The Search for Lakers Training: Front Office Priorities and How Darvin Hamm made a strong impression

The Lakers It looks like they’re ready to make a decision on their coaching position soon, with Milwaukee Bucks Darvin Hamm’s assistant Golden State Warriors Kenny Atkinson’s former assistant Portland Trail Blazers Coach Terry Stotts Finalists for this position Which became vacant when Frank Vogel was fired at the end of the season. But with the latest round of interviews set, sources say the athlete Hamm seems to have made the strongest impression yet.

Now, the final stage of the process will determine who secures the job. Among the latter group, Stotts are best known for their X and O strength, making posts in eight of Portland’s nine seasons, while Atkinson has been described as a sharp-minded and tireless worker.

Regarding the Lakers’ preferences, sources say team officials have prioritized a coach who can garner respect and authority from the locker room and has a presence and voice strong enough to manage various roles and relationships across the roster. These characteristics bode well for an important candidacy. Throughout the assistant coaching hiatus with the Lakers, hawks And the Bucks, Hamm was known for his hard-working style and ability to impress his players – traits that have stood out in his communication with the Lakers thus far, sources said.

Hamm, who played in eight NBA Seasons from 1996 to 2008, he is the only former NBA player among the finalists. Even before his arrival in the NBA, Hamm’s reputation as a force of nature was solidified When the backboard broke While diving during the 1996 NCAA tournament with Texas Tech. Hamm, Stots and Atkinson in mind for Charlotte Hornets vacant as well. According to sources, Ham is also a serious candidate for the Hornets.

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All of the finalists will soon meet with senior Lakers officials – including owner Jenny Boss – in Los Angeles for the next stage in person, sources said. To date, Rob Pelinka, Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers, Director of Basketball Affairs Kurt Rampes, Vice President of Research and Development Joey Boss, and Assistant General Manager Jesse Boss have led the first phase of the coaching interviews.

The Lakers interviewed a total of six candidates, including Bucks assistant Charles Lee, wild birds Assistant Adrian Griffin and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson. Sources said Lee and Griffin were not excluded from the options as part of the process.

“In terms of what this team needs now, obviously with the superstars on our squad we want a strong voice that is able to inspire players to play at the highest level of competition every night,” Pelinka said of coaching. Search on April 11th. “I think that’s going to be one of the resounding qualities that we’re looking for, in terms of bringing everyone from the best player on our team to the 15th man in a degree of accountability, and that’s going to be one of the many characteristics that are prevalent today.”

However, after all the recent discussions about influential voices in Laker Land, Jenny Boss is known to lean toward Phil Jackson and Charm Johnson while trying to correct course from the 2021-22 season was such a disaster, it’s fair to ask who is making the decision here. A source with direct knowledge of the operation shared the following insights on this front with athlete:

• Pelinka chairs the committee that will ultimately make the decision. Jenny Boss, who is not yet involved in the operation, is not part of the committee and plans to postpone her recommendation. Phil Jackson and Johnson are not part of the committee either.

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They are only Lakers officials – none have been named LeBron James. While it is known that James would have been Excited by the prospect of Mark Jackson Getting a nod here, that obviously wouldn’t be the case.

For context, it’s worth hitting the rewind button to the last Lakers coaching search three years ago. After narrowing their list down to Monty Williams, Ty Lowe and Joanne Howard, they eventually ended up with Frank Vogel for a variety of Well-dated reasons. For those final interviews, Pelinka was joined by Jenny Boss, Kurt, Linda Rampes, and COO Tim Harris, Joey Boss, and Jesse Boss.

• Consider the many unpleasant facts that have surrounded the Lakers in recent years, from Messy Magic Exit In April 2019 to Jerry West Consider them a ‘dirty show’ In December 2020 to ‘I wasn’t told shit’ Vogel’s poorly executed launch, Jenny Boss is determined to allay any and all finalists’ concerns about the organization during this final stage. Its message will focus on organizational commitment to providing both the resources and internal support needed to inspire team success, the source said.

• The Russell Westbrook The factor is still looming here. The nominees were asked to discuss how they would use a roster that includes Westbrook, with Lakers officials working on the belief he will be part of their program next season. Westbrook has a $47 million player option for the 2022-23 campaign.

As for the possibility of Westbrook being ceded or repatriated (a la Houston‘s John Wall last season) if he is not traded, these are not viable options, and all indications are that he will play. With that in mind, the Lakers are focused on hiring a coach capable of handling these types of delicate situations.

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– the athleteBill Onam contributed to this report.

(Photo: Jim Deadmon/USA Today)

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