George Karl has never met Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, but if Gilbert is looking for a prominent NBA veteran with ties to Cleveland to head up his franchise as president, Karl would love to be on the short list.

The popular ESPN commentator, who has a 1,131-756 record -- and a 59.9 winning percentage -- in 25 NBA seasons, including two in Cleveland, has watched former coaching colleagues Phil Jackson and Flip Saunders become presidents of the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves, respectively, and the possibility of following in their footsteps intrigues him.

"Being a leader, running a team and organizing a group with the common goal of winning a championship would be the ultimate challenge in my career,'' Karl said via email from Germany, where son Coby is playing.

Gilbert has not indicated whether he's interested in hiring a president. When asked about the possibility shortly after the Knicks hired Jackson in March, Gilbert said those sorts of decisions would be made after the season. Gilbert has not met with the media since firing general manager Chris Grant on Feb. 6 and replacing him with acting general manager David Griffin. At some point, Gilbert is expected to announce whether Griffin and coach Mike Brown will return.

In the meantime, Karl's name often comes up in rumor mills and fan forums, especially in Cleveland. He admits he has missed the NBA after being fired by the Denver Nuggets last year -- one month after being named the NBA 2012-13 Coach of the Year.

"The year off has been enjoyable,'' Karl said, "but there is no question I have missed the gym, the games and being a part of a team and organization.''

A Pennsylvania native who will turn 63 on May 12, Karl played for Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina and then spent five seasons as a player with San Antonio in the ABA and NBA. After becoming a Spurs assistant coach and then a two-time CBA coach of the year in Montana, his first head coaching job in the NBA was with the Cavs in 1984-85. His first team started 0-9 and 2-19 but went 34-27 over the last four months, clinching a playoff spot with a 14-point victory over New Jersey on April 9, 1985 -- after which the players put Karl on their shoulders and carried him off the floor.