While some USC basketball fans have an unrealistic expectations of who they can draw to take over the program in the wake of Tim Floyd running away — just stop talking about Jamie Dixon, he is not coming — there is some interest out there.
And local interest. Brian Shaw and Jim Cleamons, two Lakers assistants currently focused on ways to cover Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard, have quietly expressed interest in the opening.
Cleamons seemed intrigued by the challenge when asked about it, saying, "I think USC is one of the best jobs in the country." He added, though, that most of his focus was currently elsewhere. "I'm trying to help us win a championship, first and foremost," he said in Orlando.
Shaw echoed that sentiment, declining to talk about the job and saying he wanted "to concentrate on helping the Lakers win a championship." However, a source requesting anonymity because of his close relationship with Shaw said he was very much interested.
Both men are former Lakers players who have never coached in college.
This is going to be a tough spot for any coach who comes in — USC’s deep talent pool has dried up, with some players leaving for the NBA draft and other recruits having changed their mind It will be a rebuilding process for whomever takes the job, and any NCAA sanctions (likely to come out later this summer if they come out at all) could further hamper that process.
But a former NBA assistant who worked with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol might be the kind of name that can help speed that process along.