The Lakers insist they are in no rush to fill their vacant coaching position. And the list of potential suitors continues to grow.
Among the latest on the Lakers’ list are Kentucky’s John Calipari and UConn’s Kevin Ollie, fresh off a national title, and the team plans to talk with both, according to an ESPN report.
Calipari was quick to respond on Twitter, saying "I’m totally committed to helping this group of young men reach their dreams. I wouldn’t & couldn’t leave this group!" Hours later he announced hiring Barry "Slice" Rohrssen as an assistant coach.
ESPN’s sources say the Lakers also plan to reach out to the Chicago Bulls for permission to interview coach Tom Thibodeau, and that they’ll talk to Mike Dunleavy, who coached the team from 1990 to ’92. They’re also expected to consider former Lakers Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis and Derek Fisher, a Kobe Bryant favorite.
But they reportedly don’t plan to pursue another of Bryant’s favorite’s, Mike Krzyzewski, after the Duke coach turned them down several years ago.
However, Bryant is expected to be consulted in the coaching search.
The Lakers’ biggest needs are keeping focus on the upcoming draft and free-agency period and, according to the report, to "hold back [on the coaching front] until they get a better sense of the marketplace."
And, according to the report, the Lakers might forgo hiring a big-name coach this offseason on the chance that a potential free agent targeted by the team next year, such as Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, would lean toward the Lakers if helping to choose the coach were an option.