31 Finals appearances. 16 NBA championships. 21 Hall of Famers. The Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in the entire world and need a new leader. It is time to start all over.
Post Kobe is going to be difficult. The Lakers are coming off their two worst seasons in franchise history, going a combined 38-126. The franchise is stuck and needs leadership more than ever. The team has young talent from the likes of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and the 2015 second overall pick, DeAngelo Russell but young talent has to mature and be molded. Who is the best man for the job? Here are the candidates:
John Calipari (Kentucky Wildcats): Here is a name that comes up in almost every NBA opening and for good reason. Calipari has a 77 percent winning percentage in college with a record of 617 wins and 184 losses. Some may be skeptical because he has an NBA record of 72-112. Pete Carroll failed his first time in the NFL but came back and won a Super Bowl. Coach Cal would be a perfect fit in Hollywood. His charisma and personality are great for that city and he’s great with the media. He attracts talent, as he is constantly finishing in the top-five in recruiting classes. Not only does he recruit talent, but he wins with it. He has been to the Sweet 16 10 times, the Elite 8 eight times, won six region championships and one national championship. A second go around in the NBA would be much better than the first. He would be a great candidate but maybe he is at his dream job at Kentucky, but maybe, just maybe, he dreams of the association.
Kevin Ollie (Connecticut Huskies): The Lakers dream of Kevin Durant and getting Kevin Ollie as their head coach may be their best pitch as Ollie and Durant were once teammates in Oklahoma City. Kevin Ollie has been extremely successful in his four years as the head coach of Connecticut. He has a record of 97-44 and won a regional championship and a national championship. He is young and hungry and would be a great leader for the young Lakers.
Mark Jackson (no team): Mark Jackson has only coached three seasons in the NBA and his overall record was 121-109 which wasn’t great. He did get better each year winning 23 games his first year, 47 his second year and 51 in his final year. The knock on Mark Jackson is that he isn’t the best at X’s and O’s and that he is just a motivation but that remains to be seen. If a coach can improve every year he should have a job. Mark Jackson may not be the best fit but would still be a great coach.
Luke Walton: (Golden State Warriors assistant): Luke Walton was not a candidate for a head coach until he led Golden State to a 24-0 start and 39-4 mark before Steve Kerr came back. It is a small, skewed sample. Yes it is impressive but it is hard to tell just how impressive because of how talented the Warriors are. Luke Walton also played for Lakers from 2003-2012 winning two NBA championships. Luke Walton wasn’t the greatest player but he knows the game of basketball. The Lakers love bringing back their former players to coach. Luke Walton is going to get a job as a head coach and we don’t know how great of a coach he will be, but do the Lakers want to miss out on a coach who could be one of the best?
These would be the four best choices for the Lakers even though there are endless candidates. There are a few names not on the list but I believe if the Lakers want to get back to the top they need to get one of these four guys. Who do you think will be the Lakers next coach?