The Los Angeles Lakers have three main head coaching candidates, but according to a report, they are not close to agreeing to hire one of them.
Via Lakers Daily:
“According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the Lakers and LeBron James are split right now in terms of who they want to bring in to be the new head coach.
“‘Most of the front office, it seems, has zeroed in on [Darvin] Ham, with former head coaches Terry Stotts (Portland) and Kenny Atkinson (Brooklyn) also in the mix,’ wrote Deveney. ‘Ham was briefly an assistant with the Lakers, and according to league sources, he is the favorite of the Phil Jackson-Kurt Rambis layer of Lakers decision-makers.
“‘”I think those guys want a young coach they can mold a little bit,” one Western Conference executive told Heavy.com. “I do not think Darvin is a pushover by any means. I just think that they want a guy they can point in the direction they want to go, more traditional basketball, using Russell Westbrook a certain way.”‘”
Ham has reportedly made the strongest impression on the Lakers so far. The team has started its final round of interviews, and Stotts has been the first candidate to be interviewed during that final round.
L.A. reportedly wants a coach with a strong voice, and it’s a description that Ham seems to fit.
Who does LeBron James favor?
For better or worse, James has lots of influence on the Lakers, and who he favors to be his next head coach will go a long way in determining who the team hires.
Reportedly, James would want to pick someone outside of L.A.’s three main candidates who is a far more established candidate than them.
“‘And the [Doc] Rivers rumors? Seems the players, and perhaps general manager Rob Pelinka, too, would rather see an experienced, win-now coach on the sidelines. “If LeBron could pick,’ the executive said, ‘it’s pretty certain he’d pick Doc.”‘”
There is no indication that Rivers is going to leave the Philadelphia 76ers, his current team, as general manager Daryl Morey recently said that he will be on the bench for them next season.
Some around the NBA feel that the Lakers are still holding out some hope that Rivers will become available soon, and that if he does, they will pursue him.