Lakers’ Coaching Search Continues with Scott, Gentry, Hollins Interviews

Darius Soriano —  May 26, 2014

When we last left you, news had leaked that the Lakers had interviewed Mike Dunleavy for their open head coaching job. This news excited no one, save Mike Dunleavy, and had our very own Daniel Rapaport looking for younger options to fill the team’s vacant sideline chair.

Well, the team isn’t exactly skewing younger with it’s more recent candidates, but at least they moved on quickly to more viable candidates.

After Dunleavy, the team promptly moved on to Byron Scott. Scott is seen by some as a quality option, being a former Laker — Showtime! — and someone who has had success in his career leading quality teams. Lest you forget, Scott coached the then New Jersey Nets to back to back Finals appearances and then had a nice run with the New Orleans Hornets. Those who value these stops and Scott’s history with the team are excited about the possibility of him pacing the Staples Center sideline.

I, however, would not be amongst this group. Scott, to me, is a guy who has not shown to be enough of a tactician over the course of his coaching career, often lacking in ability to make adjustments or build schemes that optimize the play of his role players. Sure, Scott seemed to do well enough when Jason Kidd and Chris Paul orchestrated his offenses, but beyond putting the ball in those players’ hands and letting them do what they do best, Scott underwhelmed.

Further, his last stop in Cleveland has done his reputation no favors as he steered the Cavs to three consecutive losing seasons while also boasting an NBA worst 26 game losing streak in his last campaign. Scott hasn’t sniffed a head coaching job since then. And while his comments about “knowing this team” after doing studio work for Lakers’ broadcast partner Time Warner Cable Sportsnet is a nice soundbite, it carries less weight when you consider that the Lakers may only bring 3 to 5 players back from this roster next season. And while Scott boasts a good relationship with Kobe Bryant — something that is important and will be valued by Mitch Kupchak, that is only one variable and not one that should outshine some of his other issues his coaching career has exhibited.

Beyond Scott, the most recent names to surface are former Grizzlies’ coach Lionel Hollins and former Suns coach (and current Clippers’ assistant) Alvin Gentry.

Starting with the latter, Gentry had his most success steering a Suns team back on track after Terry Porter was disposed. Porter, who replaced Mike D’Antoni, preferred a slow-it-down approach to offense and tried to build his offense around Shaq after he was acquired for Shawn Marion. That experiment failed and in came Gentry, moving the Suns back to a more D’Antoni-esque system that featured Steve Nash doing what he does (did?) and flanking him with shooters and slashers who played team first, unselfish ball. Those Suns peaked with a run to the 2010 Western Conference Finals that saw them fall short to a certain team from Los Angeles who wears forum blue and gold.

Gentry, like Scott and Dunleavy, is an NBA lifer who has had several different stopping points in his career. The good news is that he has seemingly gotten better as he’s aged and is seen as a good offensive mind who players seem to play hard for. That lone sentence probably already makes him a better candidate than Scott, since Gentry seems to have both the X’s and O’s chops (at least offensively) while also possessing enough personable qualities to inspire guys to compete for him. Whether that is enough to land him the job remains to be seen, though I would wonder whether he has enough creativity on the defensive side of the ball to produce similar results that his offenses would.

That brings us to Hollins. The former Grizz head man is brings the most recent success to the interview room, boasting a 56 win season in his last year with Memphis. That team went all the way to the conference finals, getting knocked out by a Spurs team who was a Ray Allen three pointer away from winning the championship that season. After supposed disputes in philosophy and how much money he should earn, Hollins was not retained after leading the Grizz to their best season in franchise history. No, his top assistant got the job instead and Hollins got to take a year off while working as an analyst for ESPN.

What Hollins would bring to the Lakers is a defense-first (second and third) philosophy to coaching and a no-nonsense demeanor that helped establish the “grit and grind” identity the Grizzlies have adopted over the past several seasons. Hollins is not the most gifted offensive coach, though he did help develop Mike Conley while also building a post heavy attack around Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Hollins could be a bit too reliant on Rudy Gay and looked to him as an isolation weapon too often, which was part of the reason why Rudy was traded and part why Hollins’ creativity on that side is questioned. But after Rudy left, Hollins did well to turn the ball over to Conley, demand more from him while encouraging the entire team to play even more through the big men. That approach worked, of course, to the tune of the aforementioned best season in Grizzlies’ history.

If there is one aspect that should intrigue fans about Hollins it is that he seems to be able to generate buy-in and get very good results from players who aren’t necessarily seen as choir boys or who haven’t had good experiences playing under different coaches. Whether it’s Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, Mo’ Speights, or Jerryd Bayless — Hollins has find a way to connect with guys and get them on the path to being team first contributors. Maybe it’s his straight forward communication style or his back ground as a successful player in the league. Maybe it’s something else. But he seems to get guys to play hard and has a way of building good defenses (though it definitely helps to have Gasol, Allen, and Conley).

Hollins, like the other candidates, isn’t a young guy and has had his fair share of trips around the block. But, unlike the others, his best season was his last season and if the Lakers are really looking for a coach with experience it might be a good idea to tab the guy who has some and it be good recently.

That said, the Lakers surely aren’t done and there are persistent whispers that Derek Fisher will likely still get an interview whenever his season with the Thunder ends. It is even thought that he could be a frontrunner, even though his head coaching experience is nonexistent. So, maybe all these interviews are just the Lakers’ brass getting a feel for guys as they spin their wheels waiting for Fish. Or maybe the hire will come from this group or one of the other candidates the team is likely to talk to over the next days (and weeks).

Darius Soriano

Posts

102 responses to Lakers’ Coaching Search Continues with Scott, Gentry, Hollins Interviews

  1. Without defensive anchors on the roster this stuff about hiring a defensive coach is nonsense. I guess it’s a decent PR move to make the fans happy who hated D’antoni. I mean Hollins in Memphis had maybe the best wing defender in the game + one of the best 5 rim protectors, or course they were going to be a great defense. If the Lakers bring back Pau then it would be a miracle if they finished top 20 in defensive efficiency next year regardless of who coaches them.

