Mandatory Credit: USA Today
When hope was almost lost, the Los Angeles Lakers seemingly forced Mike D’Anotni‘s hand and he folded by resigning as head coach. Either that, or D’Antoni felt as though if he were going to be the fall guy made sacrificial lamb, at least ensure an extra year of financial security at $4 million in salary. Whatever the case, the Lakers go into the summer in search of their 5th head coach in 3 years.
So now we move on to the next chapter in the current drama called “As The Laker Coaches Turn Over”. One name whom has expressed high interest in the newly opened Lakers job is Lionel Hollins, whom among public opinion, is heavily a fan favorite to succeed D’Antoni.
Hollins may not have a hand full of championship rings and a hall of fame coaching career such as the one who will remain nameless that we would love to coach the Lakers again. He also may not be ideally a guy one may consider who can handle a high-profile job not only in the NBA, but in SPORTS period by coaching the Lakers. However, Lionel Hollins is a damn good coach. He’s passionate, he’s old school (which would be of the liking to Kobe & Gasol), he knows defense (which the previous regime obviously knew little to nothing of), and he knows how to get the best out of his players.
There’s a small issue though with Hollins. Despite the bad rap he received in Memphis, the incessant mouthing off and slamming of ownership afterward may be something the Buss brothers may not be particularly fond of. Sure, it can be suggested as an isolated incident, but, owners/GM’s talk. And, you will be certainly talked about when you’ve gone on record many times bashing your employer as well as incidents YELLING at your general manager. There are relationships behind the scenes. It was a huge head scratcher that Hollins went a week yet alone a year without being hired as head coach for an NBA franchise. His fire sometimes may have burned a few bridges.
Consider this, Jim Buss has an outspoken face of the franchise who isn’t afraid of slamming ownership whenever he sees so fit. Conversely because there’s 48 million reasons on the table and 29 other teams who would step on their own mother’s throat for Kobe to be on their team, injuries and all. That being said, the Lakers have paid more than their fair share of money to get the likes of Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni to just go away. And, both are good guys, yes men, even, who were run out of Los Angeles. Hollins just does not seem to fit that mold considering the last two Laker hires. This perhaps may explain why Hollins has not been contacted about the position opening that’s been said will be searched to fill “immediately”.
Maybe Jim Buss will change his tune and just hire the best available. Since the last two hires have been failures, perhaps Buss is going with simply the best fit. This logically would be Lionel Hollins. Professionalism and past discretion with the Grizzlies aside, Hollins is a great fit in L.A. . With the great one who will remain nameless in the big apple, the Lakers have lacked a big element in his absence…..TOUGHNESS. Hollins bleeds tough. No matter the glitz and glamour the showtime Lakers brought as well as the Kobe and/or Shaq title years, the Lakers were tough. And, that’s what won NBA Championships. If Buss and Kupchak can set aside ego and desire to hire a coach who will push back for the greater good…..then Lionel Hollins should be a no-brainer to hire to lead the Lakers back to glory.