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

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Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Fisher

Here’s the one you’ve all been waiting for. Is there another player in the NBA that is as universally respected as Derek Fisher? Probably not. Fisher recently passed Robert Horry as the player to play in the most playoff games. He’s got one of the brightest minds in basketball and will bring Phil Jackson’s triangle offense with him, should he decide to retire and take a coaching job, instead of a broadcasting or front office job, both of which will be offered to him.

Any old coaching job may not interest Fisher; however, the Lakers and Kobe might. Kobe and Derek Fisher are best friends and have won five championships together in Los Angeles. The potential of Fisher coaching Bryant may intrigue both of them very much.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, whom you should listen to at all times, the Lakers SHOULD go after Fisher and try to hire him as head coach. Why? Because he knows the Laker culture as well as anyone on earth, he’s respected and known throughout the NBA, and he’s been a mentor to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for the past three seasons.

"The Lakers need to make themselves a destination again. Free agency has major importance in 2015 and ’16 for the Lakers, and they’ll need to be positioned to make a run at Kevin Durant. Superstars want desperately to consider the Lakers in free agency, but they won’t go anywhere based only on geography and banners. They’ll need to see an infrastructure of talent, management structure and coaching. Durant will want a culture, and Fisher could’ve grown into the job by ’16 to sell him on the Lakers’ brand. It is risky to hire a coach with no experience, but the right minds and right coaching staffs can make it work. Fisher will command respect and he’ll be synonymous with a championship heritage that Lakers fans crave as a face of the franchise. Fisher is close to the end with the Thunder, and he’ll be the rare non-star to choose his next direction: management, coaching or television. He’s smart enough to figure them all out, but coaching the Lakers would be the most tempting of all for Fisher. History with Bryant in the short term – and history with Durant in the long term – are legitimate benefits in pursuit of this job. The Lakers won’t be reconstructed overnight, but through the draft and trades and ultimately free agency. There are good candidate cases to be made elsewhere in the Lakers’ search process, but the most intriguing could be the most unconventional: out of the Thunder backcourt and onto the Lakers bench. – Adrian Wojnarowski"

Yup, when Wojo speaks, you listen.