  2. I say no to Hollins, MB comes to my mind. Brown was also known for his defense first philosophy but his game time decision was…we all know that. Same with Hollins, defense first philisophy but the game time adjustments and his lack of offensive scheme was the issue, if you look at the Griz fans comments. I say NO to Scott as well..
    Anyway, nice article Darius.

  3. Will the next coach have a say in the draft?
    Defense first.

  4. @Dan…you beat me that. I do agree with you. That without defensive anchors, the reputation of being a defensive coach is really nonsense. Thibs has Noah in him. And Hollins has Marc and Allen anchoring his team. And if Hollins has a lineup same as MDA had last year, i bet those MDAhaters will eat their words.
    If Pau is your defensive anchor, then i guess your reputation will vanish quickly. Most fans doesnt know that though.

  5. Like Hollins. Recent success and seems to understand both ends of court. I would highly suggest they hire before signing players. Unless they plan on going 3 on 14 of course .

    Guy like Hollins would not be pleased with the get your points and little D guys from last year. He needs to have a voice in signings not forced to turn guys like Young, Marshall etc in 2 way players.

    He also answers questions clearly and not once have I heard him mumble, slur words or blame others. That right there is a huge plus for us that watch post game Lakers!

    Lakers I say bring on the train!

    Lionel!

  6. @spitfire To me the coach is really irrelevant based on the names we’re hearing. It could be any of the 5 or 10 names and it wont make a difference. The next 3 years are all on Mitch (and whatever influence Jim Buss has in personnel decisions). There’s so many directions they can take us. We can stay bad / semi-bad and not commit any long term contacts to stay flexible for next summer. We can use all the cap space and try and field a playoff team.

  7. Lakers should hire Hollins, this coach has experience with big guy and PG, Phil wanted Detroit owners to hire Hollins, but Dumas hired Maurice instead of Hollins. Fisher is a coach is a joke, what is he going to do? he only knows trial angle offense, i like Steve Nash to coach Lakers more than Fisher, Rick Fox also can be a good coach, because he said the offense with two guards is difficult to beat. The bottom line, if Lakers can’t get good PG first and big guy later, any coach can fail.

  8. Robert Nalbandyan May 26, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I fully support the team hiring Hollins. While with the Grizzlies, he had that team constantly competing and contending, in the West no less, despite not having a “star” player. Everyone points to Coach Thibs to be one of the elite coaches in the league, which I don’t disagree with, but Hollins has had equal success with the Grizzlies with less talent, playing in the Western Conference. Plus it looks like he was let go by an organization that’s in a complete mess, so I don’t think there’s any negative points to take away from Hollins for that. He’s the best coach available on the market.

  9. i bet those MDAhaters will eat their words

    This narrative is done. Buss chose to pay him 2M to walk, rather than 8M to stay. Done deal, statement made.

  10. It’s so refreshing to read an informed critique of Byron Scott. Other than Scott being a simplistic link to the Lakers’ storied past and better times, I don’t understand why many Lakers fans are enthralled with the idea of him as coach. Simplistic offense, a questionable work ethic, and someone who presided over an NBA-record 26-game losing streak – that’s the man some Lakers supporters want as coach? Since the Lakers obviously are not going to be a championship contender while Kobe eats an astronomical part of the salary cap while inevitably playing at reduced capacity, why not go for a young assistant coach who can grow with the team? Someone like an Eric Spoelstra in 2010, Thibs pre-Bulls or Steve Clifford pre-Hornets. Whoever it is, they need to have smarts, relentless work ethic, and most importantly, leadership and management capabilities. Maybe a Kevin Ollie or a Derek Fisher. But please no more retreads and coaches who have already failed at multiple stops (e.g., Scott, Dunleavy, Gentry). Learn from the mistakes in hiring Brown and D’Antoni – please!

  11. JC

    You just want Fish so you can play that

    (Lake)rs Fish joke all year.

    Especially if they can sign Bass next year!

  12. I particularly like Hollins´ defensive minded approach. Toughness, desire and single-minded relentlessness on that end of the court would do us so danged good!

  13. @Rr.. Lol. You’re argument is irrelevant.

  14. Robert N.

    That’s a great point. (Hollins having as much sucsess as Thibs)

    M. Gasol, Z-Bo, Conley, Tony Allen (imo) is almost as good of a core as part time Rose, Boozer, Deng and Noah. Except, as you stated Robert, that Hollins did it in the western conference.

    I’m sold on Hollins!

  15. Who you want as coach is a direct function of where you think the team is and what it can be and when. I do not expect too much, and I think it is going to take a few years. I think the odds of our next coach taking us to the Finals are very small, because he will not last that long. So I just want someone who will command respect and prevent further damage to the Laker brand, Hence I like Scott. So when looking at the field, ask yourself, what you expect the next coach to do and what you expect from the team. Also, please – when trashing possible candidates – make sure you put forth one of your own. Lastly – all candidates fit into one of 3 categories:
    1) NBA retreads – been there done that
    2) Guys with no NBA coaching experience who will fall on their face
    3) Euro guys who will not relate to NBA talent.

    I love it when people say one guy is a retread only to suggest another guy who is a retread. Or they put forth guys with zero experience – ignoring this obvious disadvantage of their selection.

    Again I like Scott – in spite of the fact that he is a perfect example of a vagabond coach, and I like Fisher even though he has zero experience and could fall on his face. They are both Lakers which is a category I will lean towards heavily over any of the 3 above. Neither will turn this franchise around on their own and neither will any of the other candidates. Our car is totaled. A new driver (Byron) will be nice, but we need a whole new crew, and of course my real dream is a new sponsor.

  16. To say that “without defensive anchors” to speak of a defensive-minded coach would have no effect;
    Or that the next coach “makes no difference”
    Is silly.
    If a coach made no difference they wouldn’t have coaches and they wouldn’t pay coaches millions of dollars per year.

