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The Lakers are still ‘hopeful’ about 76ers’ Doc Rivers for coaching job

Being one of the most storied franchises in the league, it’s clear the Lakers want a talented coach at the reigns, but can they actually get their man?

Paul Rudder
The Lakers are still ‘hopeful’ about 76ers’ Doc Rivers for coaching job
Tim NwachukwuAFP

As the search for a new coach continues in LA, there is a new name that has been added to the list of potential candidates and it might just surprise you.

The Lakers are interested in 76ers’ Doc Rivers

It’s been more than a month since former Lakers coach Frank Vogel was dismissed. Since that time the Lakers have seemingly gone up, down and all around in their hunt for a replacement, but still the post remains vacant. There have of course been reports that suggest that the franchise has narrowed the list down to three primary candidates: Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson. It is now understood, however, that the scope may be wider than first thought as there have also been indications that assistant coaches Charles Lee and Adrian Griffin could once again be up for consideration. Indeed, most recently we even saw an interest expressed in Michigan’s Juwan Howard who appears to have rejected the idea.

There is, however, now a new name - sort of - that has come to the fore and it’s Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers. Though they were previously indications that the Lakers were interested in Rivers, which in turn were further fueled by the 76ers early exit from the playoffs, placing pressure on Rivers and bringing up the question as to whether he would stay, those ideas were dealt a blow when 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey recently endorsed the idea of Rivers staying on. ”I just think he’s a great coach. I love working with him,” Morey said of Rivers. “I feel like I’m learning from him. I think Elton [Brand] and I and him make a great team and we’re going to see where this journey takes us. But we feel very good about where it’s going to take us. It’s going to be where we have a very good chance to win a title.” With that said it now appears that the Lakers “have not completely abandoned hope.” Is there something we’re missing here? Watch this space.

Would Doc Rivers be a good fit for the Lakers?

There are a handful of reasons why a move for Rivers makes sense. Firstly, he’s got championship pedigree. Having guided the Celtics to a title in 2008, Rivers knows all to well what it takes to grind through a season and then make a push in the post season game by game until the job is done. Incidentally, that 2008 championship came at the expense of the Lakers themselves. Then there is the fact that he’s previously coached in Los Angeles with the Clippers who he was with for seven seasons between 2013 and 2020, which is to say he knows the lay of the land. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly is the respect he commands. A veteran coach like Rivers would almost certainly be able to manage the variety of egos that are sure to be present in a high profile locker room like the one that LA has.

Who will the Lakers choose as their new coach?

This of course is all speculation. For the moment Rivers remains the head coach of the 76ers and it would appear that both him and the franchise are happy with that scenario. For the Lakers to get their man it would likely require some serious Draft compensation to say the least before we even get to the financial cost itself. Indeed, as we approach the two month mark of their search for a coach, the reality of their situation is becoming more black and white. To be clear there are no top tier coaches set to hit the market in the near future, so unless the Lakers are about to do something drastic it would appear that they are going to have to go with one of the coaches that they have already met with.