Luke Walton told media at the press conference officially introducing him as the 26th coach in Los Angeles Lakers franchise history that he planned to have his entire coaching staff assembled before the team kicks off Las Vegas Summer League on July 8th against the New Orleans Pelicans. If he hopes to do so, he has a lot of work to do over the next few weeks.
Walton appears to already have Brian Shaw and Jesse Mermuys essentially locked in to join his bench, but in the wake of the Cleveland Cavaliers' NBA Finals victory, a surprising name emerged as another possible candidate.
Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson announced his retirement from the NBA during the postgame euphoria, and one report painted him as a name Walton might want to add. According to Jefferson during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, his addition to Walton's bench is not exactly a done deal:
Richard Jefferson told @dpshow he asked Luke Walton about job. "He said if you retire, you're an idiot and I can't have idiots on my staff."— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) June 22, 2016
Well then. You tell 'em, Luke.
Later, at the Cavs victory parade, their unexpected hero appeared like he might be reconsidering putting away his sneakers for good:
Richard Jefferson might've just unretire: "If you guys want me to play one more year, I'll play one more year." pic.twitter.com/SKtKFZnpAs— Hayden Grove (@H_Grove) June 22, 2016
With the salary cap rising to approximately infinity dollars this summer, Jefferson may have seen cash emojis in his eyes at levels that aren't available in the assistant coaching ranks.
Another former player who certainly knows a little bit about making a lot of money, but that seems certain to stay retired is Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. The man known as "the Black Mamba" would certainly have a ton of wisdom to offer the Lakers' young core on the bench, but count Walton as skeptical Kobe is going to come work for him. Even if he thinks it sounds like a fun idea:
Coach Kobe doesn't sound likely to be showing up for duty with the Lakers' anytime soon, and it doesn't sound like Jefferson will either, but with the promising additions Walton has made so far, there are still reasons for optimism about the names that will fill out the rest of his staff.
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