Nearly a month after Mike D’Antoni stepped down as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, the search for his replacement is picking up steam.
So far, the Lakers have met with Mike Dunleavy, Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis, Alvin Gentry and Lionel Hollins, according to Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner for the Los Angeles Times.
More meetings will take place over the coming days and weeks, with Lakers executives Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss running point and team governor Jeanie Buss adding input. Once the field has been narrowed and refined, a recommendation will be presented to the other four Buss siblings—Joey, Jesse, Johnny Bus and Janie Buss Drexel.
The team is casting an unusually wide net this time around—mindful of finding a coach who will maximize the effectiveness of aging superstar Kobe Bryant as he heads into a two-year contract extension that will likely wrap up his career.
According to Bresnahan in a separate Times article earlier this month, Kupchak emphasized Bryant’s importance during a conference call with reporters:
We have a player on our team right now who's proven in this league offensively who can score. That certainly is a consideration. We have to make sure that whoever we hire as a coach can really get the most productivity out of him, whether it's scoring the ball or playmaking or the threat that he may score. That's probably of primary importance right now.
From prospective new coaching faces to grizzled pros, the Hollywood screen tests have begun.