    The coach sets the tone of what is an acceptable team defensive effort. Something Dantoni did not do. Hence our worst season ever.
    All these pro athletes can play some defense. Zones can be used too.
    A coach creates a mindset for his players.

    Our next coach can begin creating a winning culture and rebuilding the Laker brand.

    Fish or Hollins.

  17. As has been said, Gasol is an excellent defender to anchor your team on. Allen is a fine defender and Conley is one of the better defensive PG in the league. Talent wins. We should also keep in mind that rebounding is part of defense and both Marc and Z-Bo contribute nicely on that end. Clearly Hollins can coach and has used his talent to produce an excellent defensive team. But, like Darius, I am not a fan of Hollins’ offense. It didn’t help that Allen demands no real closeouts when he’s behind the 3-line but there are ways for him to use his two bigs to create space. Marc can shoot 12-18 out and still crash the boards. That seems a team that would really benefit from running the triangle.

    I’m still hoping for either Fish or Messina. I think Fish had a big influence on the team in his second run. His leadership had as much to do with those two newest rings as anything he contributed on the court. He has been coached by some of the best in Phil and Sloan, plus I really want to give KD something to think about when he is up for his next contract. Anyhow, I’m not the one interviewing the man, and there may be better options. As it stands, Fish just seems to fit.

  18. I’m not a fan of any of these choices. I have to question any criticism of not having the right players for this or that coach. The roster is a blank slate at this point beyond Kobe, Nash, and um Sacre. The Lakers roster can be tailored to whatever coach they hire. Of course I love a guy like George Karl who can build strategies based on the players you give him which would allow a best talent available mindset for the F.O.

  19. @Rr.. Lol. You’re argument is irrelevant

    ___

    Not an argument; just a point. D’Antoni is gone, and the FO decided that the Lakers were better off paying him to go away than they were keeping him. So, while the past affects the present and the future, re-litigating the D’Antoni years is mostly a dead issue, except to people who have some mental hang-up about him. The people who were defending him have no reason to complain: the FO that hired him in the first place has spoken. And for the people who wanted him gone–he’s gone.

    In addition, other than Nash, and Kelly if he is on the team next year, no one who will actually play for the Lakers in 2015 will have serious connections to either D’Antoni or his philosophy. Like I said: dead issue. No one on either side of it is going to be eating words.

  20. Sorry…off topic.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/kings-willing-to-trade-for-kevin-love-without-assurance-he-ll-re-sign-015519118.html

    I’d cheer for this trade because then it’s only one tiny step to LA from Sactown!

    I’m Okay with Robert’s 2 choices. Give me one of the Lakers. Byron or Fish. I’m pretty sure that Kobe would be okay with either.

  21. Another 0 point game from Hibbert. One bad player!

  22. The main questions for me:

    1. What are the Lakers’ FA plans? Obviously, what guys are available will change, and there will be other factors in play, but I assume that they still have some idea of how they want to try to put the team together again and who they want to try to get.
    2. Which of these coaches is most likely to be a plus, even a small one, in helping the Lakers with their FA plans? For example, Marc Gasol will be 30 when he hits FA. Is he still a target? If so, they might then keep Pau. If he is a target, would Hollins be a plus in recruiting him? A minus? Neutral?

    I agree that there is a good possibility that in some ways it won’t matter than much who they hire–but things can change, so it might wind up mattering a lot.

    As noted, there are no slam-dunk candidates out there.

  23. I suspect that being connected to D’Antoni may hurt Gentry. Also, some fans wouldn’t like the team’s hiring a Clippers assistant.

  24. Here is a comment about Gentry, on his Wikipage, attributed to Gregg Popovich:

    Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich remarked “One thing about Phoenix is they are better defensively than in the past. They’re much more active, much more committed, they’ve taken responsibility to a much more significant degree than ever before.”[3][4]

  25. Far be it from me to question Gregg Popovich, but here are PHX’s DRTGs under Gentry:

    23rd
    25th
    24th
    23rd

    Then, this year, under Hornacek, they were 15th. They were 16th in MDA’s last year there–Shawn Marion’s last full year in PHX as well.

    They were 4th, 7th, 8th, and 9th in Pace Factor under Gentry.

  26. KO, these zero point games by Hibbert appears to be a statement against his team, he’s proving to them that they can’t win without him. Seems they didn’t get the memo in the last series so he’s revising it in this one. One or two bad apples on that team are spoiling the whole season. Bynum was not the impetus behind his downfall this season, other factors are at play here.

  27. Every team can play defense if that’s what they commit to doing. We don’t even know what the Laker roster will be, but my hope is that regardless of who they are, the coach demands defense with communication, puts the players in the best position with match-ups, to balance the floor, etc… Win or lose, I’m not looking forward to another season of quick jacking up 3′s with countless layups and dunks on the other end. I don’t care if a coach is a “retread” or not. People often just want something new because they haven’t seen it fail yet. Once it’s in action and nothing great, they jump off that bandwagon real quick.

  28. No to Gentry. Mitch has made it clear that the offense will revolve around Kobe, and Gentry’s offense is too similar to MDA’s.

    I also did not like how Gentry toyed with Goran Dragic’s minutes in Phoenix. Either he was unable to recognize talent, or he had some sort of personal vendetta against him. One of the main reasons Hornacek was more successful than Gentry was because he knew what he had in Dragic and turned him loose. I would hate to see our draft pick, or anyone, get the Dragic treatment.

    As far as the silly Mike Brown and Hollins comparisons, sure, they both stress defense…….but Hollins has a commanding and confident presece that players respect. Mike Brown, the West Coast master of panic, does not. So far in the interview process, Hollins would be my top choice.

  29. Steve Nash was part of the contingent of Laker brass at the Santa Monica workout of Gordon and LaVine. I’m wondering if there’s something significant in that.

