The search for the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers is officially underway. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers have been granted permission to speak to Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams for the vacant heading coaching position.
Here’s the full breakdown from Woj:
In this circumstance, it is likely to start with a phone conversation and/or Lakers officials flying to meet with Williams. He wouldn’t be traveling to Los Angeles in the middle of a playoff series. https://t.co/8figZGuxT6— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 13, 2019
Earlier this week, Wojnarowski reported that Williams would be one of the names to get serious consideration from the Lakers and it certainly seems like that’s the case. But how does Williams fit the situation in Los Angeles?
Williams is well-versed in dealing with a team full of All-Star players thanks to his experience as an assistant coach with Team USA Basketball and, most recently, the Sixers, whose roster features names like Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid. The Lakers will be looking to team James up with a star or two this summer, so his experience and temperament works in his favor.
However, it’s not just star players that Williams can get through to. Williams also knows how to communicate with the guys on the lower end of the pecking order, having been a rotation player himself during his 11-year career. As a leader, he’s second-to-none.
The real question is whether or not Williams can lead the Lakers back to relevancy. While Williams is a seasoned coach with 12 years of experience under his belt, he hasn’t necessarily been a successful one. During his five years in New Orleans, Williams finished with a winning record just once and finished with an overall record of 173-221.
Does his voice hold weight in an NBA locker room? Absolutely, but can he make a playoff contender into a championship contender? That’s still up for debate, and that could keep him from being the lone favorite for the job.