Lakers coach: Are John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Kevin Ollie a fit?
After two challenging seasons, Mike D’Antoni has stepped down as coach of the Lakers.
The Lakers, coming off their worst season (27-55) since moving to Los Angeles in 1960, said they will begin their coaching search immediately. What kind of coach they pick might depend on their luck in the NBA draft lottery on May 20.
Here’s a quick look at some possible coaching candidates, starting from the college ranks.
• John Calipari. Current job: University of Kentucky. NCAA record: 548-171, one title. NBA record: New Jersey Nets (72-112). Calipari was fired by the Nets in his third season, but his success at Memphis and Kentucky — including the Wildcats’ title in 2012 with Anthony Davis — keep his name in the NBA coaching rumor mill.
• Billy Donovan. Current job: University of Florida. NCAA record: 486-189, two titles. After winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007 with Florida, Donovan signed a contract to guide the Orlando Magic — but backed out of the deal before coaching a game, returning to the Gators.
• Mike Krzyzewski. Current job: Duke University. NCAA record: 983-306, four titles. The Lakers have previously pursued “Coach K,” and may again. Krzyzewski coached Kobe Bryant and the U.S. team to the gold medal in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
• Kevin Ollie. Current coaching job: University of Connecticut. NCAA record: 52-18, one title. It took just two seasons for Ollie to win the NCAA tournament, knocking out Kentucky in April. In addition to being a strong communicator, Ollie has a solid relationship with Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant — a possible free-agent target for the Lakers down the road.
A number of former NBA coaches are out of work and may be hearing from the Lakers. That list includes:
• Lionel Hollins. Last coaching position: Memphis Grizzlies, 2012-13 (56-26). NBA record: 214-201. Hollins has a better reputation than D’Antoni as a defensive-minded coach, although the Grizzlies didn’t him back last summer despite a run to the Western Conference finals. Memphis promoted assistant Dave Joerger to the top job.
• George Karl. Last coaching position: Denver Nuggets, 2012-13 (57-25). NBA record: 1,131-756. Karl took the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1996 NBA Finals but has otherwise had limited postseason success. A former North Carolina point guard, Karl has a strong relationship with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, a fellow Tar Heel.
• Byron Scott. Last position: Cleveland Cavaliers, 2012-13 (24-58). NBA record: 416-521. If the Lakers want to keep it in the family, they can look to a guy who won three titles during the Lakers’ Showtime era (1985, 1987 and 1988). He also mentored rookie teammate Kobe Bryant back in 1996-97.
• Jeff Van Gundy. Last coaching position: Houston Rockets, 2006-07 (52-30). NBA record: 430-318. Van Gundy has been a color commentator for ESPN, ABC and TNT, but his name is usually mentioned when an NBA coaching job opens up.
• Stan Van Gundy. Last coaching position: Orlando Magic, 2011-12 (37-29). NBA record: 371-208. The Lakers defeated Dwight Howard, Van Gundy and the Magic in 2009 to win their 15th NBA title. Stan is the older brother of Jeff Van Gundy.
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