After waiting over a week to finally make the decision to fire Byron Scott as head coach, the Los Angeles Lakers are no longer wasting time.
Less than 24 hours after creating a vacancy for the position, they have already compiled list that is beginning to get pretty lengthy. Sunday night, it was reported that they were targeting some of the top assistant coaches that the league has to offer. Now, it appears that they are adding some of the top college basketball coaches to the list as well.
According to ESPN, multiple reports have indicated that the Lakers have added four college coaches to their list.
The Lakers are compiling a long of coaching candidates they’d like to consider in their search. Among the candidates the Lakers will look at are Luke Walton, Kevin Ollie, Jay Wright, Roy Williams, Tom Izzo, John Calipari, Ettore Messina, Jeff Van Gundy and David Blatt, sources told Shelburne. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Jeff Hornacek is also expected to be on the Lakers’ list.
Apparently the Lakers are leaving no stone unturned, a vastly improved approach over the last time they conducted a coaching search.
Ollie and Wright appear to make the most sense as potential long-term options that might actually be attainable. Izzo and Calipari have stated on several occasions that they are happy at Michigan State and Kentucky, respectively, but things can always change.
The one person that makes little sense is North Carolina head coach, Roy Williams. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak played college basketball at UNC, so there is obviously a connection there, but Williams will be turn 66 this year. That’s not exactly ideal for a team that is rebuilding around a young core of players. Additionally, Williams has stated his intention to stay loyal to the program amid the pending NCAA investigation.
Despite that, however, it is encouraging to see the early names on the list. It already suggests that the front office is generally thinking about a long-term approach, which is desperately needed after seeing the previous three coaches — Mike Brown, Mike D’Antoni and now Byron Scott — all last two seasons or less.
The Lakers will reportedly make a long list of candidates, so this could be a lengthy process, but there is nothing wrong with that as long as they hire the right person for the job.