will be great for the Warriors. As far as Monte he will be traded 100% so Warrior fans be prepared. I’m looking at Cleveland,Orlando or more likely my #1 spot (Memphis)…

  • Ben Brung

    Smart was not fired because he was inexperienced. He was fired because he totally mishandled Curry, Biedrins especially and Udoh to a lesser extent. Lacob essentially said as much early on but gave him the year to work it out.

    The Warrior players need a coach not a friend and Smart’s allegiances seemed to take priority over all else.

  • DubzAllDay

    Budenholzer sounds coo and all. but who are we going to draft?? or who are we going to get back if west gives monta the boot??

    fans want these kind of facts!

    i say we draft Chris Singelton. we need perimeter d. defense gets to the playoffs. and miami is setting the bar with defense. having someone who can gaurd 2-3 positions on the floor would be a big step up..

    and would a Monta for Tyson Chandler sound like a dumb proposal?? Monta will be a proven scorer to finally help Dirk.. and T. Chandler is a true center. mavs have Haywood to start anyways.. right??

    can i get some feedback?????

  • Vegas Bill

    I am not saying that Keith Smart is a good coach. All I am saying is all of these names are the same as Smart. None are an upgrade. None have head coaching experience. At least he does. I am not saying that he should still be the coach. I am just saying none of these names are exciting.

    I hope this new owner grows balls and trades for a big man. We need one. We have not have one since Thurmond. If we have to trade either Monta and or Steph go for it.

    But, it is funny that people read my post and think I am all for Smart. I was just saying hiring a no name coach is the same as keeping smart..Oh well looks like this owner is the same as the last. He won’t get rid of Riley and Rowell so we won’t be getting a good coach or top flight FA’s.

  • some guy

    vegas bill – just stop talking. none of these guys are the same as Smart. these guys are legitimate head coaching candidates. Smart was just the guy they promoted b/c he was the next in line. Smart can’t even get an interview for a head coaching gig anywhere else. he is not an “up and comer” as you stated. Smart has been in charge of running one of the bottom 3 defenses in the NBA in the past 3 yrs (2 as defensive coordinator). if it weren’t for all the injuries, there’s no way that 09-10 team wins just 26. they two “big men” with the most minutes on that team are shorter than Dorell Wright (Maggette and Tolliver). even though Udoh missed the beginning of the season and played sparingly, he would have been one of the healthiest big men on the team in 09-10. basically we added 2 starters in David Lee and Dorell Wright and went from a team w/ record setting injuries to one of the healthiest teams in the NBA and we still finished 12th instead of 13th in the Western Conference.

  • Ewok

    Great Information Marcus!

    Anyway, i just can’t help but criticize the old owner, Mr. Cohan, who in my opinion, is responsible for the “Dark Years” of the franchise. I have never seen an owner so inept and indecisive.

    I was so disgusted when i learned the fact that Jerry West, The Logo himself actually wanted to be the General Manager of the the Warriors during the year 2001, the year he left the Lakers, and Mr.Cohan obviously didnt had the slightest clue who this guy is, whom he turned down and let go.

    I am so disgusted.

    Jerry West at that time wanted to revamp the team. Mr. Cohan didnt want that direction so he rejected Jerry West to take the job. But i have to wonder, who did we have that time that Cohan is trying to save? Jamison was the only descent player we had at that time.


    But now, the wisdom of history clearly tells us had we hired the logo, We would’ve produced positive results and we should be in a much better situation now than we are at present because from 2001 to the present, we didn’t achieve anything but jack, of course with the exception of the 2007 run courtesy of the leadership of BDiddy and company.

    My gosh, Had we had the logo at that time, we should have gotten a championship already or at least, establish ourselves as perrenial playoff mainstays like San Antonio.

    We had the chance to build on the 2007 campaign and i still couldn’t figure out why we did not and instead, destroyed the team.

    Another guy i really lost my respect to from the years i admired and adored him is no other than Don Nelson. He based his job as a coach not from the standpoint of winning and developing the team but from his stupid politics. I am so glad he got axed in the ass!

    I am glad that Robert Rowell is no longer involved in the limelight now.

    Finally, I am so elated the logo has the freehand in doing whatever capactiy he deemed necessary. I really think he will give this franchise a lot of special years to come.

  • Vegas Bill

    @ Old Fart. If these guys are legit head coaching candidates then why are they only being mentioned for the warriors gig? Again, I am not saying Keith Smart is an awesome coach. I am just saying we cannot get a legit name guy to come in an interview. But, hey at least my UNLV Rebels can get legit coach to interview and then hire the best guy. HA!! Dubs cannot get even Van Gundy to come an interview. hahah

    BTW, Marcus where are you during this discussion? What are your thoughts? Or did you just make a post because you had to and disappear like normal?

  • Italy415

    My feeling what i just figured out the reason why the Warriors haven’t hired a coach yet is because their 100000% (#1) choice is Erik Spoelstra so if Miami loses the series look for him to be out next coach…..

  • Dubs with Budz!

  • JamesE

    I think this would be the best hire, being Mike Budenholzer is probably the #1 choice of a lot of franchises that need a head coach, but because he basically he wasn’t interested in every other organization in the NBA that had an opening.

    You need a top notch coach to attract top players. A great player needs to know the coach and the team are working to get the best players to win a championship.

    Being Budenholzer would be the coach for a minimum of 3 years makes it quite possible to be that championship team by the 3rd year. He would make the Warriors a contender faster than any other coach available.

    The new owners are smart and did what smart business owners do, hire a champion consultant in West, who said that he liked guys that have been assistants of Popovich, now I know what he meant.

    I think this would be their smartest move being that Popovich has won numerous championships and his #1 assistant who is also more offensively minded along with his defensive coaching skills.

    Remember, San Antonio has been an extremely defensively minded team till this year, when they added more offensive plays because of Budenholzer.

    I think he is the perfect match for the Warriors. I think they will have a coach by the draft and start their winning ways.