It appears Boston Celtics legend Kevin Garnett isn’t a fan of whom the Los Angeles Lakers are considering to replace Frank Vogel as head coach. On May 23, Marc Stein reported that the Lakers have narrowed their coaching search to three finalists: Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson. Stein did note that it might be “a touch premature” to say the Lakers have truly settled on the three men as finalists.
Shortly following the report, Kevin Garnett took to Instagram to mock the Lakers for their choice of finalists, posting to his Instagram story, “Man are the lakers serious? They not serious about trying to better the situation with that list of coaches. FOH (f*** out of here). They serious? Nah they not serious! They serious.”
During his playing days, Garnett was known as one of the league’s biggest trash talkers. Since retiring from the NBA in 2016, though, he’s remained relatively quiet, refraining from criticizing organizations for their personnel decisions.
Lakers Reportedly Holding Out Hope For Doc Rivers
Stein also mentioned in his Substack column that the Lakers have not yet abandoned hope that Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers would become available to hire.
For that to happen, the Sixers would have to fire Rivers as their head coach, he would have to quit, or the Sixers and Lakers could do what the Boston Celtics did with Rivers in 2013: trade him to the Los Angeles Clippers for assets. Rivers’ name has been mentioned during the Lakers’ coaching search from the very beginning. Even though he’s employed by the Sixers, many who cover the Lakers believe Rivers is the man for the job.
In his column, Stein made it sound as though the Lakers would prefer Rivers as Vogel’s replacement. However, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey went on the record May 13 saying that Rivers will remain the team’s head coach. “I just think he’s a great coach,” Morey told reporters at his exit interview. “I love working with him.”
Something to keep in mind is that Morey had said in 2019 when he was the general manager of the Houston Rockets that guard Chris Paul wasn’t going anywhere after rumors surfaced that Paul and James Harden weren’t getting along. Less than a month later, Paul was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook.
Rivers Would Be 1st Coach to Lead Both Celtics and Lakers
In their historic rivalry, not many NBA personnel – whether it be players, coaches or executives – can claim ties to both the Celtics and the Lakers. But it has happened before.
Dennis Schroder is the latest player to have played for both franchises after crossing over from the Lakers to the Celtics via free agency in 2021. In so doing, he joins the likes of the following players who have also played for both of the storied franchises during their careers:
Celtics legend Bill Sharman also went on to coach the Lakers to a title in the 1971-72 season after retiring as a player in 1961. Tyronn Lue also played for the Lakers then went on to become an assistant coach for the Celtics back when Rivers was Boston’s head coach.
If Rivers winds up as the Lakers’ head coach sometime in the near future, he would be the first to be the head coach of both the Celtics and the Lakers. KC Jones and Frank Vogel have come close to that feat as coaches, but while they were the head coach for one of the two teams, they were only part of the coaching staff for the other.