Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have made it all but official that Paul Westhead will be their head coach next season and that Jack McKinney is out, McKinney instantly has become a top candidate for every coaching vacancy in the National Basketball Association -- except Washington's.
Bullet Genreal Manager Bob Ferry said he is not interested in hiring McKinney or any assistant coaches to replace Dick Motta, but wants "a proven, experienced head coach" to run the team next year.
McKinney, a former assistant to Portland's Jack Ramsay, was the Laker coach this season only long enough to put in his offense and coach for nine games. A bicycle addicent, resulting in a serious head injury, sidelined him.
"In a situation like the one we have, we need a proven, experienced coach, someone you can believe in when things aren't going well." Ferry said.
Motta still is the Bullet coach, but is on his way out. What is holding up the works is that Motta has not yet found a job for next season and, with a year left on his $100,000-a-year contract, team owner Abe Pollin does not want to fire him and get stuck with him on the payroll.
Motta still is in the running for the jobs in San Antonio, Dallas and San Diego. His best shot appears to be in San Antonio where, apparently, he and Philadelphia's assistant coach, Chuck Daly are the top candidates.
Paul Silas has the inside track in San Diego, but Motta talked with owner Irv Levin earlier this week and he has an outside chance at the job.
The Bullets, although no one will confirm it, have decided on Gene Shue as Motta's replacement. The only other name mentioned in connection with the job is that of the former San Antonio coach, Doug Moe.
Motta's assistant, Bernie Bickerstaff, who also was an assistant with the Bullets under K.C. Jones, Motta's predecessor, is not being considered for the job.
Bickerstaff said he was told by the Bullets that he was not being considered because of the team's desire to hire someone head-coaching experience.
Ferry said he has talked to both San Antonio and Dallas about a deal involving disgruntled forward Elvin Hayes.
Hayes said earlier this week that he did not want to return to the Bullets next season and wanted to end his career playing for a team in Texas.
Ferry said he is not close to dealing Hayes and, "I don't know what my chances of dealing him are" . . . Mitch Kupchak, who had a disastrous year this season after returning from back surgery too soon, has been working out daily and said he will be in top condition by the time training camp opens. Kupchak's weight was down to 217 pounds during the season, but now is up to 245 . . . Another key Bullet, Bob Dandridge, has his right leg in a walking cast. That is the latest attept at treating the problems that limited him to only 45 games last season. . .
. . .The dispersal draft, which will stock the Dallas team with 22 veteran players, will be held May 28. Teams must submit their list of unprotected playrers my Monday. A team can protect eight players. . . The college draft will be conducted June 10 and there is much speculation about what the Boston Celtics will do with the first pick. They tried unsuccessfully to lure Ralph Sampson from Virginia and apparently have decided on one of three alternatives: draft 7-foot-1 Joe Barry Carrol or guard Darrell Griffith or trade the pick to Phoenix for former Celtic guard Paul Westphal and other considerations . . . The Celtics were very high on Duke's Mike Gminski at one time, but after scouting him all season have decided that he is not the tough rebounder they need to play center. Gminski is expected to end up with New Jersey or even, possibly, the Bullets.