George Karl expects phone call from Lakers regarding coaching position

The Denver Nuggets fired coach George Karl last summer after a 57-win season.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The Lakers are looking for a new head coach to replace Mike D’Antoni, but the potential candidates seem to be saying more about the job than the team itself.

“Mitch Kupchak and I were roommates in college and Mitch has been a very good friend of mine for years,” former NBA coach George Karl said about the Lakers’ GM on Wednesday, via “Off the Dribble” with Jared Greenberg and Rick Fox on SiriusXM Radio.

“Have I talked to Mitch in the last couple of weeks? No I haven’t,” continued the former coach of the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.


Kupchak and Karl attended North Carolina together. Karl, 62, is presumed to be one of many names on the Lakers’ list.

Karl, named coach of the year after a 57-win season, was fired by the Nuggets last summer following a first-round loss to the Warriors.

The veteran coach said Wednesday that he’d like to “get back in the gym,” and that “Mitch will probably give me a phone conversation along the way.”

“I would love the opportunity to probably talk to people, when they think I’m a person they should be talking to,” Karl said of the Lakers’ opening, along with potential spots in New York, Golden State and Detroit.

In addition to Karl, other coaching possibilities could include Kevin Ollie, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Stan Van Gundy, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, Roy Williams, John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Mike Dunleavy, Billy Donovan, Lionel Hollins, Ettore Messina, Steve Kerr and even former Laker Derek Fisher.

Recently both Scott and Dunleavy expressed interest publicly in the position. Calipari, Ollie and Stan Van Gundy downplayed the possibility.

The Lakers have said very little on the subject since D’Antoni’s resignation April 30.

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