Here we take a look at five of the candidates for the LA Lakers job. Mike D'Antoni only lasted two years in the Staples Center hot-seat and his successor will have a tough time picking them up with a poor roster.
Kevin Ollie - Ollie's stock couldn’t be much higher after leading UConn to the national title in just his second year as a head coach. He’s familiar with the NBA — Ollie played in the league for 13 seasons — but it would be a risk to give him the job right now after so little experience even in the college. He is riding that wave though and could bring some much needed excitement to a not-at-all showtime Lakers
Steve Kerr – The favourite for the New York Knicks job due to his longstanding ties with Phil Jackson. The deal isn’t done though and Kerr did say that he would be prepared to look around at other jobs before making a decision. Kerr is a West Coast guy — he grew up in LA and went to school at Arizona — and the Lakers have a younger roster and a high draft pick, both of which the Knicks lack.
Derek Fisher – The very definition of a brave hire. Fisher has said he will retire following this season with the Thunder, but the Nets made the unprecedented move with Jason Kidd and it hasn’t worked out too poorly. Fisher is beloved in Los Angeles, is believed to be a coach-in-the-making, and his good buddy Bryant would love this choice. Would need to land on his feet as a coach though – and with poor players - to avoid intense scrutiny.
George Karl – Karl was the 2012-13 NBA coach of the year for the magnificent 51 win season he had with the Denver Nuggets. Was fired after that year for pushing for a new contract. Does carry some concerns in the playoffs where he has only got out of the first round once with Denver but did manage conference finals, but only with a star player which the Lakers don’t really have.
Ettore Messina – Messina – otherwise known as the Phil Jackson of Eurobasket – is a Lakers man and a guy that Kobe Bryant would have on his team in a heartbeat. He spent a year with the team as a consultant and it was enough to leave a lasting impression on Kobe. Messina wins in Europe; four Cups of Italy with Virtus Bologna, three cups of Italy with Treviso and two Russian Cups with CSKA Moscow. Can he take it on to the NBA is another question entirely. Turned down interviews at the Kings, Raptors and Nets for their head coaching roles.