  30. Hmmm,

    1) 12 mock drafts performed between 5/20 & 5/21 as reported by NBA.com (http://www.nba.com/news/2014-consensus-mock-draft/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt3c) has the Lakers using their 7th pick to choose:

    - Marcus Smart 4 times
    - Julius Randle 3 times
    - Noah Vonleh 3 times
    - Aaron Gordon 2 times

    2) Maybe the Laker front office coach search has less than normal to do with “on court results” for the upcoming season. I mean seriously, which two of the top nine WC teams do you see the Lakers leapfrogging to even make the playoffs in 2014-2015?

    3) Last season’s preseason prediction of a 12th place finish led by the 25th best NBA player turned out to be quite kind, I remember how insulted most on this site were…however based on post I’ve been reading it appears many are becoming much more realistic about our Lakers.

    4) Lakers in the lottery two years in a row? Has it ever happened? Do the Lakers have a 1st round pick in 2015 or was that thrown away in a bad deal (Nash)?

  31. This just continues to show the incompetence of Jim and Mitch….it also shows there was absolutely no plan to this off season or leading up to it and I really believe these guys were banking on kobe to play like 27 year old kobe throughout his entire career and they’ve done a great job of milking him anyway…..as D’antoni put the finishing touches on that running him into the ground. He’s had to beg and whine for any type of decent talent to surround him since Shaq left and as soon as he got it (one other all star)….well…..we know what happened. So give this man an eric Bledsoe…..draft Vonleh, Randle, or Aaron Gordon (we don’t need marcus smart when we have looked at bazemore and farmar all year and who are both extremely capable and athletic and defensive and can shoot 3s or pull up) We don’t need more guards….this should be our guard rotation: farmar, kobe, bazemore, meeks, marshall….. why draft a pg when you said you were “looking” at the ones you have all year and not allowing players like Wesley Johnson to get into any type of comfort zone or role or rhythm. It’s all messed up right now and I really need to accept that Jim buss is running this franchise and that just leaves me with no confidence. I don’t even need to go farther than Mike Brown….just on the fact that he is Lebron’s sloppy seconds in coaching……I would have never hired him if Kobe was on my team…..

  32. If you want to go young….it’s Derek Fisher or Mark Jackson or Quin Synder…… if you want to retain an established, experienced, tactician and defensive minded coach…..why are we interviewing Mike Dunleavy……or Byron Scott. What the f do the Lakers want? what type of team are they trying to building……. hopefully Jeff Van Gundy is on the schedule if that’s really the type of coach you want. I would also take Mark Jackson over Mike Dunleavy and Byron Scott……he’s even on record thinking that kobe is better than MJ or will finish his career and be thought of better than mj…my point is……the Lakers just seem like they have no plan or clue what they are doing….I’m going to repeat this the best thing that happened this summer was Jim buss putting a time line on himself.

  33. Regarding Dragic, he showed flashes but was really inconsistent under gentry in phoenix – but he did get his chances to play (23 pts in a q to close out the spurs in 2010). That was just reflective of Dragic being a young pg and adjusting and learning in his first couple years. He’s a way better player after spending some time in Houston. And as rr mentioned, mda’s phx teams were close to averagw defensively w only two good defenders in Marion and Bell, which allowed then to be an elite team w their offense. Gentrys defensive impact has been much overrated. That being said…
    Gentry would be a good care taker coach as he’s flexible and would be able to work w whatever roster he has. Again, it’s unlikely that the next laker coach will be around for the next big playoff run, so they need someone to Shepard the team thru some turbulence. Just as mda was stuck in his system, I have concerns that Hollins is too married to his defensive way of play which given the complete lack of defensive players/aging stars on the lakers last year or likely this up coming year is likely a recipe for a lot of boring, lower scoring games that still result in losses. Maybe if there was a bunch of raw athletes on this team, but Hollins isn’t magically changing the dna of Nash, kobe, pau, hill or whoever they bring back. As for Byron Scott saying he’s the perfect fit etc… well when you don’t know what the team is going to be, that’s a questionable statement to make.

    Get Gentry as a caretaker – he’ll manage the old guys well, is affable and open, and won’t rock the boat. Then if necessary make the big coach hire.

    Or… hire dfish w real assistants (not former lakers like Rambis or Madsen who had no impact this year) and let him grow in the position. he would be the one coach granted some slack by the fan base and if the roster is going to be a little in Flux anyways, it give shim a chance to develop his own style vs being married to a team identity/style of play.

  34. BCS, top 5 protected.

  35. big city – I think the Cavs have been to the lottery at least twice recently. could check but I should be working …

  36. R, I meant have the Lakers ever went to the lottery two years in a row, I don’t think they ever have. Would show just how bad a situation they are in. In large part due to the decisions of their front office.

  37. Steve K,
    Gordon and LaVine are part of BDA sports. Steve Nash is also represented by them. There could be more to it than that, but it could also be as simple as they are all repped by the same agency.

  38. Hale, “top 5 protected”? That means in order to keep their 2015 1st round pick they would basically have to be worst then they were this year…:-(

  39. The Nash trade doomed any ideas of a multi-year tank. The Lakers simply don’t have the picks. I don’t think the Lakers made that decision with the thought they could be this bad at this point in time making those picks so valuable.

  40. BigCity: The last time the Laker missed the playoffs twice in a row was 1976. That was before the lottery, so no – they have never been to lottery in back to back years.
    chris y: Wow! Tell us how you really feel! In two posts you took out Jim, Mitch, MD, and Mike Brown. It all then builds to your final statement “I’m going to repeat this the best thing that happened this summer was Jim buss putting a time line on himself.”
    I don’t know chris – I am going to call that the second best thing : )

  41. Please no Randle. I spent some time watching video of the guy and kept thinking he reminds me of
    Derrick Caracter. A bit quicker and bigger, but the same body type and average length and athleticism. Please no. Dear b-ball gods no.

    Barring an unexpected drop by one of the top guys (that includes Vonleh) I am hoping for Gordon or LaVine. Big upside for both.

