Take the Time While You Have It, Lakers

Darius Soriano —  May 14, 2014

The old saying goes, no news is good news…

But does that apply to the Lakers?

On Wednesday the two coaches most in demand to fill vacant jobs were snatched up as Stan Van Gundy signed on to be the Pistons’ Doc Rivers (SVG will get control of basketball operations along with his coaching title) while Steve Kerr spurned the Knicks to coach the Warriors. In the Lakers’ shotgun approach to searching for a coach to replace Mike D’Antoni, both Kerr and Van Gundy were rumored to be on the long list of interested targets. Now both are gone.

Meanwhile, in El Segundo, all is quiet on the western front.

Since an initial report of the intent to seek permission to speak to Tom Thibodeau and the aforementioned leaks of multiple candidates who would interest the Lakers, there has been no word of the team moving forward with scheduling interviews or even putting out feelers to gauge interest in their sideline vacancy. And, as far as what is public information, that request to Bulls has not yet been made.

The draft lottery is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20th. It will be that date that the Lakers will learn whether they luck out by jumping into the top 3, stand pat at 6, or fall to one of the 7 through 9 slots. And, I imagine, that will also be the date that the team starts to seriously consider how it will move forward with the hiring process of their new coach.

If this really is the plan, I am on board with it 100%. I see no reason to rush hiring a coach. The Lakers already did that when chasing Mike Brown and in choosing his successor. Doing so again would be a mistake. This hire will be the most important decision the organization makes since it took a chance on Andrew Bynum with the 10th pick in draft nine summers ago. They cannot afford to get this decision wrong and the person who signs on must understand that he will need to navigate what will be a minefield of expectations and impatience stemming from the closure of Kobe’s career. And while there will also be the sentiment that time will be needed to make the needed strides to become competitive again, frustration will quickly mount if (when?) the team loses.

Handling this situation will take a special type of coach who can project confidence, insulate himself from the inevitable criticism and doubt that comes from losing, while also instilling the core values and work ethic that winning programs are built upon. Finding this person will not be easy and it will take time and patience to sort out who can actually fill this void.

In a way, it is the gravity of this hire that actually has me finding comfort with there being little movement to this point. Because once the decision is made, there really is no turning back. So better to take the time now and leave no stone unturned than think you have the right guy only to, in a year or 18 months, know that you actually do not. In other words, take your time Lakers. Because whoever the next coach is the clock starts ticking and with his hire there will be news whether they want it or not.

Just ask the last two guys who had the job.

Darius Soriano

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147 responses to Take the Time While You Have It, Lakers

  1. Agree, patience is key as the next coach will likely determine Jim’s future (within basketball operations). However, not expecting the next coach to lead the team to a top 4 spot in the western conference next season but he should be able to handle the expectations of the franchise which will come with positives and negatives until FOs future moves produce results.

  2. My feelings have not changed. The Lakers s/h a coach in place in plenty of time to get his input on the players being selected in this years draft, as well as prioritizing possible free-agents &/or trades. In my opinion, if the coach is not hired by mid June, (draft is June 24th I believe) it tells me he’s not a long term coach, just a guy threading water until Kobe’s contract expires. At which time the Lakers will get serious about their coaching selection.

  3. Big city

    Not sure if choice and decision is that big . Based on percentage of chance Lakers pick will come down to Randle or Smart. How will having a coach make difference? Last year FO spent $5 mill on Kamen and clearly didn’t ‘t discuss needing a guy to sleep on the bench with the coach.

  4. Renato Afonso May 15, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Ko, we can only wish it came down to Randle or Smart (and I would pick Randle)… I really, really, really like Randle’s game and I think it will translate quite well to the NBA.

  5. hey darius: while on the subject of laker’s next coach, who would be your top three choices and why? and do you believe in drafting best available talent or need (in general that is).

    your thoughts would be appreciated.

    Go lakers

  6. Hey Darius……what do you think of Mark Jackson….kobe would respect him, just got a team to the second round, motivational, preaches defense……? My candidates in this order at this time would be this:

    Jeff Van Gundy (I think this is the clear #1 choice to fit in with what everyone wants), big personality, strong reputation, preaches defense, knows the league extremely well, has the experience.

    Mark Jackson, young, motivational, preaches defense, showed what he can do with a roster that isn’t even a finished product. Mark Jackson did a fantastic job in Golden State bringing that team to the second round….too bad he clashed with management

    Kevin Ollie- obviously has talent, but his freshness in the nba leaves me apprehensive especially because it’s my opinion the Lakers SHOULD take advantage of Kobe’s window not only for kobe but because it’s best for the franchise if kobe gets six and they get 16…..so I wouldn’t gamble on a rookie coach, but I could understand the hire.

    Byron Scott- The relationship with Kobe, the defensive understanding, the legacy of purple and gold, plus he’s been a very good coach with any type of decent roster and talent.

    Derek Fisher- if we can’t get any of these others and Fisher wants the job…..I think that would really lift the Lakers…..the roster next year will have enough talent to make the playoffs and get to second round if healthy, Fisher would bring a much needed jolt to the bench and fans.

    what do you think Darius, who will be coaching the Lakers next year.

  7. @alfonso…..

    Julius Randle is nice…..especially if we don’t try to bring Pau back…..I think we’re deep enough in the back court that we might even be able to make a play to get randle because everyone and their grandmas want young explosive pgs. With Bazemore Farmar Kobe if we can bring in someone like Eric Bledsoe….then we don’t need to draft a guard….Randle would be nice…….I also liked his game and would compare him to a nicer Paul Millsap a little more athletic. I’ll take that from my pick all day. Size wouldn’t hurt. Showed he’s a winner.

  8. Jabari is most nba ready (i.e. Carmelo), wiggins is best 2 way all around potential (paul George), embed is Tyson chandler 2.0…..maybe I wouldn’t take him, if he’s that GREAT trade for him later, don’t risk the future of your franchise on a potential greg oden situation, Dante Exum is the mot intriguing, could be a great learner under kobe, reminds me of Wes Johnson actually just a little more aggressive and confident and shorter. Same skill set…..by the way kobe needs to work with Wes Johnson this man should average at least 15 ppg in this league, I know he can score, I didn’t like the way he was used this year, too inconsistent, no plays…..just shoot from perimeter, nothing on the move……I’m not going to miss O’Antoni.

  9. If the Lakers are truthful with themselves they know I that the immediate future is not about winning. It’s about making the moves that will put them in position to win in say 2 or 3 years. It’s about making the right decision on a coach who will provide stability. It’s about young talent acquisition – through the draft and trades. It’s about spending cap space responsibly.

    My biggest fear is that the FO goes all in to try and win with Kobe and somehow we end up with Carmelo. Then when Kobe retires we’d have a 33 year old Carmelo as the centerpiece of our franchise. Yikes!

    (edited for trade speculation)

  10. I DO think that the Front Office might have a point in waiting to see what pick they’ll have before really getting down to zeroing in on a coach.

    IF they get in position to draft Embiid, I would suggest they hire Jeff Van Gundy, who has done great work coaching the likes of Patrick Ewing and Yao Ming.

    If they get in position for Exum or Marcus Smart, I could see George Karl, Mark Jackson, Byron Scott, or Derek Fisher as all being solid choices, as I believe they could all do a decent job with a young point guard and would at least provide entertainment as the team improves.

    I still think Wiggins could be spectacular as a Laker.

    I’d love to see George Karl coach Kobe and the crew, although I’m sure with the egos of Kobe and George Karl, there would be fireworks!! Would be quite entertaining, though.

    Other than that, I’d love a showtime “Dream Team” of coaches, with Byron as the head coach, and Kareem, Michael Cooper, Rambis, and (from the younger set) Derek Fisher as assistants, with Derek in line to take over in 3-4 years. At least the COACHING staff would be top-notch, and bleed purple and gold.

    If the Lakers pick in the top 3, I REALLY HOPE they keep PAU. I think if PAU leaves, Kobe will be even less content than he has been this past year. At least with Pau, Kobe still has a teammate he went through the championship wars with. If Pau leaves, without top-notch talent coming in to replace him, I feel as if this will alienate Kobe, and just lead to too much drama and an ultimately painful divorce.

  11. No panic here that SVG went to Detroit and Kerr to the Warriors.

    I don’t think SVG (AKA the King of Panic) would work out so well in LA anyway. He didn’t do much with DH except get fired over him. Yeah, I know Orlando went to the Finals – I also remember how the Lakers handed them their heads.

