The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a very important coaching search.
After parting ways with former head coach Frank Vogel earlier this year, the Lakers are now looking for a leader who can help the team get out of the very deep hole that it dug itself during the 2021-22 NBA season.
After being seen as title contenders before the start of the season, the Lakers failed to even advance to the play-in tournament.
To make matters worse, it seems like some members of the organization aren’t on the same page regarding the current coaching search. According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the Lakers and LeBron James are split right now in terms of who they want to bring in to be the new head coach.
“Most of the front office, it seems, has zeroed in on [Darvin] Ham, with former head coaches Terry Stotts (Portland) and Kenny Atkinson (Brooklyn) also in the mix,” wrote Deveney. “Ham was briefly an assistant with the Lakers, and according to league sources, he is the favorite of the Phil Jackson-Kurt Rambis layer of Lakers decision-makers.
“’I think those guys want a young coach they can mold a little bit,’ one Western Conference executive told Heavy.com. ‘I do not think Darvin is a pushover by any means. I just think that they want a guy they can point in the direction they want to go, more traditional basketball, using Russell Westbrook a certain way.’
“And the [Doc] Rivers rumors? Seems the players, and perhaps general manager Rob Pelinka, too, would rather see an experienced, win-now coach on the sidelines. ‘If LeBron could pick,’ the executive said, ‘it’s pretty certain he’d pick Doc.’”
It’s never good when a superstar player and his front office disagree, but it seems that is where the Lakers are at the moment. Surely, the last thing the Lakers want to do is upset James after a season in which he was one of the few true bright spots for them. However, the coaching hire is ultimately the front office’s call.
Depending on who ends up coaching the Lakers, fans will surely know who ends up winning the apparent tug of war.
Most Lakers fans probably don’t care much about who ends up becoming the team’s next head coach as long as the newcomer can help the Lakers bounce back from one of the more disappointing NBA seasons in recent memory.