By Mitch Chortkoff
The Lakers have indicated they plan a long search for a coach to replace Mike D’Antoni, who resigned last week following two unsuccessful seasons.
The Lakers are in the difficult position of being without a coach or many players.
Only three players, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre have a Laker contract for next season and Nick Young has a player option.
It is believed the Lakers may interview as many as 20 coaching candidates.
Two college coaches, John Calipari of Kentucky and former LA Crenshaw High star Kevin Ollie of Connecticut are on the Lakers’ list although it is not known if they’d be interested.
Sources say The Lakers may wait until free agency begins in July. Then, in typical Jim Buss fashion, he would approach stars such as LeBron James to ask if they’d be interested in the Lakers if they could choose the coach.
It was that kind of thinking that got Buss and the Lakers in trouble in his first two years as the team’s owner.
Buss insisted on going after Dwight Howard and Nash, who were free agents. Neither fit in with the Lakers, who plunged to the bottom of the Western Conference.
It would seem Buss should direct his efforts to players more likely to consider the Lakers.
The Clippers’ problems involving disgraced owner Donald Sterling have dominated basketball headlines locally in the last few weeks. But the Clippers, with a roster full of star players and a highly respected coach, are in much better shape for upcoming years.
D’Antoni compiled a 67-87 Laker record in his two seasons. He had a contract to make $4 million next season but reached a settlement with the Lakers. It is believed he’ll receive a little more than $2 million.
Rumors are rampant of which coaches may want the Lakers’ job.
Doc Rivers has heard his name in the rumor stage but said he is not interested.