NBA Rumors: Steve Kerr, Kevin Ollie Among Potential Lakers Coaching Targets

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Kevin Ollie

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The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to begin a new chapter in 2014-15, and that will include finding a new coach.

With Mike D’Antoni officially out, a number of head coaching targets have been mentioned as possible replacements.

Steve Kerr, who is reportedly close to accepting the same position with the New York Knicks, may have another coaching opportunity to consider, according to CBS Sports. In addition, the report names Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, a candidate for the Minnesota Timberwolves, as well as the Golden State Warriors’ Mark Jackson and the Indiana Pacers’ Frank Vogel, if their respective organizations cut ties with them after the first round of the playoffs.

The Lakers could choose an alum to run the show. Bryan Scott is a potential candidate, according to Pro Basketball Talk. Scott is a former Laker that coached the then-New Jersey Nets to two NBA Finals. Since, though, he has had less-than-stellar stints with the New Orleans Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The report also names former coaches Lionel Hollins, Jeff Van Gundy, and George Karl as potential targets.

Hollins last ran the show for the Memphis Grizzlies, leading them to a Western Conference Finals appearance before receiving the axe. He’s a fit because unlike D’Antoni, he’s an old-school sort of guy.

Van Gundy’s name notoriously surfaces when a major coaching job opens up, though time and time again he has opted to remain in the broadcasting booth. Pro Basketball Talks points out Van Gundy would likely want to handpick his own personnel guy, while Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss may want to reserve that power.

Karl has also been linked to the Timberwolves’ coaching vacancy, as well as the Cavs’ general manager position. Like Van Gundy, Karl would want to do things his way, which may not mesh well with management.

Then there’s the two high-profile college coaches: Kentucky’s John Calipari and Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie.

Calipari’s name popped up soon after the Wildcats’ loss to UConn in the national title game, but he’s since denied interest in moving to the NBA.

Ollie boasts experience as an NBA player and impressed the league by coaching the underdog Huskies all the way to a championship. Ollie hails from Los Angeles and could get strong references from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden from his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Two more names to monitor in the process is Euro legend Ettore Messina and Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue.

Messina has been mentioned as a fit for the Timberwolves, and like Scott, Lue is a former Laker and is viewed as an up-and-coming coach.

And of course, the next coach will likely have to gain the approval of Kobe Bryant

Per CBS Sports:

The final piece — and perhaps the most important one — is what Bryant wants. Though he is nearing the end of a Hall of Fame career, Bryant’s two-year, $48.5 million extension and his career-long service to the Lakers gives him unmistakable clout in the organization.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.