The Lakers’ desire to fire Luke Walton at the end of the season had been well documented to this point. While everyone is trying to figure Walton’s heir apparent, they must understand one thing: This is not a good job at this point.
The Lakers likely are going to have to settle when hiring LeBron James’ next coach/enemy. The Lakers are big fans of top-notch coach Rich Carlisle, per Marc Stein, but are not expected to be able to land him. The same goes for their chances of convincing Doc Rivers to ditch the Clippers for their “big brother” in LA. The problem is simple: the Lakers are embroiled in a toxic environment, and any good coach knows to stay far away from those situations.
Sure, they can try selling them on it being the Lakers, or Los Angeles, or getting to coach LeBron. But none of that outweighs the guaranteed headache, scrutiny, and heartache this job comes with. Being the coach of LeBron comes with very little upside and a great deal of downside. He clearly has no interest in listening to a head coach, fair or not, and there seems to be no easy path for his coach to take over a locker room. And coaching LeBron is not the only issue with this perceived “good job.”
There are massive expectations once again with the Lakers, and they are simply not realistic. Free agents don’t want to come play with LeBron, and clearly, teams don’t want to trade their players to the Lakers, either. It remains to be seen if they can trade for or sign Anthony Davis, but at this point, it sure doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon. The good bet is, in reality, this team is going to consist of an aging LeBron and the young, relatively average players they have right now. The Lakers’ playoff hopes were dead a while ago and there is no reason to believe that will not be the case again next season. And who is getting the blame this season? Yep, head coach Luke Walton.
This is a job with unrealistic expectations and when the obvious occurs, the coach is to blame. Oh, and if somehow they can add some marquee free agent and have success, don’t expect the coach to be anything other than, “Just the coach of LeBron James along for the ride.”
All of this is why the Lakers, their fans, and anyone who follows them should realize getting a quality coach is likely not in their future. Therefore, that is why Ty Lue and Jason Kidd make the most sense. By the way, Walton may be a better coach than both of them, but whatever.
The Lakers are the Lakers, LeBron is LeBron, and Los Angels is Los Angeles. But none of those as currently constructed are very appealing.
Good coaches, as I am sure you know, stay away!
Bad to average coaches, I mean, if you need a job…