The interviews are done, now the Lakers just have to make a decision.
A team of Lakers officials — which included owner Jeanie Buss, GM Rob Pelinka, plus co-owners and front office executives Joey Buss and Jesse Buss — met this past week with Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams, the two frontrunners for the Lakers’ head coaching job. They also met with Juwan Howard, according to reports. (Jason Kidd was given an interview, but sources say he was not seriously in the running.)
Lue — who coached LeBron to a title in Cleveland — reportedly had a strong interview where he “struck an emotional chord” with the team, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
During Lue’s interview session at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo on Wednesday, a lasting impression was left on both parties involved in the discussions, according to the people. Lue, who played for the Lakers and won two NBA titles with them in 2000 and 2001, was sincere about wanting the job, the people said. He showed them offensive sets and defensive scheme during his conversations with the group.
Williams had a strong interview as well.
The group found that Williams, whose connection to Lakers star LeBron James came when they were involved with Team USA at the same time, was forthright and very likable during his interview.
Read the tea leaves from those interview comments however you wish. However, in nearly every decision Jeanie Buss has made as an owner she has stayed within her comfort zone, and Lue — a former Laker — is in that circle.
Williams is busy, he also interviewed with Phoenix about its coaching vacancy, while doing his job as a Philadelphia assistant coach getting the 76ers ready for Game 1 against the Raptors on Saturday.
There is no timetable for a Lakers’ decision and job offer, but expect it to come sooner rather than later.