Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Do you hear that sound? It’s Los Angeles Laker fans taking to the streets to celebrate the departure of head coach Mike D’Antoni.
With D’Antoni out of the picture, because he was not guaranteed a 4th year with the team, it is time for another Lakers coaching search to begin. The franchise has lost it’s way without Phil Jackson at the helm and will be hiring their third coach since his departure in 2011. The Mike Brown era was quick and mostly painless, while the D’Antoni era brought the worst basketball the franchise has ever seen, including the worst season in franchise history.
The Lakers must now go out and find the future of their franchise. This coaching hire will not be swift. The Lakers plan to interview as many as a dozen candidates in the next few months, and will probably hold off on hiring a coach until free agency begins. While it may be delusional, the Lakers are waiting to see if LeBron James opts out of his contract and may be interested in joining forces with Kobe Bryant. The Lakers would offer James a max contract and allow him to hand select the coach he wants to play for. Yes, this is all very far fetched and the possibility of getting James to come to Los Angeles is about as likely as me buying the Clippers. However, the Lakers would be wise to keep their options open and thoroughly vet all of the candidates.
This new coach, presumably, will be the face of the organization for years to come and will steer the teams vision, along with Mitch Kupchak and the Buss family. The Lakers can’t afford to whiff on another coaching hire. This is the most important decision the Lakers will make this summer. That being said, lets take a look at the candidate.