The Los Angeles Lakers have added another Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach to their list of candidates for their head coach opening as they have requested to interview Charles Lee, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The team also previously requested and was granted permission to interview Darvin Ham, also on the Bucks coaching staff.
Lee may be the less-heralded of the Bucks assistants between him and Ham but he has still had more than his fair share of interviews over recent seasons and is certainly qualified to take the next step. This offseason, Lee has interviewed with the Hornets for their coaching vacancy but was more notably considered one of the frontrunners for the Pelicans head coach position last offseason. Reports indicated that the decision for New Orleans came down to Willie Green and Lee.
Unlike his colleague Ham, Lee is not a former NBA player. After a four-year career at Bucknell, he spent four years playing overseas before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach in 2012. Lee would join Mike Budenholzer’s staff in Atlanta in 2014 and stayed on his staff in the transition to Milwaukee.
Kevin Pelton of ESPN included Lee in his recent annual look at the top NBA coaching prospects:
Another Bucks assistant, Charles Lee, has established himself as a multitool coach who projects confidence, emotional and tactical intelligence and affability. Colleagues marvel at his ability to relate to everyone, be it a two-way player (Lee played professionally overseas for four seasons) to an owner (he worked as a trader on Wall Street). A number of executives and coaches say that had Lee played one minute in the NBA (or had NBA bloodlines), he’d be gainfully employed as a head coach today. Such is the case in the NBA circa 2022, where owners and front offices increasingly favor those who have an NBA entry on Basketball Reference.
Lee also sat down with Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic in March as part of their “NBA 40 under 40” series to discuss his desire to become an NBA head coach.
For the Lakers, Lee becomes the sixth coach the team has reportedly sought to interview, joining Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson as the latest on that list. He’s also the fourth assistant coach — joining Ham, Atkinson and Adrian Griffin — the team has reached out to.