    Re: Kerr, still not sold on idea of putting somebody with no coaching experience in the top job, especially a hot seat like the Lakers are offering, regardless of how “well” everybody seems to think Mark Jackson worked out in Oakland.

    But what do I know? I actually thought Mike Brown was a good fit for the Lakers …

  12. … having said all that, if the Lakers want to go with somebody lacking coaching experience, Fish is the man!

    He’s tough enough.

  13. Apparently everything in the universe revolves around who Lakers draft.

    The coach, free agents, trades we may or may not make, players retained or not retained, Kobe’s final legacy, and Jim Buss’ future as an exec.

    That’s a lot of pressure to put on a ping pong ball.

  14. Does the Laker brain trust by now have a solid idea of the kind of team they want next season and beyond, and a list of coaches to pursue? That would be vision and leadership. The draft pick may need to fit the plan or just be the best player available. Of course, they’d have no reason to make their plans public, and it might not appear as if they’re working all angles every day .

    Considering how they chose Brown and D’Antoni, it may be more a matter of a coaching candidate selling them on a direction. If that’s the case, then they should be in active search mode. Do they jump at the chance to sign the first guy they like, or patiently, methodically go through all possible candidates?

  15. I’m going keep pushing George Karl’s name out there. He’s got the respect of Phil Jackson, the accolades, a proven track record of winning, flexible, I cannot say enough good things about Karl.

    I don’t see going into College hoops for a coach as the transition is not always as smooth as might be expected. Think of NBA failures like Pitino. I’m not big on picking up a retiring player like Fisher as they have no record to speak of. Such a hire is purely an assessment only of character. Coaches like this only make any sense if you the F.O. is immediately conceding defeat in the upcoming season and have patience. I don’t think that describes the Lakers F.O.

    I would draft Exum over anyone if it were my choice. Seems like the aligning of the stars, guy has real talent that could be something special and wants to be in a Laker uniform. The Lakers are going to have a shot at picking up a really good player though no matter where they fall. Just nicer to get your first choice. A player I expect may fall surprisingly far is Embiid. I wouldn’t touch him with a top 3 pick. He has the finesse and power to be the next Olajuwon or the health concerns to be the next Oden.. If he fell to the Lakers at 6 or lower it would be hard to not gamble on him.

  16. Warren Wee Lim May 15, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Its been no secret to all that my top choice has always been Jeff.

    I also would not be opposed if we actually found a way to steal Thibs, but thats rather far-fetched.

    I know Mark Jackson brings stigma (Jackson name) and polarity (Church ministry) into the mix, but its an identity nonetheless. I have not heard people say “I won’t play for him coz he’s a Pastor” … it just steers the team into the right path instead. Now I get how players aren’t religious and all, but its just an aspect.

    Mark Jack has been there too. Although he has no ring to show for, he is also Mr. #4 in Assists ALL TIME. Excuse Mr. Nash for breaking it, coz he deserves it too, but Mark Jackson brings some youth, vibrancy, collateral and credence into a locker room.

    I am not privy to how well he does with X’s and O’s but as a top flight point guard himself he already has it on his instincts. He’s young, so he won’t be expensive. He might take a long-ish deal like a 5-yr 17.5M deal perhaps.

    At the end of the day, I don’t think he’s someone that would clash with Kobe, unless he suddenly goes Muslim, and he has the longevity to be able to stay in LA for the next dynasty.

  17. I really, really, really like Randle’s game and I think it will translate quite well to the NBA

    I have my doubts about him.

  18. It still sounds like the Lakers do not have a clear plan on what they intend to do. They paid Kobe the big bucks; work with him to find the new coach and move on. Get the coach in place and give him input on who to draft. Maybe not the final say but at least find out the type of player he thinks would work in his system and with Kobe. I am wondering how many of the current candidates would really take the job if offered. Is it becoming having a job is better than not having one – as opposed to having a firm idea of what the Lakers need to do to be competitive again?

  19. chris y “.the roster next year will have enough talent to make the playoffs and get to second round if healthy, Fisher would bring a much needed jolt to the bench and fans.”

    Not quite sure how your prediction works out. Remember, the West basically had NINE playoff teams, meaning just to make the post-season the Lakers would need to beat out two teams which finished 1-9. Not to mention beating a top 4 seed to advance to the 2nd round.

    Sorry guy, don’t see it.

  20. I have stated before, and will reiterate, that Marcus Smart could make the biggest impact next year of all the draft prospects. A 6-4, 200+ point guard who plays intense, in-your-face defense, and who averaged 18 ppg, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.9 (!) steals per game as a 19 year-old sophomore in college may actually be more prepared than any of the 5 players who will probably be chosen before him.

    Also, the Lakers need a strong perimeter defender. (Yes. I know. They need a lot of things. But they definitely need that.)

    I think Smart is the closest thing to being “ready.” Choosing him would not be a consolation prize. Smart could be the real thing.

    And re: Darius’s original point — yes, I’m glad the Lakers are taking their time. SVG and Kerr were not on my list.

  21. The Lakers were abysmal last year. to think we can make sufficient moves in one off season is a bit overly optimistic. This will take a few years to fix. This summer the FO should do the following: Hire the right coach, draft the right player and spend their cap space on the right young talent.

  22. Would be amazed if the Lakers don’t pick (who they think) is the best player available.

    They have holes absolutely everywhere.

    It’s not like the priority is who will play best with Sacre … or even Kobe for that matter.

  23. hey warren: i’m not as much a fan of coach mark Jackson as you but I remember him saying a few years back; something to the effect that at the end of the day, kobe bryant will go down as the greatest nba player of all time. and as of more recent, said something to the effect that he (himself) wished that he called the timeout when kobe went down with the Achilles injury. to me, these two sentiments although not coach worthy of and in itself are worthy in praise of the man himself. thanks for reminding me of that.

    speaking of worthy, he better not be going under any ladders soon, having black cats cross his path, stepping on any cracks any time soon before next week’s lottery drama; I mean picks.

    Go lakers

  24. My top 3 coaches were, in no particular order: Kerr, Ollie and Hoiberg. Kerr is gone and now the Knicks’ have interest in Hoiberg. The basis of my list was the hope that the Lakers would go a different route than hiring a retread.

    Does anyone have a short list of top assistants that are ready for their own HC jobs. I would prefer that to a recycled head coach.

  25. I really don’t get some people’s fascination with the idea that just because a guy was a great Lakers player, he’s somehow qualified to be the team’s next head coach, or even an assistant coach.

    Coaching, like playing, is a skill. And whether you’re Ryan Kelly or LeBron James, skills are developed through practice and experience. Some adjust and grow faster than others, but this isn’t an easy gig about which we’re talking. In fact, it’s probably one of the toughest jobs in any sport, given the media market, expectations and players (ahem, Kobe) involved. To hand the keys to a Lamborghini to someone who’s never driven a Camry — you just don’t do that.

    Among the list of ex-Lakers whose names keep popping up, only Scott and Rambis have prior experience as a head guy, and neither boasts a track record that suggests (to me, anyway) that they’re the right man to take the Lakers’ helm at this stage in time. Byron had some success when coaching an MVP-level point guard, but Kidd and Paul can make any coach look good; Kyrie Irving is a stud too, and Byron couldn’t win with him. And with Kobe’s health still in question, the Lakers may not have anyone as good as Irving on their roster next season.

    Fisher appears to be a high quality man on every level, but to step in with this roster at this time, with no prior experience? That’s foolhardy. Kareem and Cooper have at best been assistants or WNBA coaches; that’s not what the Lakers need going forward either.

    Much respect to the many Laker greats, but let’s not live in the past and assume because someone was great on the court at the Forum that he’s suddenly qualified to be the next Pat Riley.

  26. “The Lakers were abysmal last year. to think we can make sufficient moves in one off season is a bit overly optimistic.”

    Sufficient moves for what? I think there are a lot of practicalities that will determine what the Lakers do now. Of course they’re going to sell the idea that the franchise is still special and really only interested in championships, and all decisions are based on that ultimate goal, yadda, yadda, yadda, but the reality is not so lofty. There’s pressure not to stink so bad again next season – to right the ship as quickly as possible, become relevant again. That doesn’t mean spending rashly on any player they don’t really like, but of course they want the best coach they can get, they want Kobe healthy, they want to draft a player who creates some positive buzz for the future, and they’ll try to sign whatever talent is available and affordable as best they can. I’d bet they’ll be both happy and relieved to put a team on the floor that has a chance at making the playoffs next season, and then with the chance at acquiring more talent for the one following. A chance at the playoffs is a chance for everything. If Kobe’s healthy, they have the leader and marquee player that keeps the dream alive. That’s why they paid him the money. It’s an entertainment business.

