According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Los Angeles Lakers have still not given up hope that they could hire Doc Rivers as head coach.
The Los Angeles Lakers recently narrowed down their coaching search to three finalists — Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and ex-Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. Even with these finalists, the Lakers are still have hopes and dreams about landing one candidate who’s not available right now.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers haven’t “abandoned hope” that Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers will be made available this offseason.
Lakers haven’t ‘abandoned’ hope that Doc Rivers will be made available this offseason
There was a belief that Rivers could be made available after the 76ers were eliminated in the second round of the NBA Playoffs by the Miami Heat. But, Rivers stressed that he was not concerned about his job security, and team president Daryl Morey revealed that Rivers would be returning as head coach.
Rivers was hired by the 76ers in 2020 after he was let go by the Los Angeles Clippers. In his first two seasons with the 76ers, Rivers led the team to 49-23 and 51-31 records. But, the team was eliminated in the second round both years.
It is well documented that the Lakers drastically underperformed this season. Offseason acquisition Russell Westbrook struggled throughout the season and LeBron James and Anthony Davis both dealt with injuries, resulting in the Lakers finishing 11th in the Western Conference. As a result, the team opted to fire Frank Vogel, despite the fact that he coached the team to a NBA title in his first season in 2020.
This is not the only update regarding the Lakers coahcing job outside of the three finalists. ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard recently declined an overture to regarding the team’s head coaching job.
The Lakers may hope that Rivers is available this offseason, but the 76ers have already committed to Rivers. Los Angeles’ coaching search was set to be very interesting this offseason, and it has been just that.
The real question is — who is going to be the Lakers’ head coach for the 2022-23 season?