Sports Out West

Lakers to court Kevin Ollie, John Calipari in head coach search

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Reed Saxon

In wake of Mike D’Antoni‘s resignation as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, the organization is looking to make a big move with their next hire, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Los Angeles is expected to be interview of slew high-profile candidates that will include a pair of collegiate head coaches in UConn’s Kevin Ollie and Kentucky’s John Calipari. The team is also planning to reach out to the Chicago Bulls for permission to interview Tom Thibodeau for their head coach vacancy.

As far other possible targets the Lakers may look at some former players that have ties with the organization in Kurt Rambis, who was as an assistant coach under D’Antoni this past season and had a stint as head coach with the team, and Byron Scott, who has been a studio analyst for Time Warner Cable SportsNet Lakers broadcast since the Cleveland Cavaliers relieved him of his duties in 2013. 

Another name that may make its way into the conversation is Derek Fisher, who won five championship in 13 seasons with Los Angeles, if he is interested in becoming a coach  if he retires after the conclusion of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season. Fisher has maintained a solid relationship with the organization and is regarded as a close friend to Kobe Bryant, who under contract for $48.5 million over the next two seasons.

Two other possibilities could be Jeff Van Gundy, who has drawn interest from Los Angeles before in the past, and former Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers coach Mike Dunleavy, who interviewed for the position along with Phil Jackson in November 0f 2012 but both were passed up for D’Antoni.

Although the Lakers will look to hire a high-caliber head coach, the team is no rush to fill the vacancy as they are expected to focus first on the upcoming draft and free agency that will also allow the field of possible candidates to expand with the playoffs finished. The team may wait until the free agency period to make a hire as they could use it as a possible negotiation ploy if they decide to pursue potential free agents in Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James.

With D’Antoni no longer at the realm, it has become evident that the Lakers are looking to make a big splash with whoever chosen as the next head coach as they are ready move on from the franchise worst regular season record of record of 27-55 (.435) that included missing the playoffs for just the sixth time in the organization’s history.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Reed Saxon

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.

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