Eric Gay/Associated Press
Just kidding. Don't worry, Lakers fans.
Pro: If the Lakers are interested in making the transition from an offensive focus to a defensive one, Lionel Hollins would be a great choice. After all, he transformed the Memphis Grizzlies into a defensive force during his time in Tennessee, and the team reveled in its identity.
That, not the defense itself, is the biggest pro.
Memphis fully bought into the "grit 'n' grind" mentality, and that identity became not just an image, but an accurate representation of the fundamental being of everyone on that roster. Rather than floating around without a direction, L.A. could be sure that something similar would happen after hiring Hollins.
Con: Whether or not the general public likes it, analytics are increasingly important in the modern-day NBA. Teams are buying in at different levels, but Hollins is not.
He was fired by the Grizzlies not for a lack of success, but because he clashed with John Hollinger, the noted ESPN statistician who left to work for Memphis, and the rest of the Memphis front office.
Can L.A. afford to take the risk of a repeat as they move further into the modern era of NBA basketball?
Pro: Even if many NBA fans have no idea who Ettore Messina is, the rest of the world does.
His only experience in the Association came while serving as a consultant for the Lakers in 2011-12, but he's racked up plenty of accolades during his time in other leagues. A member of the Italian Hall of Fame, Messina has four championships and five awards given to the best coach—in the Euroleague and the Italian League—on his mantle.
If Kobe still wants to achieve success at success, Messina is his man. Plus, there's the Italian connection.
Con: Are the Lakers going to become the first franchise to hire a European coach?
Either Messina or David Blatt is soon going to become the pioneer, but it'll likely be a tough transition. The style distinction between European leagues and the NBA, as well as the talent gap, is rather significant, and that could mean a big adjustment period when Messina finally does make the jump across the pond.
Is the timing right with Kobe gearing up to play his final two seasons and desperately searching for one more championship?
Pro: Few coaches on the open market have more experience with the Lakers than Kurt Rambis.
Not only did he spend a massive chunk of his playing career wearing a purple and gold jersey, but he also served as an assistant coach with the franchise from 1994-99, 2001-04 and this past season. He was a head coach with the team for one year, but that season saw him take over midway through the year for Del Harris and Bill Bertka.
Rambis knows the incumbents. He knows those in the front office. He's intimately familiar with this franchise, which gives him an immediate leg up over other candidates.
Con: Excluding that one season with the Lakers when he served as a head coach, Rambis has only been the man in charge for two campaigns with the Minnesota Timberwolves. And in those two years, he could only steer his team to a combined 32 wins.
As Zach Harper wrote for ESPN back in 2011, shortly after Rambis finished his final season with Minnesota, he's only good when he has a good team:
Rambis was not a very good coach over the past two years. His teams were inefficient offensively and abhorrent defensively. Last season, it seemed that he was one of the worst fourth-quarter coaches in the entire league because of how the Wolves seemed to kick away leads. (Yes, they actually had fourth-quarter leads.) But I’m not so sure he was as bad as his 32-132 record would suggest.
Rambis is not a good coach when he’s given a bad team. That’s been proved.
Problem is, much as the Lakers don't want to admit it, they might not have a good team.