Report: LeBron James’ camp gauged Tom Thibodeau’s interest in becoming Lakers’ assistant coach

Tom Thibodeau
Jan 6, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau calls a play during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

As the Los Angeles Lakers inch closer to making Tyronn Lue their next head coach, much of the speculation around the open position has been focusing on the staff that he will hire. Previous reports indicated that Lue pitched reaching out to Tom Thibodeau to the Lakers during his second interview. Meanwhile, the latest report is that former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel could become Lue’s top assistant in LA.

As it turns out, Lue isn’t the only important figure hoping to get Thibodeau to Southern California. According to The Athletic’s Frank Isola, LeBron James’ camp has also reached out to the recently fired Minnesota Timberwolves head coach to gauge his interest:

The reports of Lue wanting to add his former colleague in Boston, Tom Thibodeau, to his coaching staff are also true. LeBron, through intermediaries, has let it be known that Thibodeau would be a huge asset to have on the bench. LeBron’s close associates were gauging Thibodeau’s interest in becoming a top assistant two weeks ago. It would be similar to the role Mike Brown and Ron Adams serve under Steve Kerr in Golden State.

Isola goes on to say another source near LeBron has denied that he is pushing for “any head coach or assistant coach,” a narrative that seems to be pervasive coming from James’ camp as the superstar pushes to remove the stigma that he is puppeteering behind the scenes.

Whether it’s true or not, Isola reports that Thibodeau will likely not have an interest in becoming an assistant coach, especially given the salary he is still receiving from the Timberwolves. James and Thibodeau have a relationship through Team USA.

Regardless, it seems clear that the Lakers – or at least significant people in the organization that can influence the decision makers – are hoping to erase previous mistakes and hire a much more respected coaching staff top to bottom.

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