  42. Jerke: Echo your comments on DFish – hire him and let him grow. He’s been a defacto assistant coach on the Thunder so his learning curve on the bench will be short. Plus the Lakers will be bad again next year so there will be a rare grace period in Laker land. The expectations to win should coincide with him hitting his stride as a coach (and the inclusion of a more talented roster) in a few years.
    __

    Regarding the Lakers pick — a) I’m hoping that Embiid does not share his medicals which scare other team’s off and he slides to the Lakers. b) we nab Vonleh. c) (moderated for trade speculation)

  43. Bobby: No medicals on Embid won’t work. He’s going number one, based on recent workouts.

  44. About Embiid, i would not want him on the team, 18 years old and back problems already? It has bust written all over it.

  45. so darius, this charade, i mean parade of laker head coach interviews will at some point stop and a decision to appoint/hire someone, anyone (not named byron scott according to you) otherwise perchance to blow a gasket, gives off the appearance of overdue deligence and biding time before the spurs dispatch the thunder and fisher becomes available to no avail.

    then what?? phase three begins: the hunt for the 7th best selection in the upcoming nba draft. but wait, don’t forget the due deligence.

    Go lakers

  46. “Remember, #24 is the one that said, “I’m the point guard now” to a guy named Steve Nash.”

    Dude. Steve Nash, at the time, was absolutely incapable of running the offense. He couldn’t beat anyone off the dribble, even if he received a screen…

    If Someone as dynamic as Kyrie were added, then Kobe would be happy to share the rock. He likes and respects Kyrie. (Not that he doesn’t like/respect Nash, but Nash was falling apart at the time.)

  47. JC,

    Kobe only took over PG duties when it was abundantly clear that Nash was not getting it done. Nash was getting trapped every time he initiated the P&R and didn’t have the speed to get by anyone. The team made an immediate improvement once Kobe took over as PG. I would guess that Kobe would be ecstatic to relinquish PG duties to someone like Irving.

  48. The Lakers have yet to make a coaching hire, sign free agents, and make their draft pick……..yet, most seem resigned to the Lakers being awful next season. Pessimist much? Get your teeth ready for that crow next season fellas!

  49. Lt Mitchell/KenOak: You realize what this would mean for the coaching position? : )

  50. “The Lakers have yet to make a coaching hire, sign free agents, and make their draft pick…….”

    LT,

    I think its the fact they have to do ALL of the things you listed above. The Lakers literally have to reconstruct an entire team almost from scratch. Its a pretty steep climb from three players under contract (two who may be done and one D-leaguer) and no coach to 48+ win playoff team. Sure it can happen. But those odds are pretty long.

  51. Fern: Embid had a stress fracture in his back. That heals up very well. Much more concern would be if he had disc problems. He does not. He’ll be a top ten player or better by his third season.

    david h: What’s the hurry? They’ve made poor coaching choices by being easily impressed (Jim B. by Mike Brown and his c.d. collection); and hasty to rectify the error of Mike Brown and to give Jerry B. his last wish (son of showtime). I see the “due diligence” as a positive sign that Mitch is in charge (trying to save Jim and the Buss family from themselves), an in characteristic Mitch fashion, is being very careful and methodical. They will talk to Fisher and others as they can. I don’t think they will hire Fisher but will admit I could see the logic for that. I believe he isn’t ready and they will conclude the same. Still hoping for SVG.

  52. The Lakers literally have to reconstruct an entire team almost from scratch.

    It is actually arguably worse than that, as you suggest, since they have already committed $33M to two guys who, as I have said, will be a combined 76 years old when training camp opens and played 21 games, mostly pretty bad ones, between them last year. So, barring some late-career magic from Nash and/or Kobe, they are starting from scratch with about 52% of the cap already gone this year and about 35%–and maybe the 2015 draft pick–gone next year.

    If they had let Kobe test the market and Nash had retired, so they were really starting from scratch, in terms of money as well, it would be a bizarre but intriguing situation. As it is, it is just a tough situation.

    But I am not counting Kobe out yet. I will be surprised if Nash can help much, though.

  53. T Rogers,
    If Kobe is as healthy as he claims (and as the front office seems to believe), then that climb back might not be as steep as many believe.

    Robert,
    Haha, I hope not, but sometimes you have to accept the thorns with the rose.

  54. Is there a worse coaching choice then Rambis? That would be a bad, bad move.

  55. If Kobe is as healthy as he claims ..

    Hopefully, he is LT. But even if healthy, one has to ask, at 36 yrs old, heading into his 19th season (more like 21st season if one was to add all of the post season mileage), coming off of 2 major injuries to his lower extremities and having been out and away from the game for an entire year (basically), how will Kobe look upon his return and how much will he be able to contribute?

    As Lakers’ fans and Kobe supporters, of course we wish to have the ‘old’ Kobe back. But, realistically, we all know that this won’t be the case. I’m just hoping that what we get back is not an ‘old’ Kobe.

  56. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/lakers/2014/05/27/byron-scott-kobe-bryant-los-angeles-coach-mike-dantoni-replacement/9638761/

    “We get along extremely well. Kobe knows all about me and what I’m about. He knows that I’m an old-school coach who’s very demanding on the defensive end and knows that defense and rebounding wins championships, so I think from that point of view we see eye to eye. USA Today Sports – ”

    Scott does realize that by the time this team is ready to contend – being Kobe’s best friend isn’ necessarily going to do the trick? And how well is that hard nosed/grind out defensive attitude going to go over when Kobe isn’t willing to give a 100% a game on that end and Pau (if they bring him back) can’t move fast enough to cover anyone – never mind provide any help or rim protection? Or that w the constraints and makeup of this team, there won’t be the defensive horses to be anything other average? more likely Kobe gets a free pass and everyone else not named Kobe or Pau gets blamed for not covering for him.

    As for Rambis – let me get this straight – the FO didn’t want to bring back MDA for 2 years – but is willing to consider giving a contract to his supposed defensive minded assistant? I really hope this was just a courtesy interview where Rambis walks in and says “I don’t really have a chance of getting this job” and Kupchak says “nope”.

