All signs within the Clipper organization point to the fact that the team's top choice for a new head coach is George Karl, if he is available and interested. The Clippers are not expected to make a serious overture toward any other candidate until they see if Karl has a future in Seattle after his contract with the SuperSonics runs out July 1.
Nobody in the Clipper organization is saying that.
But Karl said that Saturday at practice. Sort of.
"I have great assistants," Karl said. "That's who the Clippers should be interviewing."
Does that mean they've expressed an interest in interviewing Karl?
"I'm under contract until July 1," the Seattle coach said. "Whatever [owner] Barry Ackerley and [president/general manager] Wally Walker want me to do until then, I will do."
But that didn't stop Karl from pushing his assistants.
"I think the Clippers should interview Duane Casey, Terry Stotts, Tim Grgurich and Bob Weiss," Karl said.
Uh, George, the Clippers already interviewed Bob Weiss, already hired him, already suffered through a 27-55 season with him, already fired him.
"I don't think the Clippers will be interviewing Bob Weiss," Karl added, correcting himself.
Karl, a highly emotional man, has made no secret of the anguish he feels over his uncertain future with his club, a future that probably lies in the hands of his players and their success or failure in this postseason, but ultimately lies in the hands of Ackerley.
Karl would like to keep the issue on the back burner until the season is over, but it keeps flaming up, ignited by question after question from the media.
Karl broke down during a network interview Saturday. When he faced a group of reporters afterward, he tried to deflect the matter, but his emotions again betrayed him, his eyes showing a hint of tears.
"Emotionally, it's hard, very hard," he said, his voice wavering, "knowing I could leave at the end of this season. That's the hard part."