Lakers Rumors: Juwan Howard Declined Opportunity To Interview For Heading Coaching Job
Juwan Howard, Lakers
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are finally in the home stretch of their head coaching search as they have reportedly narrowed the list down to Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson.

The Lakers met with several candidates over the past month, but Ham, Stotts and Atkinson making the final cut should come as no surprise considering their strengths as coaches. The three are set to interview with the team’s brass in person this week, which means a decision should come shortly after. With the 2022 NBA Draft coming up, it would be reasonable to expect them to have someone in place before then.

Los Angeles was connected to numerous names before their process officially began, with some candidates who made a lot of sense on paper. Juwan Howard was a popular name but it seems he took himself out of the running before things got serious, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Howard has several connections to figures in the Lakers organization and this is not the first time his name has been brought up in hiring cycles:

L.A. and Pelinka’s interest in Howard dates back to 2019 when he interviewed for the job and impressed the team. The Lakers eventually hired Frank Vogel, who led them to a title in 2020, though it seems they did not forget about Howard.

Even though Howard was never an option, it is good to hear the organization cast a wide net in its search as this is a pivotal decision they need to make. After a terrible 2021-22 season, it would be good to see the Purple and Gold head into the draft and free agency with some positive momentum with a good hire.

LeBron James wants Darvin Ham as head coach

Any head coach coming to the L.A. will need to get buy-in from LeBron James as he is going to be the focal point of the team once again. In years past, we have seen James gravitate toward coaches with NBA playing experience, so it makes sense why reports have pegged Ham as his preferred choice for the gig.

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