Tag: Lakers coaching search

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers

Apparently Dunleavy is serious candidate to be next Lakers coach


This would be a big mistake — not because of his time with the Clippers but purely for stylistic reasons — but apparently the rumors are true.

Mike Dunleavy is a serious candidate to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Kevin Ding of the Orange Country Register.

Make no mistake, Dunleavy is very much in line for an interview and expected be a serious candidate for this job…

Dunleavy, 57, knows the ins and outs of this world: Beyond stepping in as Lakers coach and reaching the NBA Finals after Pat Riley left in 1990, Dunleavy has seen all that the Lakers went through recently from very close proximity. He is a smart guy who with the Lakers would be as driven to succeed as anyone could be, eager to shake the obvious stigma his struggles as head coach of the Clippers have left.

Dunleavy had a good relationship with the Buss family after he left the Lakers the first time — earlier this season he watched a game from Buss family box with the Lakers owner.

But the shift from Phil Jackson to Dunleavy would be radical.

Jackson is a system guy — the triangle offense gives the players freedom and is predicated on players reading the defense and reacting to it, taking what is given them. Dunleavy is a micro-manager with a playbook, he calls the plays he wants run from the sideline every time down and expects the players to execute his orders.

If Barron Davis chaffed against Dunleavy, how do you think Kobe Bryant is going to react?

But it looks like Dunleavy is at least getting a look. Jackson’s lead assistant Brian Shaw is still the front runner and Rick Adelman makes some sense (he runs a system and has had success with veteran teams). Just be sure to add Dunleavy to the mix.

Lakers coaching search starts with Shaw, Person, Adelman

Phil Jackson, Brian Shaw

Lakers fans, you are going to need to be patient. Not your strength, I know, but you need to be. The Lakers management is going to take their time with this coaching search.

But that search will begin at home, reports Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated.

Then it will move on to Rick Adelman, according to ESPN.

Lead assistant Brian Shaw — the guy keeping the triangle offense — was always going to get a shot, but Chuck Person off the staff may as well.

Kupchak acknowledged that there would be “a candidate or two” from the existing staff. One of those coaches is widely known to be assistant Brian Shaw. An ESPN.com report indicated that the other is assistant Chuck Person. According to an SI.com source, Person is also expected to receive consideration for the Golden State vacancy. The source said Person will be a candidate in Indiana as well, depending on the uncertain future of interim Pacers coach Frank Vogel. Shaw is reportedly a candidate in Golden State and Houston, too.

But the Laker are “very interested” in Rick Adelman, recently released by the Rockets.

He has had success with veteran teams — remember how good his Portland teams were. His Kings teams. His “corner” offense is not a dramatically different system than the triangle (and it likes a passing big man in the high post, not unlike Pau Gasol).

Mike Dunleavy is rumored to be getting a chance. One other thing to remember — before Phil Jackson, the Buss family was known for not spending big on coaches. Pat Riley was plucked out of the announcing booth. A candidate out of left field that fits that kind of mold is not out of the question.

Ultimately, the Buss family wants to return to a faster-paced, Showtime era kind of team. Right now, they do not have the roster to do that — they have Kobe Bryant, more suited to a half-court game, and a lot of size up front. They need a point guard, they need more athleticism off the bench, but they are a long, long way from being able to run a transition style team. That rebuilding may wait a while.

So Adelman as a several year stopgap has some logic to it. But eventually the Lakers will blow it up and try to run again.