The Los Angeles Times reports Friday night that the Lakers have reached out to Rick Adelman about their vacant coaching position in the wake of Phil Jackson’s imminent and assumed retirement. The move comes after word broke last week regarding the Lakers’ interest in Adelman. There’s no indication at the moment if the interest is mutual.
The Times also confirms that the Lakers are “adamantly opposed” to any price that would be attached to pursuing a current head coach in the league, ruling out former assistant Kurt Rambis, former player Byron Scott, and Nate McMillan from consideration.
Adelman makes the most sense for the Lakers. He’s the highest profile coach on the market outside of Jerry Sloan, who the Lakers could not survive in terms of discipline (nor could Sloan survive the L.A. drama), and Adelman’s long-standing experience and reputation for working with veterans would fit well with the current roster of Laker championship-caliber players. His offense is at least vaguely reminiscent of the Triangle, and he doesn’t come with any flaming red flags to throw a spike in the gears.
For fans of Adelman from his time in Portland, Sacramento, and Houston, Adelman joining and/or winning a ring with the Lakers would be a severe twist of the knife after years of watching him battle the higher-paying, bigger market behemoth and lose time and time again. But Adelman surely deserves a shot at a championship roster, and this provides him his best chance at winning a title before his ride into the sunset down the road. It seems like a perfect fit. The only question left is if Lakers’ management will be willing to pony up what it takes to secure his services and if Adelman has any interest in nice weather, palm trees and lots and lots of money.
The Times reports that the Lakers are not expected to rush the decision, with the final call possibly not coming until June. Assistant coach Brian Shaw remains on the list of candidates despite his possible interviews with Golden State and elsewhere. The drama continues in Hollywood.
Looks like the Houston Rockets are on to the second round of interviews for their head coaching gig.
Lawrence Frank, the Celtics lead assistant, is had a second interview with the Rockets Monday, according to Comcast Sports New England.
Frank, once the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, is one of the three finalists for the Rockets job. The other two are two former Timberwolves head coaches — Kevin McHale and current Mavericks lead assistant Dwane Casey.
The person hired will replace Rick Adelman, who did a good job as Rockets head coach but the franchise chose to go another direction as they started to rebuild the team around a new core.
The Warriors’ head coaching gig is kind of an interesting mesh of issues. You’ve got a management that has pledged to provide a new coach with defensive personnel, but there’s still a roster full of guys who don’t fit that description. There’s certainly talent, but not necessarily a cohesive unit, and few experienced veterans. There’s Stephen Curry, but it’s unclear how his career is going to shape out. It’s a terrific, supportive fanbase, but it’s in a high-intensity market. The money should be great, but success in the short term is probably mitigated, and it’s rare for the coach who rebuilds a team to see them through to the promised land.
Which is why two coaching greats have elected to pass on the job.
CSN Bay Area reports that Jeff Van Gundy and Jerry Sloan both declined to interview for the Warriors’ head coaching position. Sloan declined under the “No, really, I retired and I’m done” umbrella (which is right next to the “Deron Williams killed my soul” raincoat), while Van Gundy reportedly declined because he’s still not looking to get into coaching. JVG’s name keeps popping up but never seems to really go anywhere, he hasn’t been seriously in consideration for a job in some time.
Mike Brown is considered by multiple outlets to be the front-runner for the job, which is an odd, if intriguing fit. Seeing Brown work with a team not handicapped by a megastar playing God with the franchise while the owner buckles to his will and then blames everyone else when it blows up could be interesting. Brown’s defensive coaching chops are legit, even if the offense could suffer (read: drive off a cliff) under him. We’ll keep you updated as the search continues.