  27. melcountscounts May 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I’m still surprised that Nate McMillan’s name never comes up. Proven coach, knows Kobe from Team USA, would think he would want to get out of Indiana-unless he’s in line to take Vogel’s place. Also think JVG would be so jazzed to be back in the league, he would do a great job while order is restored in Lakerland.

  28. Thibs would be a dream… then find a way to steal Noah and Lowry.

    But I still would like the FO to take a good look at JVG, I really think he brought the most out of some banged up Rockets teams. A good defensive coach and adapts to what he has very creatively.

  29. To hand the keys to a Lamborghini to someone who’s never driven a Camry — you just don’t do that.
    ——————————–
    I see your point and agree its odd to hire an inexperienced person as a HC, as the Warriors have now done twice. However, the Lakers are more of a broken down 70s Fiat than a Lambo or even a Camry right now.

  30. i’m thinking that whoever the lakers hire as the next coach won’t be the one that takes them to the next title (rare for any coach to be excellent at both developing a young team and leading a championship-caliber team – can’t easily think of any, in any case). from that perspective, whoever they bring in has to be excellent at the former; the latter is not likely to be something we’ll have to worry about for another three years or so, so pedigree in that area is less important from my perspective.

  31. Patience is the key in the next hire and the rebuilding. Thats all i have to say about that, i think that dead horse needs to be left alone. What its kind of buggin me is the rumor that the Lakers plan to offer Greg Monroe a max deal. I dont know if a 15-9 player with really bad defensive skills is worth a max at this stage. The pro is that he is 23 and still should have an upside. But i dont know, not really feeling this one i need some convincing..,

  32. Broken down or in tip top shape, it’s a Lamborghini in the sense that it’s not an easy car to drive.

  33. Chris J May 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm
    Broken down or in tip top shape, it’s a Lamborghini in the sense that it’s not an easy car to drive.

    ————————————————————–
    Well, that’s true!

  34. Fern: Regarding your comments about Monroe. I think his numbers, this past year, were held down by the emergence of Andre Drummond (a very good rebounder) and the presence of Josh Smith in the Pistons lineup.

    I think Monroe has good upside. This, coupled with the fact that he is young and plays a position of need, makes him a good investment. Unfortunately, to get him you are going to have to overpay.

  35. Nothing here about KG walking off the court yesterday refusing to shake hands with the Heat players?

  36. I can’t believe the moderators let you talk about Greg Monroe without editing it out! I’ve had comments held in moderation forever for far less!

  37. I’m starting to feel a little more optimistic about the future. If, the Lakers get a top 3 pick and sign someone like Greg Monroe then we at least have some young talent to build on.

  38. Baylor Fan: “It still sounds like the Lakers do not have a clear plan on what they intend to do.” I have been saying that for 3 years.
    chris y: “Byron Scott- The relationship with Kobe, the defensive understanding, the legacy of purple and gold, plus he’s been a very good coach with any type of decent roster and talent. ” That’s what I am talking about. I would like to introduce to you the next coach of the LAL: Byron Scott.
    R: “No panic here that SVG went to Detroit and Kerr to the Warriors. ” None here either. Scott, Fish and Donovan all still there.
    Todd: “Hire the right coach, draft the right player and spend their cap space on the right young talent.” Bingo. And what is this regimes track record in those areas?
    Chris J: “he’s suddenly qualified to be the next Pat Riley.” Pat Riley was not qualified to be the next Pat Riley either. Better a “Laker” than a guy who is “creative and a better fit for the roster”
    barry_guapo: “i’m thinking that whoever the Lakers hire as the next coach won’t be the one that takes them to the next title” You think ? : ) I would say this is a safe bet.

  39. Robert

    Scott is sitting around here waiting. Don’t you think if they intended on hiring him it would be done ?

    Longer it takes the less it looks like B.Scott.

  40. Ko: I thought about that too. However with Jim it is all about perception. That applies twice here:
    1) Due to the last 2 coaching debacles, Jim wants to “appear” to be carefully considering this. So, even if his mind is made up, he waits a month to look like it is being carefully considered.
    2) There is a pledging process going on. Jim did not like it when Phil wanted to sleep on it. He wants someone who really wants the job. Nobody wants it more than Byron.

    Then again – anything is possible. We hired Mike Brown over Shaw. We hired Mike D’Antoni over Phil. We could ignore Scott and hire Rob Zombie for all I know.

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/15/report-phil-jackson-focused-on-young-coaches-tyrone-lue-luke-walton-derek-fisher/?ocid=Yahoo&partner=ya5nbcs

  41. Sorry Robert

    Rob was our last coach and that did not work out.

  42. At the end of the day, just as most originally anticipated, it’ll come down to Indiana against Miami for the EC Title.

  43. Can you believe that Jack is sitting courtside at a clippers game … booouuurrrnnnss

  44. I disagree Todd, his numbers has been more or less the same since before Drumond, im not knocking on the guy but its a sad state of affairs for big men when a 14-9 player could command a max salary. He is a nice player but paying him over 20 million? Sorry that doesnt compute. On the new HC i just going to wait and see, people talk about Kerr, right now he is hugely overrated, this reminds me of Reggie Theus remember him? A mouth piece on TV got the Sacto job and was a horrible coach, people are putting wayy too much stock on Kerr with zero coaching experience, about SVG i dont like him as a coach so good luck with the Pistons, the last thing the Lakers need rigth now is a panicky coach on the sidelines on the verge of a heart attack every game no siree. As far as im concerned the list havent change a bit.

  45. CP is on Durant again and Durant dont post him, between that and Russell not passing the ball to anyone this doesnt bode well for OKC, CP flopping all over the place , running into RD on purpose and is a block? They should penalize that bs.

  46. i like 2 seniors in this draft. doug mcdermott and deonte burton.

  47. How can refs not T up Doc or Blake?

  48. Shaun….
    Maybe Jack is there as a Lakers’ rabbit foot!! Let’s hope OKC holds on. I can’t stand Rivers and the clips.

  49. Ko…
    Absolutely right! Doc, CP & Griffin whine on every call.

  50. Does this mean I don ‘t have to hear 3 more weeks of Sterling baloney?

    Yes. Shut it up chris and Blake!

  51. the other Stephen May 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    I’m so thankful the Clippers are out. I was sick of hearing Doc Rivers and the Clippers’ front office claim that they’re “America’s team.” That, the suggestion that this whole Sterling fiasco had raised their profile for better really offended my nostrils. >:D

  52. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha Dwight and CP bounced off the playoffs i feel like we won a championship i want to cry hahahahahahaha. Seriously is Doc Rivers overrated or what? And CP? HE CHOCKED THIS SERIES AWAY, all that “leadership” talk is just a bunch of baloney. Down the stretch in 3 straight posesions he passed the ball away after Blake fouled out and it was his time to step up. Lets see Doc whine his way about this one.

  53. That American team crap was sickening, the arrogance of this never win jack team.

  54. The NBATV team, talking about how Sterling situation was to blame for being bounced out the playoffs. I die laughing tonight.

  55. Clippers have no excuses. They have had their point guard gifted to them by the league, threw Del Negro under the bus to get the “great” Rivers, had the late season acquisitions of Granger and Davis and still lost. Oh, they’ve got the 6th man of the year as well.

  56. Read a funny tweet

    So Chris Paul and Dwight Howard won the same number of 2nd round games as the Lakers this year.

    Ha sweet!

  57. Pat Riley was not qualified to be the next Pat Riley either. Better a “Laker” than a guy who is “creative and a better fit for the roster”
    ————–

    Riley didn’t have the resume when he took over, true. But the suggestion that because hiring an inexperienced coach worked out well in 1981 somehow means it would work again in 2014 is laughable.

    Riley took over a team that won 54 games the prior season, even as Magic Johnson missed more than half the 1980-81 season with a knee injury. The squad was less than two years removed from winning a championship, had a young Magic, a still-in-his-prime Kareem, Bob McAdoo and Jamaal Wilkes (four Hall of Famers), as well as talented role guys like Michael Cooper, Spencer Haywood and Norm Nixon. They were stacked — good enough to win an NBA title in Riley’s first year. And before Riley held his first training camp in fall 1982, James Worthy had been added as well.

    Yes, Riley went on to become a great coach in his own right, but as a young head coach he had an easier learning curve given the talent he was handed. He developed his greatness later on.

    The next Laker coach will have no such luxury. The only Hall of Famers around today are injured and unknowns this late in their careers; there is no third-year Magic in the locker room. The next coach will also face a thousand times more scrutiny than Riles, thanks to today’s media presence and the Lakers’ greater prominence in L.A. and around the world.

