The Los Angeles Lakers will need to find a new head coach before the start of the 2022-23 season.
Even before the 2021-22 season came to an end for the Lakers, it was pretty clear that former head coach Frank Vogel’s days were numbered. His tenure is officially a thing of the past now, and names are already popping up in terms of who could be in the running for the highly coveted position.
According to one recent report, there are “rumblings” that Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers is interested in the Lakers coaching vacancy.
“But despite widespread rumblings of Rivers’ intrigue in the Lakers’ opening, and incessant talk of Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey perhaps desiring a different play-caller, the 76ers have maintained that Rivers and team leadership remain aligned about their future together,” Jack Fischer of Bleacher Report wrote. “Rivers’ contract runs through 2024-25 at $8 million per season, which is a hefty price for ownership to swallow.”
Rivers would be an interesting candidate, and he certainly has enjoyed success in the NBA. However, there are also a fair number of knocks on his reputation.
Firstly, his sole title came back in 2008, when he coached arguably one of the greatest NBA rosters ever assembled with the Boston Celtics. He hasn’t won a conference title since 2010 with the Celtics.
He’s also fallen victim to a number of devastating playoff losses. Most notably, Rivers has lost three playoff series in which his team once led 3-1.
The most recent knock to his coaching decisions came in the current postseason, when he chose to leave superstar Joel Embiid on the court while his team had a massive lead with just a few minutes left in a game. Embiid suffered a concussion and orbital bone fracture in the final minutes of the Sixers’ Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors. As a result, the team’s title hopes have been drastically harmed.
Still, it will be interesting to see if Rivers really does throw his hat into the ring once the NBA offseason begins. If he does, there will likely be a hearty discussion amongst Lakers fans as to whether or not he would be the right coach for the job.