  57. I think the team needs to see what they get for the pick. If Vonleh falls to them, which I now doubt, then I would be really happy to have him. Otherwise, I’ll be happy to see the team follow through on those speculations that Fern alluded to. If Byron Scott is part of that scenario I will not be pleased at all. He and Kyrie can text each other all they want, we need a coach who can hold his own against the Pops, Docs, Carlisles, Van Gundys and Spoelstras that dot the league. Byron is not in their league. I think he has proven himself as an average coach.

    I’m curious what Pau is willing to stay for. Would he stay for 3yrs $28m? Seeing that it’s not a max contract, it can be front loaded. Does anyone think he is worth that sort of deal? Frankly, I think the team needs a long, mobile big (which is why I would wait to trade #7 until I’m sure Vonleh is off the board) but skilled bigs like Pau don’t grow on trees.

    Looks like the Spurs need to figure out how to get some points in the paint with Ibaka in the game. Either of these two teams should give the Heat all they can handle.

  58. Byron Scott is shooting himself in the foot with his big mouth, Rambis was a courtesy interview because his wife is bff with Jeanie, that’s it because is been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a horrible horrible coach, and being brought in to work on the defense was a cathastrophic disaster to say the least, i understand the injuries, but this team never ever showed any kind of improvement on defense or showed signs that there was some kind of defensive adjustments, he was sitting on the bench colecting a paycheck and not a whole lot bc of Jeanie’s bff, im not making this up, it was reported during the season, HE NEEDS TO GO and coach little kids…

  59. Interviewing Rambis, et al, doesn’t matter except for displaying that they will at least make the showing of consideration. The franchise has looked embedded in tunnel vision and inconsiderate in its past hiring process so now they’re saving face by acknowledging some of their legacy family. If it is helps Rambis and the others get another assistant coach or other gig because of it, more power to them.

  60. Its pretty sad when Chuck Person, who never guarded anybody on his entire playing career, was a better defensive asst coach than Kurt Rambis, it says volumes about Rambis coaching “skills”. Rambis makes MDA looks like Pat Riley.

  61. Apparently since Jeannie doesn’t want to poach (melo) from the Knicks now,
    becuz of Phil,
    Phil is actually still factoring into who Lakers obtain.
    So Phil finally got his wish -
    he is (remotely) running the lakers!
    and getting paid by the knicks too
    what a prince

  62. Ken Oak and LT responded to my previous post about Kobe
    and now my post seems to have disappeared.

    Yes gentlemen I realize Nash had slowed and Kobe was just trying to ‘help.’
    But at the time it still felt like Kobe was actually reluctant to let Nash shine.
    “Steve, I realize you’ve been a great point guard all your life.
    Now go stand in the corner. Watch me. (I might it pass to you.)
    See? I could have been a great point guard!
    But I’m such a great scorer…”
    Just felt like that a little bit, to me.

    I know I’m a little hard on Kobe. He can take it.
    You’re just never gonna convince me he’s a team-first guy.
    Can you spell: contract extension? salary cap?
    Sorry gang I know that is old business.

    New business:
    Has anyone heard anything about Nash now, how he’s doing, his workouts,
    his prospects to actually maybe contribute next season?

  63. lol @ JC. Jeannie and Phil had to sign conflict of interest/disclosure agreements with the NBA when he took the NY job. Thats part of the reason she has to cede all control on bball issues to Jim and Mitch – she’s contractually prohibited from engaging in that side of the Lakers as long as PJ is employed.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10634239/phil-jackson-jeanie-buss-relationship-addressed-nba

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2000473-nba-ensures-phil-jackson-and-jeannie-buss-will-avoid-conflicts-of-interest

  64. LT Mitch, big difference between being a pessimist & a realist. Do you really think (or should I say feel) the Lakers will be able to do all that is needed in order to leapfrog at least two of the top nine teams in the WC to make the play-offs in 2014-’15?

    Just curious, which teams would that be…or is this just based on hopes and prayers?

  65. Robert-Looks like OKC got your email. LOL

    BTW, Westbrook, could play on my team any day. I’d rather have a player that makes mistakes, but is competitive, plays with energy, and passion, over a player that is skilled, afraid to make an error in the game. and lacks that fire in their belly to play basketball. Men and women that love to play the game, if they weren’t in the NBA or WNBA you’d find them playing games at rec centers, in neighborhood leagues and pick-up games.

  66. The Lakers dont want/need Melo. Again, why in the hell the Lakers would max a 30 year old? Jeannie can say whatever she wants, she is just a figurehead, she dont make any basketball decisions and its being said over and over and over that the Lakers are lukewarm at best about adquiring Melo.

  67. I am not going to link it, but this is Sterling’s lawyer:

    “I don’t know what agreement she has with him, but I’m saying to you today, he disavows anything she’s doing to sell the team,” Blecher said. “He says, ‘It’s my team, and I’ll sell it when and if I get around to it.”

    _________________

  68. JC, “I know I’m a little hard on Kobe. He can take it.
    You’re just never gonna convince me he’s a team-first guy.
    Can you spell: contract extension? salary cap?
    Sorry gang I know that is old business.”

    JC, you’re wrong. That’s not old business, it’s current business and will be for the next two seasons.

  69. J C:
    Ken Oak and LT simply pointed out that Nash COULD NOT play point guard at that point because he couldn’t move quickly enough nor was he fast enough to beat anyone, even with the help of a screen! This old, tired canard that Kobe is selfish and wants and needs to be the star is bogus. How does it help him to be the star if he is playing out of position? How would it help his image to force one of the best point guards (offensively) of all time to play out of position?
    Kobe has always been a willing (if not always prolific) passer. He has never been Magic or Lebron, but he is not someone who rarely looks to make passes to open teammates. Many NBA stars, past and present, have not been eager passers. Kevin Durant, who is this years MVP, is a prime example of a player who does not look to make plays for teammates, but you never hear anyone in the media or blogisphere calling him selfish.