    Just because a guy was once a Laker player doesn’t make him qualified to be the team’s next head coach, and to raise Riley’s success as a reason someone like Scott could do well is absurd.

    Oh, and the Clippers suck. Have fun making stupid commercials this summer, boys.

  58. Like i said before Doc Rivers is hugely overrated, his only chip was with an incredibly stacked Celtics team against a Laker team w/o a center. CP is confirmed in my eyes as an overrated “leader” that basically chocked this series away all by himself he is on Tony Romo’s territory now. If the veto didnt happen and he became a Laker im thankful this would still be Kobe’s team because as a leader he dont cut the mustard would had made a good second fiddle to Kobe.

  59. @barry_guapo

    The obvious answer to your questions is Popovich, he developes young talens, journey men veterans and stars all the same… and stays competitive years after year.

  60. Chris J … Good points about Riley. And I loved that “Clippers suck” line!

  61. Fisher appears to be a high quality man on every level, but to step in with this roster at this time, with no prior experience? That’s foolhardy.

    I am not sure that there is any evidence to suggest that having an experienced coach is especially helpful to a bad team. Brad Stevens seemed to do OK in Boston this year, for example. There is perhaps an equally good argument to be made that a a guy new to coaching can grow with the team.

    As to Riley, yes, he inherited a lot of talent, and it was a very different time, but he was expected to win. Barring multiple, unexpected, major roster moves, the Lakers will not be expected to do much of anything next year, and the new guy will get some slack initially simply for not being D’Antoni.

    The best argument against Scott is that I doubt that he would be a serious candidate, or that some fans would be arguing for him, if he were not a local guy who played for the Showtime teams. One peripheral issue with D’Antoni was that not only was he “not a Laker”, he was actually a Lakers antagonist. No one would have cared if he had won, of course, but when he didn’t, I think it was even easier for many fans to turn on him. Scott OTOH is “one of us”, so to speak. He’s a Laker.

    That said, Scott is not a beloved Lakers icon. He was not one of the three top guys on the Showtime teams, obviously, and only fans 35-40 and up really remember seeing him play here. And his record is not particularly good. So, adding it all up, if they hire him, there will be very legitimate reasons to question it–but that is true of all the candidates out there.

  62. @Fern

    Well he did cough up some stinkers, but he has been a crunch time killer in his entire career, I do not think this changes much about my image of him. Clippers just don’t defend well enough to take that last step. Both Blake and Griffen gets lost on defense, and that is the bigger reason for the loss.

    CP had equally big moments to match his stinkers.

  63. So I awake to the knowledge that our co-tenants got knocked last night. I’m Pharrell Williams “Happy” about that.

    1. Doc Rivers – Some would say that he’s one of the 3 Best Coaches in the league.
    2. Blake Griffin – Didn’t he finish third in this years MVP Voting?
    3. Chris Paul – Some would say that he’s not only the Best Leader in the league, but also, the Best Point Guard.
    4. Jamal Crawford – Didn’t he win the Sixth Man of the Year Award? 5. D’Andre Jordan – Some would say that he’s the individual that should’ve won the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

    All of that and they still got bounced. Couldn’t even make it beyond round two. As KRS One would say, “Outta Here” ..

    The only thing that will excite me more is winning the Draft Lottery next week – or at the very least, securing a top 3 pick.

  64. Warren Wee Lim May 16, 2014 at 4:55 am

    If the choice is between JVG and Mark Jackson, I would go with JVG. If the premise of the choice is someone who has longevity, its going to be Mark.

    Any other choice is a blur to me right now.

  65. Reality check: CP3 & D12 haters, enjoy this moment. Both have much more to look forward to next season than Kobe.

  66. Big City, i couldnt care less for real .

  67. BigCity

    What’s next? No Santa? No tooth Fairy? No super Lottery for me?

    Thanks for destroying my few happy moments.

    BogCityMeany

  68. today, kobe bryant has more to look forward to than cp3 and d12 put together. cp3 has the sterling cloud overhead and d12 has d12 inside his own head.

    kobe has a new coach, high draft choice and future free agents to look forward to. there’s a silver lining to every cloud.

    Go lakers

  69. Parrothead Phil May 16, 2014 at 7:46 am

    What’s the difference between the Lakers’ worst season ever and the Clippers’ best season ever?

    One month

  70. Hahahaha Parrothead well said

  71. Nobody knows what the future holds. What we do know is that Kobe has a career full of achievement that includes 5 Chips. Which is 5 more than Paul and Howard have combined. In today’s NBA, hype trumps accomplishment. Paul and Howard have whined themselves to the teams of their choice and still can’t win the big one. Dislike Kobe all you want, but he did his the old fashioned way… He EARNED it.

  72. What’s the difference between the Lakers’ worst season ever and the Clippers’ best season ever?

    One month
    ___
    Beautiful! :D
    ___
    MId´s take on Marcus Smart has swayed me in that direction-especially because of his tenacious D
    ___
    Robert,
    Rob Zombie!! hahahaha

  73. @The Dane, yeah in the regular season, meaningless …

  74. Yes, it is a joy to see DH and Clips bounced, no doubt.
    Yeah it’s a fleeting joy, cuz next year it’s a whole new ball game…but it’s ok to enjoy it now!

    I am pretty sure Houston will add to its roster and use Asik as a trade chip and get better,
    so we surely haven’t seen the last of them.

    I do think CP felt a bit tight there at the end of this series but it’s natural for a guy to fail first,
    then succeed the next time…Dirk did it, Lebron…it’s often part of the player’s natural evolution.

    To compete w next year’s Rockets and Clips and Spurs and Warriors etc etc,
    we definitely have our work cut out for us…

  75. Kenny T I totally agree with your statement, “Paul and Howard have whined themselves to the teams of their choice and still can’t win the big one.” For those who blame David Stern for the veto of the Chris Paul trade, he vetoed the trade because Chris Paul asked him to.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/19/sports/la-sp-sn-chris-paul-gq-interview-20120919

  76. About CP, the Clippers had the best teams on both playoff series, they played a Dub team w/o their main defensive player and rim protector down low and as much as i understand the Sterling fiasco affected them that one game they got it togheter and still barely skeaked pass the Warriors. Against OKC they had the deeper team ahd suposedly the better coach as OKC is basically KD and RW and not much else, i thought their depth was going to wear those 2 down. Instead Westbrook and Durant seized the moment when it mattered the most while CP,Blake and Doc could not handle the pressure. Last night after Blake stupidly fouled out the next 3 posesions passed the ball to Collison, Barnes and Reddick, it was like he thought the ball was a grenade, that was the time to take over and live up to that leader hype. He has no excuse that Clipper team was absolutely stacked to the roof and still could not get past the second round. After 9 years in the league its time to stop giving him a pass and call him what he is, an underachiever.

  77. @rr — I’ve previously lauded Ainge on this site for the Stephens hire multiple times. But the difference between Stephens and Fish is one has been a hea coach and the other hasn’t — at any level. That’s my biggest get with the idea of hiring Fisher.

    I dislike Scott as a candidate independent of his status as a former Laker player. I just don’t believe he has done well enough in prior gigs to warrant consideration. Unless he’s had a top tier PG like Paul or Kidd, his teams haven’t done well. Also, he tends to run his guys hard to the point that they turn on him. I would rather they bring in a teacher-type than a drill sergeant, but that is also tied to my hope that they Lakers go young (rosterwise) to rebuild; some here prefer the go for broke and get better fast approach, but I am not in that camp. What the front office will do, who can say?

  78. In order to be a winner, one has to be willing to be the goat. I was trounced for stating that CP wasn’t what the league had him slated as. On a bad team there are no expectations, winners learn how to win games when they are supposed to win. Anything less than winning when you’re supposed to is called “not quite ready for prime time.” Sorry, CP3 and D12! In Kobe’s 9th year, in the league with the teams, CP3 and D12 have they’d be hoisting a championship trophy by the end of the year.

    Yes, in the 2014-2015 season both CP3 and D12 will have better teams than Kobe, but they’ll also face twice the scrutiny. If neither win championships next year….

  79. @Julien….
    Thanks for the link. Saying he preferred the Clippers to the Lakers may have been Paul’s spin after the fact, but it is in keeping with the “team-up” mentality that he and Howard have displayed throughout their careers. To me, it seems like those guys are just looking for shortcuts to a title.

