Lakers’ Coaching Search Is A Joke!
Why the Lakers are doing everything wrong by having the wrong general manager interview the wrong head coaching candidates
The Lakers just cannot get out of their own way. Having Rob Pelinka choose their next head coach from a limited list of retreads like Ty Lue and Monty Williams is a classic text book example of how not to choose a head coach.
Forget the idiocy of Jeanie Buss trusting the untrustworthy Rob Pelinka as the Lakers’ general manager going forward and not pursuing a top tier candidate to replace Magic Johnson as the new team president of basketball operations. What’s even more galling is Rob Pelinka’s apparent decision to limit the initial search to a pair of uninspiring of retread coaching candidates like Ty Lue and Monty Williams instead of casting a wide net to find a great new head coach.
No disrespect to Tyronn Lue or Monty Williams but there’s a reason neither of them are not currently coaching an NBA team. There’s also a reason why the Sacramento Kings immediately hired Luke Walton instead of Lue or Williams. Simply stated, neither Tyronn Lue or Monty Williams projects to be a better head coach than the head coach the Lakers just fired, which means the Lakers would be making a mistake by settling for either as their new head coach.
The big question to me is why not wait until the playoffs are over to hire a new head coach? Lue and Williams will certainly still be available. There’s also a good chance that there might be new candidates because a playoff team will decide to fire their head coach and waiting also leaves the option open for the Lakers to hire a new president of basketball operations who would then still be able to hire his own general manager and head coach.
Even if Jeanie Buss had decided to go forward with Rob Pelinka running the front office, the smart thing to do is conduct a wide search that includes more than Ty Lue and Monty Williams. There’s no shortage of viable candidates, including Spurs’ assistants Ettore Messina, Ime Udoka, and Becky Hammond, Bucks’ assistant Darvin Ham, Heat assistant Juwan Howard, or even Warrior’ assistant Mike Brown. The Lakers have nothing to lose expanding the search.
The Lakers could even bring in a new head coach from the college ranks like the Celtics did with Brad Stevens. How about Villanova’s Jay Wright, who’s a consummate teacher like Stevens, or Virginia’s Tony Bennett or Texas’ Shaka Smart? The Lakers could even interview out-of-the-box candidates like Turner’s Brent Barry or Kenny Smith, both of whom have the game smarts and gravity to immediately garner respect from established NBA players.
The point is there is no urgency to hire a head coach right away and good reasons to wait until after the playoffs are over. Casting a wide net to find an elite candidate would not only be smart but would keep critical options alive.