Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Head Coach Search

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Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Head Coach Search
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to search for a new head coach for the 2014-15 season, and the rumors are continuing to go around the NBA regarding potential candidates.

After the resignation of Mike D'Antoni less than a month ago, the Lakers have been patient with their head coaching search. However, because of their patience, they've lost out on potentially hiring names like Stan Van Gundy and Steve Kerr.

As their search continues, let's take a look at some of the latest rumors surrounding the vacant head coaching job for the Lakers.

 

Lakers Reportedly Interview Byron Scott

David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

It's been over a year since Byron Scott last coached, but the Lakers are reportedly in the process of interviewing the 53-year-old.

ESPN's Chris Broussard tweeted that the Lakers interviewed Scott for the head coaching position on May 20:

Scott talked about the open Lakers position on ESPNLA 710 Radio on Thursday, and he felt pretty confident about his fit with the team, saying:

I don't feel I'm a very arrogant guy, but I feel like I am the perfect guy for this job. I got a great relationship with Kobe. I know the team, know the roster. I watched them all season long and I just think it would be a great fit.

Obviously, if I get the job, the first conversation I have is with Kobe. We have to talk about the future of the Los Angeles Lakers. We have to also talk about which type of direction we'll be taking and also talk about the type of game that he's going to be playing because he's going to have to change his game a little bit, and I think he knows that.

During Scott's time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team won a total of just 64 games in three seasons, leading to his firing. However, he's led teams to success in previous years, taking the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals in two consecutive seasons in 2002 and 2003.

During his time with the New Orleans Hornets, Scott turned the team around. During his first season in New Orleans, the Hornets went just 18-64, but they improved over the years, going 56-26 during the 2007-08 season, with Scott being named the NBA Coach of the Year.

While there are a number of candidates in the mix, Scott stands out due to his history with the team. He played with the Lakers for the majority of his NBA career, winning three NBA titles with the team. That history with the team will make him a popular option for the fans, but he'll have to prove himself to the front office before the Lakers name him the new head coach.

 

Lionel Hollins Emerging As Potential Candidate

USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies fans were upset when Lionel Hollins was fired after leading the team to a 56-26 record during the 2012-13 season, but now the 60-year-old head coach has a shot at the Lakers job—and more.

According to Sam Amick from USA Today, Hollins is reportedly in the mix for either the Lakers or Cavaliers head coach jobs. Hollins has apparently become a hot commodity in the wake of the recent firings in Memphis, with Amick saying:

Hollins' much-improved candidacy comes after the Grizzlies' recent firings of CEO Jason Levien and assistant general manager Stu Lash. Levien spearheaded the decision to not re-sign Hollins and instead promote former Grizzlies assistant Dave Joerger last summer, and it was widely known that his ousting was largely a result of major philosophical differences between Hollins and the then-management team.

The timing of Hollins receiving significant interest from several teams, it's safe to say, is telling in terms of the way that situation is now being retroactively perceived around the league.

Hollins helped turn around a struggling Memphis team before being fired. He took over during the 2008-09 season when the Grizzlies went just 24-58, then helped lead the team all the way to the conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs in his final season.

That kind of improvement is hard to ignore. The Lakers will likely have some long talks with Hollins in the near future.

 

Derek Fisher Potentially Returning To Lakers As Coach

Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Right now, the 39-year-old Derek Fisher is more focused on helping the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, but the former Lakers point guard may be in the running for the Lakers job.

USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo Sports reported that Fisher is still a candidate for the vacant coaching position, but that the team would prefer someone with coaching experience. While it's unlikely, Fisher wouldn't be the first player to retire and instantly become a coach, as Jason Kidd was able to become the coach of the Brooklyn Nets last year right after retiring with the team.

During his time with the Thunder, Fisher has been a veteran leader and teammates have looked up to him. Kevin Durant spoke quite highly of Fisher as a potential head coach, according to Marc Berman from the New York Post, with this year's Most Valuable Player saying:

Without a doubt. He’s a smart guy, smart mind. He’s a great motivator, great speaker and can really relate to a lot of guys and demands that respect from everybody. He’s a great locker-room guy. I’m sure he’ll do a great job.

He's unique, one-of-a-kind. The only guy I ever played with who can address the team in a way as a leader. He's able to address the team more so than anybody I played with, and he backs it up on the court, too.

Like Scott, Fisher also has plenty of history with the team as a player. He helped the Lakers win five NBA titles in two different stints with the team that took him No. 24 overall in the 1996 NBA draft.

If the Thunder continue to stay alive in the playoffs, the Lakers may fill the coaching position before they have a chance to formally talk with Fisher. He's a long shot, but hiring Fisher would cause quite a stir around the association if it were to happen.

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