  70. Chearn: Yes – would be great if they won – and then we could all root for OKC vs Miami. In any case it is good that they have stretched SA Was worried that SA was going to sweep and Miami was going to go 7 or lose. That has turned for the better.
    Fern: “she is just a figurehead” Jerke: “she’s contractually prohibited” So in other words – she can’t fire Jim or tell him to step back. Obvious? I agree – but the very point was argued vehemently on this and other sites when she said she was “The Boss”.
    J C: ” old business” No it isn’t. It is current business. Kobe was only one of two signatures required to make his contract legally binding.
    Byron: ““I think what they’re going to probably try to do at the end of the day is hire the best coach … possible to bring the organization back to the glory years,” Scott said. “I’m a little biased, because I think that person is me.” Fern – We are still on target.

  71. Yeah Robert she is, she can’t even fire Mitch unless Jim agrees and to remove Jim she would need the vote of the other siblings. In reality, she has no power, just a fancy title. And Jerke she had never any power to begin with. She didn’t “cede” anything, but the agreements had to be sign and were the right thing, but she makes no decisions and she never had.

  72. Didn’t realize we had insiders who know the inner workings of the Lakers’ organization posting right here at this site! So great to know that people like Fern have a keen understanding of who has power and who doesn’t and what the power structure of the team is. This is surely based off reliable information, right? So, please send that along. I’ll wait here. Thanks.

  73. hey Fern, even though Jeannie Buss is more classy and patient than to oust her brother, She actually DOES hold the title and power to make that decision if she wanted to, she has last say on what’s best for the FRANCHISE, but she along with me, know that Jim Buss does a good enough job of making himself look bad to the tune of a 3 yr timeline he gave himself and gets to prove he can turn the Lakers into a contender. I’m not sure why you’re so adamant that she doesn’t have any power? are you sure…

  74. Fern

    Having the power and using it are two different things.

  75. darius: we do have to consider that if jeannie has the power. phil jackson whom she loves, trusts and is a known basketball commodity (in the sense he has proven basketball knowledge and influence in the nba) should be better suited to be part of the laker organization and should have been given a role somewhere in the organization rather than be situated over three thousand miles away in the city known as gotham and the organization known as the new york knicks. someone with real power would have made it happen.

    Go lakers

  76. There was an article that I posted a link to previously that detailed the buss power structure and all the roles of all the Buss siblings in the laker organization – wish I could find it, but it nicely laid out what all their duties were. While Jeanie was not previously heavily involved in basketball operations – her organizational authority and power of her position in the business side could wield significant clout on bball decisions if push came to shove. W PJ taking the ny job, the nba discussed the situation and essentially put her at arms length from day to day bball operations – which she was anyways pretty much before but this just solidified it to insure competitive integrity. Doesn’t mean she won’t have a say, but if she gets involved in everything, the NBA would be very easily able to overturn decisions involving here for the ever evil “basketball reasons” clause if they found a conflict of interest. But the reality of knicks/lakers having any dealings going forward is unlikely anyways so it’s just a paragraph on paper.
    In the same vein of not having an interest in two teams, Steve Kerr has to divest himself of a small minority share of the suns (1% share I think) and I believe the nba gave him 3 months to sell that.

    Anyone else find the notion of magic being involved w a new clippers ownership as totally weird? I could understand owning a piece of any other team but it would be weird him joining the enemy in the same building.

  77. David H,
    You’re not the only person to state that, but as I have written before it’s not so simple as you lay it out to be. First off, Jeannie has said that while she has the power to overturn basketball operations’ decisions, she does not get too involved because she *trusts* the people in those positions to make good decisions. What complicates matters more is that one of those decision makers happens to be her brother. Further complicating matters is that Phil Jackson didn’t want just *any* job in an NBA team’s front office, he wanted a job at the top of the basketball decision making pyramid.

    In other words, hiring Phil displaces her brother and puts another decision maker over Mitch Kupchak — both people she says she trusts. Further, if people think the power structure is weird with Jim and Jeannie, imagine one with her soon to be husband running basketball operations and, essentially, reporting to her. Talk about mixing business with pleasure.

    I’m not saying Phil wouldn’t have made a good hire. I’m just saying people seem to ignore the hurdles and challenges that come with that hire and instead focus on what the lack of a hire means. They then look at that lack of a hire and come to conclusions like “Jeannie doesn’t have power. She’s just a figurehead. Jim is an idiot.” etc, etc. All of it is pretty silly and lacking big picture details of interpersonal relationships that actually matter in any well run organization.

  78. We all have our opinions as to what power she really had from the start. However now – she does not have power over Basketball decisions Being able to review someone’s performance and being able to fire them means you have that power and could wield it to influence others. By definition, Jeanie needs to stay out. Let’ say the Lakers and Knicks were in some sort of deal, and then Jim pulled out of it. A month later Jeanie fired him and Mitch. That would stink in the league’s eyes, and therefore it can’t happen. She can’t influence basketball decisions. Having the ability to fire someone is the ultimate influence. I only wish she had that power. Do owners with ultimate power do interviews abut how they were betrayed, and then keep the betraying party on their staff? I know she said “I’m the Boss”. Bruce Springsteen and Tony Soprano both used that line too, and they have an influence equal to Jeanie’s over Laker basketball decisions.

    “I don’t anticipate any problem because I don’t make the basketball decisions on behalf of the Lakers,” Jeanie Buss said in the interview. “So I really don’t see where there would be a conflict.”

  79. Thx Darius, very well put. i for one would have liked to have seen the mixing business with pleasure aspect of as the laker’s world turns because i see phil jackson as a father head figure type and although appears to have been quite different in nature than the one and only dr. jerry buss, would have trusted his sense of direction and still feel with him at the helm of basketball operations; a lot of the questions we have with today’s lakers would be more direction driven and less open to conjecture. for me, he just seems to strike me that way.

