LeBron James’ Top Choice for Lakers Head Coach Revealed: Report

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

When rumors began to surface regarding the Los Angeles Lakers‘ top three coaching choices, everybody began to weigh in with their favorite to take the job.

Fans and media both took to social media to share who they believed was the best possible candidate to help place the Lakers back atop of the Western Conference, but the team’s star players remained silent – at least in the public eye.

However, according to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, LeBron James does have a coaching preference out of the remaining candidates, with Darvin Ham getting his seal of approval.

“He’s the guy LeBron wants,” A source told Bleacher Report and Pincus.

While both Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson have sizeable coaching resumes from other stops around the NBA, Ham comes as somewhat of an unknown, having been an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks for the last four seasons, and was with the Atlanta Hawks for five years before that.

Still, a quick glance over to the Eastern Conference, and you can see how the Boston Celtics are reaping the rewards for giving a highly rated assistant coach a chance to lead his own team – something which won’t be lost on either LeBron or the Lakers front office.

Mark Jackson no Longer in The Running

Since Frank Vogel’s firing at the end of the season, Mark Jackson has looked like the most likely candidate to be handed the reigns in Tinseltown. But now it would seem that Jackson is out of the running for the Lakers coaching job, despite rumors that LeBron was hoping the former Golden State Warriors head coach would join the team.

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“It’s only Lakers officials — none of whom are named LeBron James. While it’s known that James would have been enthused by the prospect of Mark Jackson getting the nod here, that obviously won’t be the case,” Shams Charania and Sam Amick wrote in a recent article for The Athletic.

Luckily, it appears that LeBron is keeping an open mind on any potential coaching addition, and for a potential first-time head coach like Ham, having the backing of the team’s biggest star is already a major feather in his cap.

Westbrook’s Future Next on the List

Once a new head coach is in the hot seat, the Lakers front office can begin turning their attention toward the current roster construction. Of course, the biggest question surrounding their current rotation is the future of Russell Westbrook, which has been up in the air since mid-way through the season.

The new head coach will probably have a say when it comes to Westbrook’s future with the team. Still, there’s no guarantee that the star guard would want to remain in Los Angeles following a testy relationship with the fanbase or the front office’s lack of commitment towards him since Vogel’s exit.

Luckily, Westbrook isn’t an in-demand commodity, largely due to the enormous player option he holds. But, if the new head coach wants to keep the All-Star around, and convince him things will be different in the upcoming season, then it’s likely we only see some smaller moves around the fringes rather than the blockbuster trade we’ve all been expecting.

So, it looks like Westbrook will remain in limbo for a little while longer as the front office continues to work diligently on their next coaching hire. Only then will we begin to get a feel for how the Lakers will navigate the off-season and rebuild their aging roster.


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