Michael Wilbon: Doc Rivers Has Been Told LeBron James Doesn't Want to Be Coached

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 19, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Phoenix. The Suns defeated the Lakers 118-109.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The hits keep coming for LeBron James as he nears the end of a disappointing first season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

During Tuesday's episode of Pardon The Interruption, Michael Wilbon addressed the rumors about Doc Rivers potentially taking over as Lakers head coach next season:

"There are people in southern California right now in that environment telling Doc he doesn't wanna do this. And one of those reasons is simply, LeBron James. He's been told by people—and I know this—LeBron doesn't want to be coached. He's never been coached by someone with that kind of personality, command, authority, acumen, intellect. He's rejected that. So Doc is being reminded of that by people."

NBA reporter Peter Vecsey wrote Monday on his Patreon (h/t The Big Lead's Ryan Phillips) that Rivers "always has wanted" to coach the Lakers or New York Knicks at some point before he retires. 

During the March 5 episode of ESPN's First Take, Stephen A. Smith said Rivers could be among the list of potential head-coaching candidates the Lakers pursue this summer. 

Luke Walton is currently the Lakers head coach, but it's expected he won't last long after this season ends. 

ESPN's Jackie MacMullan reported on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast in January (CBS Sports' Chris Bengel) that James' camp would prefer the Lakers make a coaching change.

James has earned a reputation over the course of his career as a "coach killer" because of his apparent influence on every team he's played for. The four-time NBA MVP has played for seven different coaches in his 16 seasons. 

Mike Brown and Erik Spoelstra are the only coaches James has played for who lasted at least three full seasons. 

The Lakers will enter this summer trying to improve a roster around James that has led them to a 31-39 record with 12 games left to play. 


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