The Los Angeles Lakers have already had a couple of changes to the bench staff that won a championship during the 2019-20 season, following that up with disappointment in the 2020-21 despite everyone returning. First, the Lakers reportedly did not renew the contract of head athletic trainer, Nina Hseih. After that, lead assistant Jason Kidd left the team to become the new head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. Now, it sounds like another assistant coach may be leaving the team as Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported that Lionel Hollins is a candidate to be the lead assistant for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Sources: Candidates for lead assistant role for Portland Trail Blazers and new head coach Chauncey Billups: Former Bulls/Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, ex-Wizards/Thunder coach Scott Brooks and Lakers assistant Lionel Hollins.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2021
It’s interesting to see Scott Brooks included in the list, as the former Wizards head coach was reportedly interviewing with the Lakers for a role on Frank Vogel’s coaching staff. Despite the quick departure of Kidd, the team was quick in replacing him by hiring David Fizdale. Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss may have already known that Lionel Hollins may be leaving, hence the team interviewing Brooks seemingly right after the Fizdale hire.
This may be a sign that Hollins wasn’t even considered for the lead assistant role that Kidd left. If he’s listed as one of the top three candidates for the role in Portland along with two reputable names in coaching, that means he wants it. It’d be sad if Hollins and the Lakers’ front office separated due to being on the wrong page, but Hollins reserves the right to pursue a job with more responsibilities and pay due to his assistance in winning the Lakers a championship.
Time will tell if Lionel Hollins will get the position over those two other candidates. But either way, with the coaching carousel going around with plenty of jobs to have, Hollins might be out either way