    Go lakers

  80. Here is the Bresnahan article again:

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/la-sp-lakers-buss-family-20140420-story.html#page=1

    Quotes from Jim:

    “I was laying myself on the line by saying, if this doesn’t work in three to four years, if we’re not back on the top — and the definition of top means contending for the Western Conference, contending for a championship — then I will step down because that means I have failed,” he told The Times about the meeting. “I don’t know if you can fire yourself if you own the team … but what I would say is I’d walk away and you guys figure out who’s going to run basketball operations because I obviously couldn’t do the job.

    “There’s no question in my mind we will accomplish success. I’m not worried about putting myself on the line.”

    It was an emotional meeting, and the siblings — including Johnny, Janie, Joey and Jesse — agreed that Jim deserved more time on the job.

    “If Jeanie and I got into a disagreement, Jeanie can overrule my argument,” Jim said. “If she is adamant about the way she wants to do things, all she has to do is say, ‘That’s the way it’s going to be.’ But I don’t anticipate those kind of arguments. We’re two smart people and we respect each other. We’re grown up enough to where we can talk things out.”

  81. Funny, when people pile on me, i stated a million times that i dont know much, but im looking at a single decision that Jeanie has ever take and i find none. Non issue anyways totally irrelevant, thanks for playing

  82. George is very overrated.

  83. If im wrong im wrong, we’ll find out soon enough. Anyways KO, the NBA and the media loves to hang the “superstar” label way to quickly, George is good but not a superstar in my opinion, that is a label for Kobe,Lebron and Duncan. I remember in 2011 Kobe was crucified by the haters because while he was leading the league in scoring, he was shooting only 43%, George shoot a low 42% in the regular season and even lower in the playoffs most of the guys considered stars on this league shoot in the lower 40% they might be good players but i dont consider any of them truly great, but hey in a league in which Hibbert is 2 time all-star overrating is part of the game.

  84. Has any possible three-peat coach ever gotten less respect then the Miami coach?

  85. It’s not only talent, to win backs 2 back you have to have a good coach one championship alone could be talent ask Doc Rivers, more than that it takes talent and good coaching. In other words Coach Spo deserves a lot of credit.

  86. I despise the Heat but those 5 fouls on Lebron are bullcrap 2 of those calls were just bs. This feeds the theory that the NBA is rigged and want a game 6. I refuse to believe that but sometimes one has to wonder. I know Lebron get away with a ton but 5 fouls? C’mon..,

  87. Can I take the George post back?

  88. Me too KO, that crow tastes nasty hahaha

  89. I think that most people think Spoelstra is a good coach, but the only other “threepeat coach” since the merger is Phil Jackson (If Miami actually does threepeat–they may not).

    Also, Spoelstra was there before James and Bosh got there, so the timeline is different. Finally, the non-player that most people connect to the formation of the Heat is Riley, not Spoelstra.

  90. George played big time, no doubt, but him and David West missing those free throws left the door open at the end. The Heat are mega deep. A guy like Rashard Lewis, who doesn’t even play, hits six 3 pointers… Huh?

    Pacers going fishing next game. At least they’ll be down in Miami, in an area known for great fishing.

  91. The Pacers barely won this game even with the refs all but gift-wrapping the game for them they still almost choke it away. They are toast on game six.

  92. Lance Stephenson is some head case, but maybe you gotta be crazy to get the best of the Heat. I mean, blowing in LeBrawn’s ear? That was Rodmanesque! Funny stuff.

  93. melcountscounts May 28, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Please no Aaron Gordon. Don’t care how athletic he is, he can’t shoot. That gets old in a hurry.

    Lakers future is in the hands of a front office who gave up mega draft picks for a 40 year old point guard, Lord help us.

  94. Ko yes you may take your foot out of your mouth now.
    Paul George is really smooth. Fun to watch.
    He’s young and still growing into his superstar role.
    What is he? 24? 25?

    Lebron’s fouls were ticky-tack – except the one where he basically held Stephenson and then dove at his legs.
    Confession: I am not a Lebron fan.
    If you’re so talented, why do you have to preen and strut every time you do something?
    Why not act like you’ve been there before?
    If Wilt or Kareem preened and strutted like that after every dunk,
    they wouldn’t even have time to play the game.

    Yes – Pacers will be crushed next game in Miami.

  95. Saw S. I.’s list of candidates for coaching.
    Surprised to see JVG not on their list.
    In addition to Fish and Hollins,
    I think JVG is a guy that could definitely handle the spotlight here.

  96. J C,

    JVG happens to be number 1 on my list of coaching candidates. He’s a fearless leader, who emphasizes defense and holds his players accountable. And as you mentioned, he’s built to handle the media spotlight. As a matter of fact, before Mike Brown was selected, I was hoping that there was a way in which we were able to pry JVG away from the ESPN/ABC Booth. With that being said, I believe the issue now is that JVG, besides being named Head Coach, would be seeking to acquire the same type of power – President of Basketball Operations – within the organization that his older brother just received from Detroit. Power that Jim Buss would obviously not grant.

  97. JVG here too… I have been a fan ever since the Houston days. Got a lot out of a fundamentally flawed roster there.

  98. I dont know if JVG has expressed any interest in a coaching return, if he did i bet the Lakers would interview him, if they interviewed Rambis and Dunleavy im sure he would get a call lol. About those Houston teams, they wern’t that good but they wern’t that bad either, probably better than we might be able to asemble next season unless Mitch do his ninja thing. I read that the Grizzlies want to give him Phil Jackson level power over there with the plus that the Grizz actually have a good team, so that might be a lot more enticing than taking just a head coaching job in a rebuilding franchise even if its the LA Lakers.

  99. I would looove for him to be our next coach just for comedy reasons, the sound bytes would be hilarious. That he is a good coach that maximise the talent available dont hurt either. Im on board…

  100. David Blatt. ‘Nuff said.

    Mr. Kupchack…your move.

  101. ….yea paul George was really overrated last night.