Knute Rockne. John McGraw. Red Auerbach. Scotty Bowman. Vince Lombardi. Casey Stengel. Bear Bryant. Phil Jackson. Nick “Swaggy P” Young.
One of these things is not like the others and is also a complete clown.
The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard, who made it clear in an interview with 710 ESPN Radio (viaInsideSoCal.com) that he is likely to out of the final year of his contract in hopes of a better tender, was, of course, referring to…
We have no idea what Swaggy was referring to. He certainly could've been citing the current head-coaching vacancy in Laker Land, just one week after Mike D’Antoni officially walked away from the position.
Then again, for all we know, he could be talking about the Golden State Warriors. Or the Columbus Blue Jackets. Or Nottingham Forest FC. Or the Holyoke Paperweights, a minor league baseball team that went defunct in 1911. Or Pins and Needles, the 75-and-over bowling team of geriatric crochet masters that rolls every Tuesday Night at Cornhusker Lanes in Ogallala, Nebraska.
Not sure what a bowling coach does, exactly, but Swaggy will figure it out.
The Lakers are still without a coach, of course, with nothing in the way of an imminent hiring on the horizon. Chances are Jim Buss and the rest of the front-office brass will wait a bit longer—to see who else falls off the coaching carousel—before making a decision.
Mark Jackson would certainly be an intriguing option, not to mention a clever way of casting L.A.’s interstate rivals in as cold a shadow as possible.
Steve Kerr is another possibility, although the two parties have yet to be linked by any credible media sources.
Beyond these highest profile of personalities, candidates abound, and the Lakers—as always, and owing to their unrivaled cultural clout within the NBA—will likely have the pick of the coaching litter.
However, as the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke recently wrote, in terms of saving fanbase face, Buss may have little margin for error this time around:
They don't need a national brand like Duke's Mike Krzyzewski or Kentucky's John Calipari or Michigan State's Tom Izzo. Those guys wouldn't easily stomach the certain nuttiness that awaits a team that has to rebuild not once (this summer) but twice (the summer after Bryant leaves).
They need a strong and steady sort who can quietly become a great head coach while the Lakers loudly reclaim their own greatness. As much as it pains Lakers fans to hear this, the Lakers probably need to imitate the rebuilding Boston Celtics and hire a brainy Brad Stevens-type guy.
An intriguing strategy, to be sure, but not exactly the kind of measured methodology we’ve come to expect from the glitz-gilded, loudly lavish Lakers.
Which is exactly why, facing as they are the prospect of yet another lost season, L.A. should at least consider heeding Nick Young's impassioned plea.
Picture this: Down 135-56 with 1.3 seconds remaining, Swaggy P—wearing striped zoot suit pants and a Lakers jersey with a neck tie—calls timeout to draw up one last, desperation play: A top-of-the-key isolation for Nick Young.
Jan Vesely, recently signed to a five-year, $100 million max contract, inbounds the ball to Young, who takes five dribbles and, two seconds after the final horn sounds, launches a straightaway 27-footer that banks in, the cheers of 135 fans booming down as confetti and balloon animals rain from the rafters and champagne streams out of industrial water canons straight into Swaggy P's mouth.
Your move, Jim Buss.