UPDATE (11:41 AM PST): The Lakers plan to reach out to the Chicago Bulls for permission to interview Tom Thibodeau according to ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin:
The Lakers plan to reach out to the Chicago Bulls for permission to interview Tom Thibodeau, a league source tells http://t.co/8DsJGhr2Pi
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 1, 2014
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers surprised most when the team announced that Mike D’Antoni has resigned as head coach. While there were conflicting reports on D’Antoni’s future, he wanted the team to pick up his fourth year option of his contract, but the Lakers declined to do so.
With the Lakers now looking for a new head coach and numerous options available, Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, and Steve Kerr have already expressed interested in the position. Having said that, many are curious to see who Kobe Bryant wants as the next Lakers head coach in the final two seasons of his career.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Bryant “will wish for” Chicago Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau and also admires Jeff Van Gundy, Ettore Messina, and Scott:
Bryant will wish for Tom Thibodeau to free himself from Chicago. He loves Jeff Van Gundy, and shares management’s affinity for Euro legend Ettore Messina, who spent a season on Mike Brown’s staff.
Bryant has long admired Byron Scott, but there’s a different ex-Lakers guard who could go much further to regenerate the franchise’s culture and hold the insight into getting the most out of Bryant’s final two seasons: Derek Fisher.
Although Bryant has been extremely complimentary of Thibodeau’s work ethic and passion for the game, the Bulls coach is still under contract. While Thibodeau might not be a realistic option right now, there are plenty of qualified coaches available including George Karl, Hollins, Messina, and the Van Gundy brothers.
With D’Antoni resigning, the Lakers face the most important off-season since 2003-04 and will start their coaching search immediately. While the team will prepare for the draft and free agency, Los Angeles will have to explore all possible options as they look to rebuild themselves into championship contenders once again.
BREAKING: Mike D’Antoni OUT, Resigns As Lakers Head Coach