Alastair Clarkson pinpoints how NBA playoffs reignited his desire to return to coaching

Alastair Clarkson pinpoints how Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green reignited his desire to return to coaching as Hawks legend plots AFL comeback after trip to the United States

Alastair Clarkson revealed the time he has spent in America has reignited his competitive fire and did not rule out a return to coaching.

The 54-year-old left Hawthorn after 17 seasons last year and has taken a one-year sabbatical away from footy to pursue other interests, including travelling across the Pacific to study and research some of the biggest sporting franchises in the world up close.

Clarkson has spent 14 weeks in the US, dividing his time between NFL giants Green Bay Packers and six-time NBA champions Golden State Warriors.

Clarkson said he wouldn’t be fazed by taking on a job that involved rebuilding a club, as he undertook the same task with incredible success at Hawthorn

The former Hawks boss has a friendly relationship with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and was spotted at San Francisco’s Chase Centre for Game 5 of the first round series between Golden State and the Denver Nuggets last month.

Watching the NBA playoffs so close to the action looks to have stirred the inner competitor in Clarkson, who credited the spell in the US with helping his own personal and professional development. 

‘Two weeks ago, I was right in the heart of the Golden State Warriors and they played their playoff series against the Denver Nuggets,’ he told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Thursday.  

‘The strategy they went about trying to win that series, and the playoff game back at Golden State for the first time in three years. […] The buzz in the stadium it was just like, I want to be back in the cut and thrust and the cutting edge of the coalface.’

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers

Clarkson spent 14 weeks in the US studying some of the major sporting franchises up close, including the Golden State Warriors and the Green Bay Packers

But Clarkson, who won four premierships in seven years with the Hawks including three consecutive flags between 2013 and 2015, conceded there were significant drawbacks to return to coaching.

‘It [the passion to coach again] fluctuates,’ he continued. 

‘Sometimes it’s [the fire to coach] there. When I was right among some of the Golden State Warriors and they’re winning those playoff games and Draymond Green is just you know that heart and soul of the side – I’d just love to be able to coach him.

Watching Draymond Green (above) and the Warriors in the first-round series against the Denver Nuggets reignited Clarkson's competitive fire

Watching Draymond Green (above) and the Warriors in the first-round series against the Denver Nuggets reignited Clarkson’s competitive fire

‘That’s got so much significant appeal. 

‘But then there’s other sides of it, like what we witnessed today [with Leon Cameron] […] a really, really proud, good football man being asked more or less to leave the game for a short period of time and that’s parts of it you don’t like about the game.’

GWS confirmed on Wednesday it was parting company with Cameron, with the 49-year-old set to depart the Giants after their Round 9 clash with Carlton on Sunday.

Clarkson was immediately mentioned as a potential replacement for Cameron, who has led the Giants to two preliminary finals, two semi-finals and a Grand Final since taking over at GWS in 2014.

The former Hawks coach was linked to the GWS job after the Giants confirmed on Wednesday that Leon Cameron will leave the club after nine years in charge

The former Hawks coach was linked to the GWS job after the Giants confirmed on Wednesday that Leon Cameron will leave the club after nine years in charge 

Alastair Clarkson spent 17 seasons at Hawthorn before leaving the club in 2021

The former Hawthorn boss, however, insisted he would be open to coach any of the 18 teams should he return to the AFL. 

‘There’s 18 teams – and hopefully pretty soon 19 teams in the competition that I wouldn’t hesitate to coach,’ the four-time premiership winner said.

‘I think every club in the competition, given the right personnel and the right playing group have got the capability of winning an AFL premiership.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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