Five former NBA coaches among Bucks coaching candidates; Bucks deny candidate list

A report has some rather big names among the list of coaching candidates for the Milwaukee Bucks if Joe Prunty is not retained, but the Bucks have forcefully denied such a list exists.

Marc Stein of the New York Times says that ABC/ESPN TV analyst Jeff Van Gundy and Turner Sports analyst Kevin McHale, both with extensive coaching experience, could be on the Bucks' list of names.

He says that embattled former University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino "could get an exploratory look" while other candidates include former Memphis coach David Fizdale and New Orleans coach Monty Williams may be in the mix as well.

Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry strongly denied existence of a "list" of candidates.

Bucks co-owner Wes Edens has expressed the openness toward hiring a woman as a head coach if it's the right fit, with perhaps Spurs assistant Becky Hammon as a possible option.

As of Tuesday, the Bucks are 8th in the Eastern Conference with a 37-33 record, but have lost eight of their last 12 games. Prunty is 14-11 this season (including the latest 12-game stretch) after the firing of Jason Kidd.

Van Gundy has coached 11 NBA seasons, seven in New York and four in Houston. He led the Knicks to the Eastern Conference title in 1999.

McHale directed the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets for parts of seven seasons, including a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2015.

Williams directed the New Orleans franchise for five years with two playoff appearances and a .439 winning percentage. Fizdale was at the helm for 101 games in Memphis in 2016-18 before his firing.

Pitino was coach of the Knicks and Celtics for a combined six years, with two playoff appearances and a combined .466 winning percentage. He was a much more successful college, with two NCAA championships and seven Final Fours before being fired in a scandal at Louisville over paid escorts with players and recruits.

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