No end in sight for Lakers’ ongoing coaching search

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak says the team still has candidates to interview for the head coaching vacancy.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — As the Lakers hosted players for their first two sessions of pre-draft workouts, general manager Mitch Kupchak was focused on just that.

The ongoing coaching search within the organization is still in progress, but not totally at the forefront of Kupchak’s mind.

"The coaching search is ongoing," Kupchak said following pre-draft workouts at the team facility Wednesday. "As you’ve read, we’ve interviewed several candidates. We’ll interview more. Other than that there’s really nothing to add."

Former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, Current Clippers assistant Alvin Gentry, Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis, veteran NBA head coach George Karl, former coach Mike Dunleavy and former Lakers guard Byron Scott are among those reported to have interviewed for the current Lakers vacancy.

Scott has gone on record saying he is the "perfect guy" for the Lakers job, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be granted the opportunity to prove if he’s the best man or not.

Scott had previous stints as a head coach with the New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, and most recently with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Former Lakers James Worthy and Mychal Thompson have gone on record endorsing their former teammate to be the next head coach.

Endorsements for Scott have even extended into the hip-hopsphere with rapper Ice Cube, known to be a huge Lakers fan, chiming in for Scott as well. 

In the news earlier this week was current SMU head coach Larry Brown, who said he had no interest in the Lakers job according to a USA Today report.

With Kupchak acknowledging there are other candidates to be interviewed — one reportedly being former Laker Derek Fisher, who won five championships with the team — there are no guarantees the team will have a coach in place before they’re on the clock for the No. 7 pick of the upcoming draft June 26.

As for the draft, Kupchak doesn’t believe having a coach in place will affect how the team decides on the No. 7 pick one way or the other.

"It’s not that much of a factor," Kupchak said. "You can argue because we’ve only got four players on the roster we’re not really limited to looking at one position. We need help everywhere."