The Los Angeles Lakers got one step closer to hiring their next head coach on Friday when Monty Williams was hired by the Phoenix Suns. Williams was among two leading candidates for the Lakers job meaning Tyronn Lue is now widely expected to get the position.
According to Brad Turner of the LA Times, Lue has the support of several trusted advisors of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. Those two are the recently resigned president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, and former Lakers head coach and ex-fiancee of Buss, Phil Jackson.
Both Phil Jackson, who coached Lue, and Magic Johnson have told Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss that they supported the hiring of Lue, according to a person familiar with their discussions.
Both Johnson and Jackson have had unceremonious exits with the Lakers and Buss. Their relationship with the franchise still standing as trusted advisers is an interesting wrinkle in this head coaching search.
Lue has been the favorite to land the job, perhaps since the beginning of last season due to his strong relationship with LeBron James. However, his connection to the Lakers and his already established legacy as a title-winning coach, are also characteristics that make him desirable to the franchise.
Turner earlier reported that Lue was always the organization’s top choice. Of course, much of that is spin after Williams signed on with the Suns before getting an offer from the Lakers. But it also seems likely that the former Cavaliers head coach was in a substantial lead to win the race.