After parting ways with former head coach Luke Walton, the Los Angeles Lakers embarked on a rocky coaching search that ended with former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel agreeing to a three-year deal.
Vogel was not the team’s first option as they were linked to former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue for weeks due to his connection with LeBron James.
However, for Lue, it came down to the Lakers not willing to offer him a five-year deal so the two sides decided to go their separate ways.
One other disagreement that Lue and the Lakers had was the team’s desire to put former Milwaukee Bucks Jason Kidd on his coaching staff. It was rumored that Lue had other names in mind for his potential staff with one of them being former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Thibodeau recently spoke on that report for the first time, saying that he really had no desire to be an assistant coach for the Lakers under Lue, according to Zach Gelb of CBS Sports:
“Probably not,” Thibodeau said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I’ve known Ty for a long time. I coached him in Houston, and when he first got into coaching, we were in Boston together so I consider him a really good friend. But I still have some time on my contract. I’ll be patient and just wait for the right opportunity to come along.”
While Thibodeau wasn’t willing to take the job, he did realize that it could have been an opportunity to learn some things:
“I think you’re always looking to learn and grow,” Thibodeau said. “You never want to stay the same. You want to study the trends of the game. You want to study who the players are, how you motivate them, how you communicate with them – those types of things. There’s all different personalities in terms of coaching, so I think the most important thing is you have to be yourself, you have to stay true to yourself, and you have to have the things you believe in.”
The Lakers have not announced who will be on Vogel’s staff, but Kidd and former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins are expected to be a part of it.
Building a strong coaching staff has been a priority of the Lakers throughout this process after Walton was unwilling to bolster his during his three seasons.
While Thibodeau would have been a great addition to Lue’s staff as a defensive specialist, Vogel already has the reputation of being a defense-first head coach, so he would have been a bit unnecessary under Vogel considering the price tag he would have likely demanded.