Who Are The Candidates To Replace Mike D’Antoni As Lakers Head Coach?

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The Wildcards

May 15, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins reacts to a call in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Grizzlies defeated the Thunder 88-84. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Ettore Messina, Lionel HollinsMike DunleavyKurt Rambis

I’m not saying that any of these former NBA head coaches or assistants are going to get an interview with the Lakers, but it’s probable that at least one or two of them will.

Rambis has been the interim coach of the Lakers before and has been an assistant under Phil Jackson and Mike D’Antoni. He was also the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. While he may get another opportunity to be a head coach, it most likely won’t be for the Lakers. However, don’t be surprised if he’s on the Lakers staff next season.

Messina is a god in Europe and would be the biggest wild card in the bunch. Apparently Kobe absolutely adores the guy after he spent the 2012-13 season under Mike D’Antoni as an assistant coach. While Kobe loves the guy, it would be a really tough sell to Laker fans and Messina has little, if any, connection to the players around the league. If the Lakers are going to build through free agency, Messina is not the man for the job.

Hollins is an interesting figure because he led the Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals last season, before being unceremoniously canned for reasons we still don’t quite understand. He doesn’t quite have the panache the Lakers are looking for in a head coach, but he would be a solid hire to get the Lakers back on solid ground.

Lastly, Mike Dunleavy may get another look from the Los Angeles Lakers, despite his advanced age and relative lack of success in previous coaching stints. Dunleavy finished third behind D’Antoni and Jackson in the last Lakers coaching search and he will again be interviewed for the job. Will he get it? Probably not.

So there you have it, all of the candidates are out there. Who would you choose?