Miami Heat officials say they are still at least a week away from naming a head coach, following Wednesday's interview of Jazz assistant coach Jerry Sloan in Miami.
"They're just trying to feel out who I am and how I would fit in," Sloan told the Miami Herald, following an interview with Heat managing partner Lewis Schaffel.Miami part-owner Billy Cunningham described Sloan and Detroit assistant coach Ron Rothstein, interviewed last week, as "both very qualified to be head coaches."
Sloan, 46, coached the Chicago Bulls for 2 1/2 seasons in the early 1980s. He returned to the NBA in November 1984 by joining Frank Layden's staff. Jazz owner Larry Miller has verbally promised Sloan the Jazz job when Layden retires, sometime in the next five years.
For Sloan to leave, Miller said Wednesday, "I think they'd have to offer him something attractive, because the inherent dangers of being an expansion coach are so real."
Charlotte, the other expansion team that will begin NBA play in 1988-89, hired Indiana assistant Dick Harter last month. When Frank Layden took himself out of the running in Miami, the Heat delayed their search until after the college draft. "Miami's feeling tremendous pressure to get a coach hired and do something," noted Miller.