The Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of quite possibly the weirdest offseason in recent memory, which to this point have included: an abrupt resignation by the president of basketball operations, no replacement for said president, a head coaching search involving a couple Rambii, and now the candidate that search finished on has moved on from consideration for the job, leaving the organization still looking for a coach.
It should therefore shock literally no one that LeBron James wants nothing to do with the amateur hour that has continued since the season ended, as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic:
“James made it clear throughout the Lakers’ coaching search that he wants the franchise to make its hire irrespective of his involvement, league sources told The Athletic. When the Lakers approached James to potentially speak to Williams, James informed the front office that he trusts their judgment and did not want to be involved in that part of the process, according to league sources.”
According to anyone who has spent time around James, this is kind of how he operates — through passive aggression. He obviously has his preferences and keeps notes throughout his various stops, but ultimately utilizes a hands-free approach so as to keep those hands clean should things not end well.
Charania continued, describing the levels of trust James has with the team:
James’ decision to allow the Lakers to make their coaching hire without his direct input is meant to entrust the organization — but comes with accountability. By all accounts, James remains committed to the Lakers’ cause and the push to return to prominence in L.A. The Lakers are expected to pursue the top free agents once again this offseason and this decision, among others, is likely to have a significant impact on their appeal.
Now, it’s fair to wonder whether James’ trust might run out seeing as the coaching candidate he reportedly preferred has walked away from the negotiation table after having been lowballed and asked to employ Jason Kidd as an assistant coach.
There was also that weird-pseudo report from Dave McMenamin of ESPN about the lack of trust that was brewing. McMenamin walked some of that back and said it was analysis, but it’s becoming painfully obvious such distrust may be earned, whether it exists or not. We’ll see if LeBron changes his mind to help them close the deal with their next list of candidates, a list that reportedly includes Lionel Hollins, Frank Vogel, Mike Woodson, Jason Kidd and Juwan Howard. Somehow that seems doubtful.