  80. I’ve been saying the same thing for years – I like Chris Paul’s game a lot, but I just do not understand the general consensus that he is a top 5 player in the league. Someone please show me the team he’s led on a deep playoff run.

  81. I found it a little bit offensive that Doc complained so heavily about the missed call in game 5,
    yet he readily admitted that his player committed a foul. So he’s mad that the refs didn’t use the replay to overturn the out of bounds call, AND simultaneously ignore the foul his player committed?
    I know, they’re not supposed to use the ‘review’ for fouls, but, the truly right outcome was achieved. So why hang yourself over a technicality when you know you’re not in the right to begin with?
    When he melted down over that I could see the stress getting to him; maybe the Clips/Sterling fiasco was weighing on him and the combo was too much to handle…understandable I guess.
    But to whine about one call is to ignore multiple mistakes the Clips made in the last few minutes of game 5, which is where the series was clearly lost.
    Anyone else notice this?

  82. JC,

    Doc seemed more concerned about that call than what was happening on the court. He was yelling at referees and making gestures that the out of bounds call was wrong, even while play resumed.

    Players get criticized all the time for complaining about a call instead of running back on defense. Doc basically did the same thing…. complaining about the call instead of getting back to coaching.

  83. The Clippers are an exciting team. They are a high-flying team. They are a playoff team. But they are not a championship team.

    Winning on a big stage, in crunch time, against other elite teams, and playing tough defense down the stretch is not what the Clips are about. They’re more Phi Slamma Jamma than Phi Beta Kappa. They just don’t have the smarts, the savvy, and the ball movement that, say, San Antonio does.

    Furthermore, next year Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes will be 35 years old. How do they get to the next level? I don’t think that’s an easy question to answer. And with Chris Paul approaching 30, that question will get more and more challenging every year.

  84. Updated coaching news, if you consider Mark Medina a reliable source. As written in “Inside The Lakers”: The Lakers have not formally reached out to any candidates, including Ollie, because they want to see what position they receive in the NBA draft lottery on May 20 before narrowing down their choices. Ollie has been interested in listening to any Lakers’ pitch after growing up in Los Angeles as a Crenshaw standout. But a source familiar with Ollie’s thinking expects him to make a decision “soon” on his coaching future.”

  85. rr: “if they hire him, there will be very legitimate reasons to question it–but that is true of all the candidates out there.” A very true statement.

    Chris J: Nobody is saying that anything “proves” who should be our coach. Riley had no experience as head coach and was an ex-Laker and he worked out well. Magic had no experience and was an ex-Laker and did not work out well. However the same can be said (as rr is pointing out) for every candidate for every category. My favorite is the use of the term “NBA Coaching retread”. People apply it some ex-NBA coaches, but not others. Fact is – every NBA coach available has a spotty record. Every coach without NBA experience – has well – no NBA experience. So throw out any name and we can all lampoon it. The difference between the name that I have been throwing out and everyone else’s, is that Scott is actually going to get the job : )

    Coach: Anyway you slice it, the odds of our next coach winning a ring with us are not good. He will need to hang around and make a transition from whatever our team is going to be for the next 2 years to whatever it will be become 2 years from now. Our last two coaches did not complete 2 full seasons. What are the odds that the next guy goes 3 plus years and contends? I want to see someone who will face the press, will be a true Laker (and not some vagabond coach), and will bring back some pride and dignity. For those who are thinking that the next coach is going to “solve” everything, you are going to be disappointed in both the results and the coach. I am looking for guy like Scott to be a good caretaker of the Laker brand during some troubling times. MB and MD tarnished the brand. We need to stop the bleeding. Asking for the next coach to contend? That is too much to ask. I do think a younger coach is a consideration, because he will not be expected to win.

    Jim: He has been in place for 3 years and has given himself 4 more years to contend so that is a total of 7. Is he going to give the our next coach 7 years?

    NBA Coaches: Eric Spoelstra is the second longest tenured head coach in the league right now (incredible). And there is only a total of 4 guys in the league who were with their current team prior to 2010 !! Again I ask you to consider the odds that our next coach will coach us when we contend.

  86. Bad news for OKC… According to SportsCenter, Serge Ibaka is out for the remainder of the playoffs.

  87. Bad news for OKC… According to SportsCenter, Serge Ibaka is out for the remainder of the playoffs.
    ___
    Go Pacers

  88. LT Mitchell – exactly. Totally agree.
    I suppose in watching the Clips lose we saw the worst come out of some of them. (I loved it!)

    I do think Blake Griffin is a very good player and has continued to expand his game. I really liked that touch-pass to DJ.

    For OKC, Ibaka’s injury kills their chances against the Spurs. Too bad.

    What do you think, Robert? :)

  89. Ibaka’s injury is a really tough break but the emergence of the Adams kid could soften the blow hopefully why he is not starting instead of that waste of space Perkins is beyond me, with Ibaka gone i insert that kid in the starting lineup ASAP, he has the toughness dont back down from anyone, can guard block a lot of shots and can score if properly set up.That is a nice rookie right there. I stick him at center and put Collison on the PF position and put that scrub Perkins on the bench where he belongs, after losing Ibaka, hey its worth a shot but what do i know?lol

  90. But the difference between Stephens and Fish is one has been a hea coach and the other hasn’t — at any level. That’s my biggest get with the idea of hiring Fisher.

    Sure, but Stevens had no NBA exp. at all prior to this year while Fisher has been around the NBA for 18 years and has appeared in over 200 playoff games. Who is to say which is more significant? As noted, all the possible hires come with caveats of one kind or another.

  91. I’m interested in people’s thoughts on the Greg Monroe rumors. I’ve seldom seen him play and have read criticism of both his defense (not much rim protection) and his offense (gets a lot of his points on putbacks because he’s a good offensive rebounder). He sounds like a slightly bigger, and definitely more expensive, version of Jordan Hill. Anyone?

  92. Warren Wee Lim May 17, 2014 at 6:53 am

    minorthreatt,

    Greg Monroe is an option whether it be rumored or not. Realistically, among the restricted free agents that have not signed extensions (thats why they are RFA) Monroe has the best chance of moving to another team.

    Gordon Hayward wants a big contract, but he’s in Utah and he’s not worth max. Therefore there is an impasse, but as soon as other teams exhaust their caps, Utah will eventually sign him for 44/4 or so.

    Eric Bledsoe will earn max, all teams w/ cap space will offer for him, tender an offer sheet, and all of those teams (including us) will fully expect the Suns to match it. No chance they let him go.

    Then there’s Greg Monroe…

    I guess the thing I like most on his game is that he’s lefty. I believe that guys that have unnatural tendencies have an advantage over conventional ones. He has a good offensive game inside, his jumper is still a work in progress and he does rebound well. However, he is not a rim protector or an intimidating presence down low. He’s either an undersized C or a slow-ish PF.

    Offering him the “max” wouldn’t be too bad. I even expect it from Mitch Kupchak. He has exceptional passing skills for a big man that makes him versatile enough to be earning about 64 million in 4 years. That’s around 16M per season.

    Having him beside Jordan Hill is good on the rebounding front.

    One intriguing fact however is our draft position, we could very well be picking someone of his mold in Julius Randle (projected 5th to 7th in most mocks) …

  93. Minorthreatt-

    Jordan Hill played his highest minutes per game average of his career in 2013-2014, so comparing just this year w Monroe:
    Hill 20.8 min:
    9.8 ppg 7.4 rpg, 0.9 blocks, 55% fg
    Monroe 32.8 min:
    15.2 ppg 9.3 rpg, 0.6 blocks, 49.7% fg
    So Monroe’s numbers look better.
    Until you equalize their minutes.

    Per 32.8 min, Hill’s numbers:
    15.4 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 1.4 blocks.
    With a better shooting %.
    I also have a hunch Hill could be retained at a much more reasonable salary.

    For those who think Hill’s numbers would fade with higher minutes, I beg to differ. In fact the opposite case could be made. More minutes, more touches, more confidence etc.

    If I can do this math, can the Lakers?
    Message to Mitch:
    Pay Jordan Hill.

  94. Monroe is an extremely talented offensive player; he has good footwork and a nice touch. He also has good court vision and passing skills for a big guy. His numbers dropped off a bit after the arrival of Drummond and then Smith. But Monroe is not much of a defensive player–not all that aggressive, has trouble in the PnR, can’t guard stretch 4s.

    But Monroe is far more talented on O–and four years younger–than Jordan Hill. Monroe, unlike Hill, could be the featured big on O. But to maximize his effectiveness, Monroe would need to be paired with a good defensive 5 and you would need an agile guy who could play the 3 or the 4 off the bench.

