Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers typically can’t agree on a lot but all of them agree that this season has been a disaster. The team was among the favorites to win the championship this year but won’t even be making the playoffs. The most obvious fall guy for this season will be head coach Frank Vogel. To the surprise of no one, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer recently reported that it’s likely that Vogel will be fired once the season ends.
Fischer also named some possible replacements, which included current Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers. He won a championship in 2008 with the Boston Celtics but hasn’t done much since. The 76ers could look to make a change if they have a disappointing playoff run. That would leave Rivers as a real option for the Lakers.
However, almost nobody is buying that he would be the right coach to hire. Lakers fans came out in droves to warn the team against hiring the coach.
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Why Rivers Would Be a Bad Choice
Fans might be unfairly piling on Rivers. He’s far from the worst coach in the NBA and has an impressive 992-704 record in his career. However, the Lakers hiring him would be a major mistake for a number of reasons. First of all, if he gets fired by the 76ers, that would be the second time he’s gotten fired in three years. Why should the Lakers believe that he’s the right guy when he can’t even win with stacked 76ers or Clippers teams?
Rivers is a very good regular season coach. He hasn’t led a team to a losing record in over 15 years. The problem is when he gets to the playoffs. He’s the only coach in NBA history to blow a 3-1 lead in three different playoffs series. He hasn’t even been to a Conference Finals since 2012. The Lakers don’t care about the regular season. The team has 17 championships, which is tied for the most in league history. Regular season wins and losses don’t matter at the end of the year if they bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Rivers hasn’t proven that he can step his game up in the playoffs and that should scare the Lakers off of him.
Rivers Might Not Even Get Fired
It’s far too early to count out the 76ers. They could certainly go on a run that ends with a championship. If that happens, Rivers isn’t going anywhere. Philadelphia hasn’t been playing up to expectations since the James Harden trade but they still have one of the strongest rosters in the Eastern Conference. If Rivers can’t win a few playoffs series with this roster, he shouldn’t be a head coach in the NBA.
That said, the Lakers won’t exactly have great options. The franchise has had a terrible time finding a long-term replacement for Phil Jackson. Quin Snyder is another popular name linked to the team but he hasn’t done much in the playoffs with the Utah Jazz. There’s no perfect candidate out there so the bulk of the focus needs to be on fixing this disaster of a roster.