The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot to figure out this offseason, but at the top of their list is finding a new head coach to replace Frank Vogel.
The Lakers are in the thick of their search, reportedly expecting to interview 8-10 candidates before putting together a list of finalists. They are not in any rush to make a hire as Rob Pelinka put a deadline of the NBA Draft on June 23 to have Vogel’s successor in place.
L.A. is already known to have interviewed four candidates in Mark Jackson, Terry Stotts, Darvin Ham and Adrian Griffin. They also have reported interest in Doc Rivers and Quin Snyder, although both are currently employed by other teams.
No one has emerged as a true front runner yet, and now another name can be thrown into the mix as they reportedly received permission to interview Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
ESPN Sources: The Los Angeles Lakers have received permission to interview Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson for the franchise’s head coaching job. Atkinson has already interviewed for the Charlotte Hornets’ job.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 12, 2022
Atkinson fits the mold of what the Lakers are believed to be looking for as a candidate with previous head coaching experience.
The 54-year-old’s NBA coaching career began in 2008 as an assistant with the New York Knicks (2008-12) before moving on to the Atlanta Hawks (2012-16).
He got his first head coaching opportunity with the Brooklyn Nets in 2016, where he went 118-190 in four seasons coaching them through their rebuilding process. Before Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could get healthy to play together though, the Nets opted to part ways with Atkinson in favor of Steve Nash.
Atkinson then went back to being an assistant, first for Ty Lue on the Los Angeles Clippers last season and now currently with Steve Kerr on the Warriors.
Kings hire Mike Brown
One of the other teams looking for a new coach this offseason was the Sacramento Kings. They conducted their search much quicker than the Lakers though and have already hired another one of Kerr’s assistants on the Warriors in Mike Brown.
Jackson was one of the other finalists for the Kings job, so if the ESPN analyst wants to get back into coaching, it likely would have to be L.A. to hire him.
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