    Spec is that Stan Van Gundy wants to build a 2009 Orlandoish team round Drummond in the Howard role, and therefore might let Monroe walk if someone offers him a max or near-max deal–hence the rumors. I am skeptical about that, but we will see.

  95. You have to feel bad for Kevin Durant. It seems like every time his team has a chance, someone comes down with an injury or just doesn’t show up to play in the Finals. (cough cough ->James Harden).

    In regards to what options the Thunder have. I think that I tend to agree with Fern. Start Adams and let him guard Duncan. I’m fairly certain that he can keep up with an aged TD. The only caveat there, and this is a big one, is that TD will most certainly get him into foul trouble. Ibaka is a huge loss for this team…

    On that note -> I think I have to cheer for the Heat again. Man that really sticks in my throat! I don’t think the Pacers can beat the Spurs and I don’t want those guys to win the ‘chip for many reasons. Robert has listed them all many times on this board….

  96. The coach’s skill set is communication, hard work, basketball acumen, the ability to assess talent and find a role for them, hard work, attention to detail, hard work, exude confidence, hard work, and to manage a game. All that and hard work.

    A player with a long term career will have worked hard, understands roles and brings attention to detail. Guys who bring up the ball and initiate the offense have basketball acumen and can manage a game. Guys who have been leaders on championship teams bring confidence, focus and sacrifice.

    The Lakers are not going to compete for a championship in the next few seasons. I think a young coach with all the base qualities, who can grow into the job, and handle the pressure of Los Angeles is the best hire. It seems former point guards have an edge as regards jumping into coaching without previous experience. Doc Rivers has done very well and is one of the best coaches. I’m not a big fan of Mark Jackson, but he did well enough. Jason Kidd has done very well with what he has. I absolutely would love for Derek Fisher to return to the organization and take up head coaching duties. Enough with the retreads.

    I like George Karl. He is an excellent coach. I don’t think his age is right for this team. If we had a team ready to compete now, maybe.

    I think Byron Scott is a poor coach. He coached CP3 to a the second round. Big deal. He coached Jason Kidd to the finals twice. Anybody remember what the east looked like in those years? Don’t forget the players revolted against him and forced his being replaced. Byron did nothing in Cleveland. I just don’t see a good track record there.

    Mark Jackson was part of the problem in Golden State. He coached the team and alienated the rest of the organization. He kept firing assistants, and frankly, his game management leaves something to be desired. Plus, his role definition skills are not productive. Klay only got marginally better, Barnes seems to have gotten worse, and Jackson’s misuse of Andre is inexcusable. I think he is a flawed coach.

    Tom Thibodeau demands and gets every inch of his players. I think he broke Rose. He played him too much. He gets regular season wins and sacrifices wins in the playoffs. Plus, with the switch always on, his teams have failed to find an extra gear when it matters. You can argue that with a better team, Thibs will be more judicious with his playing time. Maybe. The fact is, the Lakers won’t have a better team, not for a while.

    Kurt Rambis was horrible when he took over for Del Harris, which says something. He was horrible in Minny. I’m not interested in trying that again.

    If Jeff Van Gundy wants a job, he is probably the one retread that seems worth exploring. Other than that, I like Fish, I like Ollie and those are the only names I’ve heard circulated that appeal. Might there be an assistant somewhere that can come into LA and do the job. I am sure there is. Might there be a college coach who can figure out the league. Sure. But, of the names I’ve seen and that remain on the market and viable, Fish, Ollie and SVG make the most sense. It doesn’t hurt that both Fish and Ollie have relationships with the best scorer on the league who will be an unrestricted FA in a couple of years.

    PS- Horrible news that Ibaka is out. I honestly don’t care who wins. If anything, I probably want the Spurs as I think it’s more likely that Durant will leave if they keep falling short. That said, I want to see teams at their best, especially in the heavy weight rounds. Just sucks that we’ll be missing that.

  97. Time to put away the Spurs hatred and bring out the Heat hatred. While there may be no good options here, I vote for the better team over a longer time and the one built on basics, not the peculiarities of the CBA at a specific point in time.

    Love me some ESPN put down. Fundamentals over flash every time. May the big man live forever. Go Spurs!

  98. Any new coach, Lakers can’t win, Kobe took half of the salary cap, good luck. Tim Duncan, Ginobli,Parker took only 29.7 mil total of the salary cap, that’s why they have good team in San Antonio.

  99. Well, let’s also factor in that the Spurs never turned on Duncan, Parker or Ginobili when injuries hampered their play. On the other hand, Kobe is accredited with everything that is or has gone amiss with the Lakers. Even when Kobe played copious minutes to drive the Lakers to a playoff position, he was maligned because Kobe insisted on playing 40 plus minutes a game, MDA couldn’t keep him off the court. Kobe discontinued viewing the Lakers debacle from the bench, immediately he is classified as a poor teammate. Never mind that he might have been somewhere attempting some technique or training to prepare his return to the court. Every player, coach, GM, and owner gets the benefit of the doubt, but not Kobe! Considering Kobe is the face of the Lakers, to attack him with so much vitriol for leaving the country prior to the end of the season was the ultimate display of contempt. Did you ever stop to consider that Kobe went to another country to receive a new treatment for his Achilles and knee? No. Me, I would be astonished if he did not.

  100. @Chearn
    Welcome to Kobe’s world. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. BTW- reports are that he did, in fact, go to Germany to get the procedure on his knee again while he was in Europe…

  101. J C/KenOak: Thanks for supporting the anti-Spurs cause. Purple – I know you are on board as well, so you must swallow hard and root for the Heat against the Pacers. If the Pacers win it will mean decades of Duncan/Pop worship. We all need to work on getting Jane on board. LBJ is a lost cause if you do not like him. They are already chiseling him in on Mt Rushmore. I don’t like it – but I accept it.
    CHearn: Not sure why Kobe left the country when he did, but I think it is safe to say it was for the reason he does almost everything else: Basketball reasons !
    DJ: Kobe did not take 1/2 the cap. It was given to him. I understand your point, but direct the criticism where it belongs : )

  102. P. Ami: I like your list and comments, even through you do not like Byron. You are correct that all the NBA ex-coaches have issues. I would easily take Fish as a back up to Byron. I would also favor a college guy and Ollie or Donovan would be the guys. I do not want Rambis to be considered, however he was not that bad in LA. He went 24-13 and made it to the second round in a strike shortened year. That is a HOF performance based on our recent standards. How the might have fallen : ) I look at Del Harris’ record and am amazed at how more grief I gave him than I gave the 2 Mikes. I need to raise my standards back up : )

  103. P.Ami is spot on regarding coaches. There are no Phil’s, Pop’s, or Riley’s waiting in the wings. The next Lakers coach will either be a retread who most likely has maxed out, or a faily new face learning on the job. If the team is going to be rebuiliding over the next few years anyway why not go for a young guy who can make his bones on the job.

    The Lakers need to turn the page. Between the current CBA, Kobe’s age/health, and the loss of Dr. Buss it is clear the “old days” for the Lakers are gone. The sooner they really start this thing over the better. My great fear is seeing the Lakers do what the Knicks did for the better part of a decade. They refused to break their team down and start over. They kept trying to extend something that had run its course. I hope don’t become like that.

  104. T. Rodgers, the Lakers have never done it the way you suggest and there is no point starting now. Please share with us the examples of teams who have done it that way and won a championship? Lakers management is infinitely smarter at doing this than anyone on this board and I would suggest we have faith in their judgement.

  105. Thanks WWL, JC and rr for the info on Monroe. I guess my thoughts about going after him would be 1) maybe he makes sense if we draft a guy like Embiid — I don’t see another rim-protecting 5 out there that we’re likely to wind up with, barring a surprising trade, and 2) if he has to play the 4 to be most effective, that would make Love a weird fit next summer. Which means, perhaps, if they go hard for Monroe, they’ve abandoned that idea?

  106. Have to shake my head again. “Kobe took half the cap, Manu, Timmy and Parker took buhu buhu again. Kobe took what the team offered him and it was a paycut from the 30+million he got paid earned this season. And the Spurs are not as profitable as the Lakers, not even close, if the Spurs big 3 took a paycut more power to them they could not afford to max the 3 of them. I find so ridiculous people asking players to take paycuts for billionaire owners especially the wealthiest franchise in the league. Even after the worst season in Lakers history the Lakers made a really really nice profit. Kobe’s contract pay itself by all the profits he brings to the team in merch bringing fans to arenas ect ect ect, Jerry Buss once said Kobe brings something like 60 million to the franchise each season. And his contract is for 2 seasons people talk like he is under contract for 10 years, enough already!! If people here want a contender in 6 months your out of luck, the Lakers could become contenders again after next season if the stars align right thats a big if. And i totally agree with Joe Houston about management being a LOT smarter than us and letting them do their job. Mitch himself have been preaching patience if people wants a contender in 6 months go play 2K14 where u can build one exactly how u want it.

