Earlier this week we asked, and boy did you answer. Because in our poll of who Lakers fans would most like to see as the team’s next head coach, the resounding response was the likely unattainable Nick Nurse and... Mark Jackson.
Also receiving votes outside of those names on the graphic were Sixers head coach Doc Rivers (6%), former Wizards and Thunder head coach Scott Brooks (5%), and Utah Jazz assistant Alex Jensen (2%), all of whom have been linked to the Lakers job.
The only candidate on the list above who hasn’t been linked to the Lakers yet is Rajon Rondo, who has not even officially retired from playing. That said, I would absolutely, fully endorse the basketball savant to step right into the head chair if he does. I know my love of Playoff Rondo is in part a running bit, but honestly, with a good assistant coaching staff, I could see him being exactly the type of leader the team is looking for. He’s also the kind of tape junkie who studies the league closely enough to look, on paper, like a really promising candidate for a bench whenever he does retire. And he’s said in the past that he has an interest in working the sidelines or in a front office, someday.
As far as the top vote-getters above, though, Nurse may be unrealistic, because — despite being both a Phil Jackson disciple and Klutch Sports client, seemingly making him destined to reunite Team Rambii and Team LeBron — he is unlikely to be fired by the Raptors, and it remains to be seen if the Lakers would be willing to trade draft picks for him.
On the Jackson front, I still see it as unlikely the Lakers hire him for a variety of reasons, and the only link he’s gotten to the process so far is that LeBron James would give a thumbs up to his hire. Until it’s reported that the team has interest, we can flag him as unlikely for now. That said, I’d be curious to know in the comments why any of you are interested, if you voted for him.
Further down the list, Snyder’s Jazz appear likely to get embarrassed by the Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks, so he may be more attainable than it appeared a week or so ago. Ham’s Bucks are in trouble given their injuries and how well the Bulls are playing, so it’s also at least possible the well-regarded former Lakers assistant is available to be interviewed sooner than we thought, and might be more amenable to leaving.
Rivers’ Sixers are rolling against Nurse’s Raptors, so it would be a while before he’d even potentially be available (and he's said he’s not interested anyway), while Brooks and Jensen — who have been linked to the gig — don’t seem to have captured much fan interest, but are either already available to be interviewed (Brooks is an assistant for the Blazers) or soon will be (Jensen is with the Jazz).
Several of the names above — and others linked to the Lakers — are also set to be interviewed by the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings are interviewing a few names that have been linked to the Lakers, including:— Silver Screen and Roll (@LakersSBN) April 22, 2022
-Mark Jackson https://t.co/jFiBf3I4r7
The Hornets, who fired James Borrego on Friday, will also be competing with both of these teams for a head coach.
Now that we have these poll results, though, let’s talk about all these candidates all at once. Are you surprised by the voting? If I’m being honest, I’m floored Jackson is ranked so high by those who participated.
But should anyone be getting more love that we haven’t discussed? Would you prefer Coach Shaq? Let’s talk about all that and more in the comments below.