Report: Lakers search for head coach ‘widely expected’ to be slow in order to find someone who can ‘win LeBron James’ buy-in’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are expected to have a slower head-coaching search to make sure they find someone who can “win” over superstar LeBron James.

The Lakers decided to move on from Frank Vogel following the 2021-22 season, and the team needs to make sure it brings in a coach that will maximize the rest of James’ time with the team.

“The search for Vogel’s successor is widely expected to move slower than most because the Lakers need to find an established coach who can win LeBron James’ buy-in,” NBA insider Marc Stein wrote. “The most capable coaches are obviously employed elsewhere already.”

Los Angeles missed the playoffs in the 2021-22 season under Vogel, but the team did win an NBA title in the 2019-20 season.

The Lakers have to find a head coach that not only will get James to play his best basketball, but the team also has to find a way to make the most of the rest of the roster.

For example, Vogel was never able to find a way to truly get Russell Westbrook going in the 2021-22 season, and it cost the Lakers when Anthony Davis and James were out of the lineup due to injury.

Through his three seasons as the Lakers’ head coach, Vogel compiled a 127-98 record and won 18 playoff games.

James, a four-time champion, had a fantastic season in the 2021-22 campaign, and the Lakers would be smart to hire a coach that he works well with. It appears that James may not be the easiest to appease in this decision, hence why the Lakers will take their time hiring a new leader.

No matter who is coaching the Lakers next season, the team is hoping it gets better luck with the injury bug, as James and Davis have missed significant time in each of the last two seasons. As long as the two stars are healthy, Los Angeles should compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference next season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.