Sam Amick
Monday May 7th, 2012

The Charlotte Bobcats' coaching search is officially underway.

Less than a week after putting their historically futile season behind them (.106 winning percentage) and parting ways with coach Paul Silas, the Bobcats will interview Warriors assistant Michael Malone on Tuesday and have also requested permission to speak with Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, sources told SI.com. Both men are widely seen as future head coaches, but it remains to be seen how long it might be until Shaw takes part in an interview.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, permission was neither granted nor denied for Shaw to speak with Charlotte because he prefers to focus on the playoffs at the moment. The Pacers, who finished third in the Eastern Conference at 42-24 this season with second-year head coach Frank Vogel and Shaw at the helm, are currently up 3-1 on the Magic in their first-round matchup.

During his seven years as a Lakers assistant, Shaw was seen by most as the likely successor to Phil Jackson, in part, because Kobe Bryant made it widely known that Shaw was his choice. Shaw nearly took the job as the Cavaliers' head coach in July of 2010 before it went to Byron Scott, and was then passed up for the Lakers job last summer when it was given to Mike Brown. The decision said more about the changes in L.A. than it did about Shaw, though he was perceived as being part of the Jackson era that new man in charge, owner's son and Lakers executive Jim Buss, wanted to move past.

Much like Shaw in Indiana, Malone had a role with the Warriors that went far beyond the typical assistant. With first-year Golden State coach Mark Jackson finding his way this season after having never coached at any level previously, Malone -- whose salary of approximately $750,000 was the highest in the NBA for an assistant -- was relied upon heavily on both ends because he had the experience Jackson lacked. After spending the previous season in New Orleans as a lead assistant for Hornets coach Monty Williams, Malone had been a leading candidate for the Warriors head coaching job before it went to Jackson. He turned down an assistant job with the Lakers to join the Warriors.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the news of Malone's interview with Charlotte.

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