  107. P. Ami,

    Thanks for your thoughts on the various coaching candidates. There are two others that deserve some attention (and might be getting it from the Lakers): Lionel Hollins and Ettore Messina.

    Hollins last season lead Memphis to 56 wins and the WC Finals. That’s very recent history. Any team with a head coach vacancy should at least consider him. He stresses defense and rebounding but is rather unimaginative when it comes to offense. Also, he apparently clashed badly with upper management in Memphis and that cost him his job. But he’s not a minor candidate. For the right team–one that wants to play at a deliberate pace and employ a stifling defense–he could be a good fit.

    I know very little about Messina other than the fact that he’s won 4 Euroleague Championships (I believe that’s right) and was Mike Brown’s consultant when he was here with the Lakers a few years back. He’s considered an elite coach in Europe with a big ego who prefers championship-ready teams. But, other than that, I don’t know too much about him.

    The chances are that the Lakers FO will at least discuss those two. (They already know Messina fairly well.) They could certainly make the list of usual suspects more interesting.

  108. At this points on their careers the Spurs big 3 aint worth a lot more than what they are getting paid anyways.

  109. I’ll keep beating this drum… Wins and losses have less to do with the player one is and more to do with ones teammates, the opposition and plain luck. Chris Paul isn’t a superstar. But that’s not because he hasn’t made it out of the second round. It’s because he is six feet and not a dynamic athlete. When defenses intensify in the playoffs big men move their feet more in the PNR and render skilled PGs mere mortals.

    If you notice CP3 needs PNRs to create where guys like Russell Westrbook can work one on one. Now you need to send a double team or let Westbrook get to the basket or shoot a wide open 18 footer.

  110. Players take about as much money as they can get. Duncan and Manu have been way past their primes for years now. And some say Tony Parker was the Spurs second best PG this year. Nobody was offering Duncan and Manu anymore than the Sours were offering and Parker is 31 year old PG. Those guys have a hard time finding new big contracts. Most teams already have their young star guard. It’s a PGs league. I doubt Parker could have gotten that much more anywhere else because there is a belief around the league (as to which I subscribe) that Parker is a product of the Spurs system.

    I don’t expect Kobe to take less money for no reason. There are no free agents the Lakers could get this year or next with that Kobe money. Once the Lakers draft a couple good young players and are attractive to star free agents Kobe’s contract is off the books anyways.

  111. @Aaron
    “Chris Paul isn’t a superstar.” This is a key statement right here. And, for the record I think you’re correct about his small stature. However, there have been other small guards that completely dominated the competition whether in the regular season or playoffs. Which means that they *were superstars… Isaiah Thomas and Allen Iverson immediately come to mind.

    Honestly, I think that CP3 just hasn’t gotten over the hump yet and once he does everyone will go back to saying how amazing he is.

    As far as the Spurs go. Tim Duncan is already arguably the best PF that has ever played the game -> even though he’s a center. :/ I don’t feel like hearing all the arguments about how he’s the greatest player of his generation if/when he wins #5. Forget the fact that he may not even the be the second best player on his own team right now. If he wins that 5th title, then everyone in the basketball world will crown him. Mark my words, he will even start being mentioned ahead of Kareem, Hakeem, Wilt, Shaq, and Bill Russell as the best “big man” in the game.

  112. Aaron i have a comment in mod that says the same, they took what they were worth, that they took “less” money is a load of bs.

  113. The fans’ world and the NBA do not always exist in the same continuum. What we see and – even more important – what we feel, makes up our world. That it may not align with reality doesn’t always make any difference. If this is true in politics, it is even more true in sports. Each NBA front office is tasked with trying to exist in the real world – the world where both sports and business collide. When we take one side or the other we only show our ignorance of the real world. We live in greys, Kobe lives in greys, Tim Duncan lives in greys, Jim Buss lives in greys, even Phil Jackson lives in greys.

    Some things we can change, others we just have to accept. Mostly our problems come about because we have trouble distinguishing between the two.

  114. Aaron: You get it. Like Kevin Love, Chris Paul lacks elite size and athleticism. There are no superstars deficient in both areas.

    KenOak: Both Iverson and Thomas were much more athletic than Paul.

    Tra: You forgot to mention that JJ Redick is the “league’s best route runner”
    p.s. The Pharrel Williams “Happy Day” reference was so perfect!

  115. I am not sure CP3’s size had that much to do with his last minute meltdowns in games 5 and 6. He just made poor decisions with and without the ball. We always praise officials for “letting the players decide the games” but it was good to see officials not letting him get away with the cheap shot on Collison. As much as I admire CP3’s game, I worry about his priorities.

  116. Three peat is an exclusive club, one that I’d hate to see the Heat join. I feel the Heat came together at the perfect time and banded together as a reaction to the Lakers repeating in ’09 & ’10. The league feared the Lakers then; Phil was still here, Bynum was still considered to have an upside and Kobe was still in the conversation as the game’s best player. The Heat “big 3″ were each foundering with their own teams. Despite a tailor made team in the weak eastern conference, they didn’t win right away. Yeah, they’ve repeated, aided with some highly questionable coaching in game 6 of last years Finals, but a 3 peat would cement their legacy for many people. I don’t agree with that, but it is what it is.

    I’d much rather see the Spurs win than the Heat. I don’t like either team but the LBJ love fest leaves me cold. He’s good, but he is on a very good team as well. Put Kobe on the Heat, before his Achilles injury, in place of LeBron, and the results would be the same as what LeBrawn has achieved, IMO.

    Tim Duncan is a great player too. Thing is, he’s always been on a very good team. Even when he was the Spurs’ main option, Tim had the luxury of good teammates and never having to carry a team by himself. I don’t blame him for being on good teams. He’s been instrumental in his team’s success for a long time. But he’s always had a whole lotta help. I’d love to see an OKC/Indiana Finals, but the last thing I want to see is a three peat by the Heat.

  117. Which means, perhaps, if they go hard for Monroe, they’ve abandoned that idea?

    So it would seem, unless they were to go non-linear and try to use Monroe to acquire Love. Monroe/Drummond didn’t work very well, which would be a cautionary note about pairing Monroe with a guy like Embiid, although it makes some sense in theory. Monroe and Love would work on offense, but would be a huge issue on defense.

    Also, they will have to overpay Monroe to get him, and between his hypothetical deal and Kobe’s, they probably wouldn’t have room for a Love deal in any case.

  118. Thanks rr for walking me through that. I watched some clips. Monroe seems to have good court awareness — his passing out of the post is an example. But the lack of defense worries me. A 6’11”, 250# guy who averages less than half a block would appear a step slow or simply unwilling. (I can’t tell which.)

    Not that it was ever easy to build a team, but I’m really getting an appreciation for how tough the new CBA makes it. One wrong max deal and the whole enterprise is set back years. The Lakers have had the bad contract or two — Walton, Metta the last couple of years — but one thing they’ve been really good at for some time is not overpaying the wrong guys. As much or more than the draft, that seems to me to be Jim’s biggest challenge.

  119. The thunder were gpong to get smoked by the spurs anyway … ibakas injury will just be a smoke screen for brooks to keep his job … their offense and defense are both horrible

  120. For all the PJ worship around here, does anyone share my sense of how awful his tenure has been so far? 12m a year, for…

    1. choosing steve kerr to be the coach, someone with no coaching experience at all
    2. getting into a bidding war with GS for Kerr, despite his close personal relationship with Kerr as well as the fact PJ all but announced Kerr was going to coach the Knicks and that this is presumably the kind of ‘no one would say no to Phil’ situation that got him all that $ in the first place
    3. once GS offered Kerr an additional year, PJ failed to get Dolan to match, despite that PJ was assured he was entrusted with the power to make those kinds of deals. thus, PJ has already had one big loss from outside (Kerr) and one from inside (Dolan)
    4. PJ then announced his new list of candidates would include Luke Walton, Fish, Rambis and Ty Lue. I may be wrong, but I don’t think you need PJ to hire any of those guys. Nor am I sure why in the world you would want to.
    5. Announcing his intention of trading Felton. Good luck finding huge compensation there and that’s hardly the big first splash people were looking for.
    6. then announcing the new leader in the coach search is mike dunleavy, if possible an even worse choice than the former-laker mediocrity brigade. is there anyone other than donald sterling who has even looked at dunleavy in the last 5 years?

