With the Los Angeles Lakers set to introduce head coach Frank Vogel on May 20, new details are emerging about the team’s month-long coaching search.
After firing head coach Luke Walton, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams quickly emerged and remained the frontrunners. As Williams became the Phoenix Suns head coach, it paved the way for Lue to be reunited with LeBron James in Los Angeles.
Despite Lue celebrating his 42nd birthday with a Lakers-themed cake, he eventually ended contract negotiations with them.
While there are conflicting reports, Lue reportedly ‘disagreed’ on adding former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd to his coaching staff for the 2019-20 NBA season, according to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times:
According to a person close to the Lakers management, through the negotiation process the Lakers developed concerns about Lue’s fit with the organization. Part of those concerns stemmed from Lue’s disagreement with the Lakers about who would be on his staff. While they agreed on Vogel, they disagreed on Jason Kidd, whom the Lakers insisted he include. They also balked at Lue’s counter to the three-year deal the offered.
And as previously reported, Lue was only offered a three-year, $18 million deal instead of the standard five years, according to Ganguli:
According to people close to Lue, the former Cavaliers coach felt put off by the process as a whole, and even more so by the Lakers’ three-year, $18-million offer. Walton received a five-year deal from the Lakers back in 2016 and Williams received a five-year deal from the Suns. Lue felt he deserved at least that many years and more money given that he was not a first-time head coach and had won a championship as a coach.
As Vogel was initially viewed as a potential candidate to become Lue’s lead assistant coach, he was the first to be interviewed after the Lakers restarted their coaching search. The two sides were able to quickly come to an agreement since Vogel accepted the team’s terms of a three-year deal and adding Kidd to his coaching staff.
Throughout the team’s coaching search, the one constant was strangely Kidd. As the 46-year-old surprisingly interviewed to replace Walton, the Lakers not only wanting to choose the new head coach’s staff but insisting that Kidd be a part of it is interesting, to say the least.
Along with Kidd’s off-the-court past, he does have a history of angling for a team’s head coaching job. If the Lakers do not start off Year 2 with LeBron James winning games, there will be a lot of speculation regarding Kidd and Vogel.