Magic Johnson Believes Lakers Should Hire Ex-Player As Next Head Coach
Magic Johnson, Lakers
Andrew D. Bernstein-NBAE via Getty Images

The head coaching search for the Los Angeles Lakers continues to move on as no one knows quite where the team will land. Darvin Ham, Kenny Atkinson and Terry Stotts are the three reported finalists, but apparently there are still others in consideration.

Everyone has their opinions on which way the Lakers should lean in their decision and Lakers legend Magic Johnson is no different. While the Hall of Famer doesn’t have a name in mind, he does see the way things are going in the NBA and has his idea of what is most important for whomever the Lakers choose.

In an interview with David Aldridge of The Athletic, Johnson noted that the league seems to be trending towards former players as head coaches but made it clear that the Lakers next head coach absolutely has to hold the team accountable:

“I think that, to me, they’re showing you, right now. Probably besides Erik Spoelstra, all the other three that’s in the final four are ex-players. So, I think that says a lot about these young ex-players who command respect right away, who have done it before. I’m not saying it has to be an ex-player, but I’m saying you have to look at what’s going on. Most of the guys who are in the playoffs. But the most important thing to me is accountability. They must hold everybody, one through 15, accountable. And we got away from accountability. Guys never talked about that this season. It was always somebody else’s fault. I hated that. Never, ‘Hey, I played bad. Hey, It’s on me.’ So whether it’s an ex-player or not, but the trend is ex-players. But if not, I want a coach that’s going to hold everybody accountable. And, so, that’s what I would like to see.”

There is certainly a case to be made that the former players are thriving as coaches right now. As Magic noted, Jason Kidd, Steve Kerr and Ime Udoka are all former NBA players in the Conference Finals as coaches, not to mention the likes of Doc Rivers, Tyronn Lue, Willie Green and this season’s Coach of the Year, Monty Williams all doing well.

Under that logic, it would seem as if Ham would be the ideal choice of the mentioned finalists for the Lakers’ job. That very well could be the case, but Magic’s point about accountability also holds true as well. The next Lakers head coach must command respect from his players and hold them accountable for their performance on the court.

There are a lot of factors that will go into the Lakers’ decision, but Johnson undoubtedly brings up good points as to what the Lakers need in their next head coach.

Johnson believes the right coach can make Westbrook work on Lakers

Another big part of the job for whoever the Lakers hire as head coach is figuring out how to work Russell Westbrook back in the fold. While there is a chance he is dealt, it remains possible that Westbrook is back on the Lakers next season and Johnson believes the right coach can make it work.

Magic noted that the coach must really take the time to sit down and figure out how to make Westbrook comfortable and put last season in the past to make the upcoming season as good as it can possibly be.

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