    It’s still early, but this looks like a disaster so far. For those who wanted PJ to run the Lakers, keep in mind he would have essentially taken over Mitch’s job, one of the execs with the best track records in the league. If PJ wanted to *coach* the Lakers, I would be overjoyed, but I’m really happy the Lakers didn’t find a job for him here in senior management.

  121. Shawn

    Please check your spelling. You misspelled Lakers and called them The Thiunder.

    As for the playoff game I don’t agree. Adams and Collision are better then you think on defense and I see this going 7 games. Who will stop KD and no way Parker slows down Russ. Expect some sprained limbs there.

  122. Saw this comment in a story about Kevin Love. “The combination of a large market and a situation that’s immediately conducive to winning is what seems to appeal to Love the most.”

    My guess is that the front office is not counting, in any way, on Kevin Love coming to the Lakers. However, if they think Monroe can help them next year and Love remains in Minny this summer, I really like rr’s suggestion about using Monroe to swap for Kevin Love – assuming Monroe doesn’t ‘beast’ it here after we would sign him.

    I also understand and agree with, the concept that a less athletic and ‘short for their position’ player is very unlikely to become a superstar – i.e. able to carry their team through the playoffs (my definition of superstar requirements: Superstars may not win a championship, but they should be able to carry a more average (not below average) team in the playoffs, i.e. Lebron became a superstar when he drove the Cavs deep into the playoffs, not when he finally won a ring)

    Therefore, I too question whether either Paul or Love should ever be considered superstar material. A player may actually be the best in the league at the moment or at his position, but never be a superstar.

    There are so many possible threads out there it is fun to discuss, but taking your possible thread as the obvious best alternative would seem very narrow minded.

  123. lil pau,

    It is way too early to be judging anything about Phil’s tenure in NY. Losing out on Kerr made for bad media buzz, but we have no idea how good or bad a coach Kerr will be. We also have no idea whether any of those guys you mentioned would be good coaches or not. And Dunleavy would not be a flashy hire, but he would probably be a decent caretaker coach–sort of like Byron Scott would probably be.

    Phil, is, ironically, in some ways in the same position that Jim Buss was in a year ago: trying to clean up a huge years-in-the-making mess, with a lot of people doubting his ability to do it. Buss has given himself 3-4 more years; Phil has a five-year deal, and is starting now, so we need to see where the Knicks are in 2016 or so before sounding the alarm bell on Phil’s attempt to run the Knicks.

    The one caveat is the Dolan factor, and we will see how that plays out. But I think getting Kerr to turn down the Golden State gig would have been hard if they had offered Kerr ten years. The GS gig is an exceptionally good opportunity, and when you add in Kerr’s CA and local family ties, that moved the needle even further.

    What I am seeing in a lot of these posts about Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and now Phil, is that some Lakers fans want all these guys who just left/aren’t here etc. to look bad, to fail. That is an understandable feeling–but IMO it is doesn’t pass muster as analysis.

  124. “For those who wanted PJ to run the Lakers, keep in mind he would have essentially taken over Mitch’s job”

    PJ would have taken over Jimbo’s job, not Mitch’s.

    There are reports that Dolan did not want Kerr, and basically sabotaged the deal…..but you are right, it’s still early.

  125. When we take one side or the other we only show our ignorance of the real world. We live in greys, Kobe lives in greys, Tim Duncan lives in greys, Jim Buss lives in greys, even Phil Jackson lives in greys.

    Some things we can change, others we just have to accept.

    If you are talking about Kobe’s contract again, then I would suggest the the FO did not heed your views about grey areas–they gave Kobe exactly what he wanted, and far, far, more than he would have gotten on the open market. It was a black-and-white decision.

    We have heard the defenses of the deal: branding, revenues, organizational image, sending a message to future FAs that they will be taken care of, etc. Whether the deal actually helps the organization to reach its goal of returning to having a good team take the floor remains to be seen, but the odds are pretty heavily stacked against that being the case.

    Even Aaron, who seems fine with the deal from a business POV even though he has stated repeatedly that he thinks Kobe will not be an elite player again, is basically calling it a holding action until the Lakers have a chance to win again, as we see in this thread.

  126. Do we have enough cap space to acquire the disgruntled PF from Minnesota and the RFA big from Detroit? Just asking…

  127. Don’t think the Lakers have the ingredients to make a compelling offer for the Timberwolves’ unhappy PF. Other teams have better assets. The Lakers best play is to draft well this summer and look at him when he is a FA next off season.

  128. Indiana off to a good start in the ECF but their early lead is built on them being on fire from the 3 point line. That’s tough to sustain. Indy’s offense looks sharp, though.

  129. The 3 Amigos are back in the ABC booth. Oy vey!!

  130. Maybe Lake show is waiting to see if they get a draft pick high enough to entice Min to trade Love…then they can choose a coach accordingly…

  131. Indy playing very well…up 16 late in the 3rd.

  132. I’ve watched the Pacers all year, hoping they could challenge the Heat. This is the best effort I’ve seen from them to date.

  133. Lil Pau did you read the link i put up there in the comments? Not a good start at all. About K Love i believe we have a shot at getting him, if it cost us the pick so be it. Obviously nothing is going to happen before the season is over. Even if he gets traded to other team we still have a shot because he could pull a Dwight on them. Definetly mire oreferable than giving a max to Monroe who is not max contract material to me. I still believe Minny is not going to trade him until the trade deadline during the season, i bet they are willing to give it another go before trading him.

  134. Pacers look good.
    I’d love to see Heat get cooled out.

  135. Fern — regarding Love. Can’t see the Lakers getting him via trade unless he states this is where he wants to be. Also, he wants to win now and that is not us. Phx or GS have better assets and are closer to winning.

  136. I still haven met a Heat fan from before 2010. Ever…

  137. If Loves get traded before the season it probably will be to a playoffs team, Dubs,Bulls, if he becomes a free agent next summer then we have a great shot in perfect tube with the big buildup i believe the Lakers will do for Kobe’s possible last season. Im not holding my breath about getting Love anytime soon, unless Mitch do his Ninja thing and pull a miracle because we dont have assets beside the pick.

  138. Kevin Love has made it clear to the Timberwolves that he intends to become an unrestricted free agent after next season and has no interest in a contract extension to stay in Minnesota, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

    Sources told ESPN.com that the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls are among the potential trade destinations that intrigue Love.

    The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have likewise been mentioned all season as big-market landing spots that would tempt Love, but going to the best situation for immediate contention is said to be the power forward’s priority.

    —-

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/10949807/kevin-love-tells-minnesota-timberwolves-sign-extension-likes-chicago-bulls-golden-state-warriors?ex_cid=espnapi_public

  139. Fern – SO true. Not many people want to talk Grant Long and Bimbo Coles…

  140. I still haven met a Heat fan from before 2010. Ever…
    ___
    nice one Fern
    ___
    way to go Indiana!

  141. Reading another site about signing Love. Do people do any research before posting?

    To trade for Love it would take a sign and trade of Pau. No one else is even close dollar wise. As for those who say “I wouldn’t ‘t trade our 1st round choice” daaa you can ‘t without maching salaries and the Lakets chance of get the first choice are under 10%. Love is not coming here unless Lakers sign Swaggy or Hill for $10 mill and sucker Minn on a streight trade. Geeez!

  142. Can’t speak for anyone else, but I think the respect (worship, LOL) that PJ gets is due to his accomplishments as a coach, i.e. the 11 titles, 5 of them the only ones the Lakers have won since the ’80s.

    Who knows how he’ll do under some very challenging circumstances in NY, other than it’s going to take time. I doubt anyone there is panicking over failing to get Kerr. GSW is a much more attractive job right now and for at least the near future.

    Maybe when the Lakers become relevant again, when the current leadership shows their inherent greatness, Laker fans can hold their noses at what PJ’s doing in NY without it coming off smelling like sour grapes.

  143. Well rfen Its being assumed for a long time that everything PJ touches turned to gold, which is true coaching wise, the situation in NY is not as golden as people thought, he is clashing with Dolan already and after all but announced Kerr as the new coach, Kerr decided to go to the dubs, his decision to hire a washed up Lamar Odom dont sound like a sound basketball decision to me either. Only time will tell but at least for now it looks like he dont know what he is doing. Very early though so we’ll see…

  144. @ Ko May 18, 2014 at 7:27 pm, your comment is pretty negative to the posters around here.