The Los Angeles Lakers fired their 2020 championship-winning coach, Frank Vogel, minutes after the end of the nightmare regular season. Shockingly, the Lakers failed to make it to the postseason and were officially eliminated even before their regular season ended. Now, with a position open in an elite franchise like the Lakers, there have been many speculations about who should be the next coach. The Lakers are looking for a coach who can help them win another championship with LeBron James before the veteran hangs his boots.
However, James is an influential player who has a say in key decisions within the franchise. Moreover, the lakers cannot head into the offseason without their head coach. Hence, with a lot of work to do this summer, the LA front office has been working tirelessly to find their new head coach with the aim of winning the 2022-23 championship. And recent reports suggest that the Lakers have finalized three main coaching candidates. But they might not be close to hiring any of them until LeBron agrees.
Lakers Have Three Main Candidates For The Head Coach’s Position
According to NBA Insider Sean Deveney, the Lakers and LeBron James have different opinions about who should be the next coach of the franchise. Deveney suggested that most of the LA front office has zeroed in on Darvin Ham, with Portland’s Terry Stotts and Brooklyn’s Kenny Atkinson in contention too. The Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach acted in the same position for the Lakers from 2011 to 2013. Moreover, Ham is the favorite among the Lakers front office, including Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis.
As per a Western conference executive, LA is looking for a young coach who could be molded according to their needs. The executive clarified that he did not think Darvin Ham was a pushover. But, the Lakers want a guy who would follow the direction they want to go, which is playing more traditional basketball and playing Russell Westbrook in a certain way.
Ham has been the first candidate to be interviewed for the final round. The Lakers are looking for a coach with a strong voice. And Ham might be the perfect fit for their needs. However, James still considers that someone outside the final three candidates would be a better option for the Lakers.
Who Does LeBron Want As The Head Coach?
James is said to have a fair bit of influence on the Lakers. And the name he prefers as the next coach would ultimately determine who the franchise recruits. As per reports, James wants someone outside the final three candidates who is more established and experienced than them.
LeBron’s choice brings it all back to Doc Rivers rumors. The NBA executive suggested that the players and the general manager, Rob Pelinka, would want to see a more experienced coach on the sideline who focuses on winning now. And if LeBron could pick, it would certainly be Doc Rivers.
However, there have been no signs that Doc Rivers is interested in leaving the Philadelphia 76ers. The franchise’s GM Daryl Morey recently announced that Doc would be on the bench for next season. However, the lakers are still hopeful that Rivers might somehow get available soon. And if that happens, the Lakers will surely pursue him to make their team’s on-court spearhead LeBron James happy.