Dick Motta remains in the running for the job as coach of the Dallas Mavericks, National Basketball Association expansion team.
Don Carter, owner and president of the franchise, and Norm Sonju, vice president-general manager, will interview Motta at the former Washington Bullet coach's home in Idaho this week, Carter said yesterday.
Sonju interviewed Motta nearly two months ago but reportedly was not impressed. Carter has not talked with Motta, however, and said he intends to do so before any decision is made.
The top candidate appears to be former Bullet player Bob Weiss. He was Gene Shue's assistant at San Diego last season and is a close friend of Motta's.
Sonju recommended Weiss for the job and the Mavericks were set to hire him about a week ago. But Carter, who bankrolled the team and has the final say, balked. He said he has always been impressed with Motta's credentials and he feels it is in the best interest of the team if he meets with Motta.
Motta is third, all-time, in NBA coaching victories behind Red Auerbach and Red Holzman.
There is speculation that Motta could be named the Dallas head coach and Weiss his assistant.
The biggest thing in Motta's favor appears to be his coaching experiience. Carter is said to feel that if things don't go smoothly the first season, Dallas fans will be more patient with a proven quantity than an untried younger coach such as Weiss.
Motta was unvailable for comment yesterday, but has evinced interest in the Dallas job.
Motta had one year remaining on his contract with the Bullets, but was replaced by Shue May 27. Motta was made a special consultant to General Manager Bob Ferry, and will draw on his $105,000 annual salary until he gets another job.
The Dallas job is the last one open in the NBA, vacancies in San Antonio, Detroit, San Diego, Cleveland and Indiana having been filled.
On paper, the Mavericks have a promising team. They picked up Tom LaGarde, Richard Washington, Abdul Jeelani, Mike Bratz, Austin Carr, Billy McKinney and Jim Spanarkel in the expansion draft; Kiki Vandeweghe and Roosevelt Bouie in the college draft, and 7-foot-1 Ralph Drollinger as a free agent.
The only thing lacking is a coach.