NBA

Lakers coaching rumors: Team has not ruled out possibility of 76ers’ Doc Rivers becoming available, per report

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The Los Angeles Lakers have taken their time in replacing Frank Vogel as their head coach. It has been more than a month since Vogel was fired, but the Lakers still haven’t settled on a coach. Recent reports have suggested that three finalists (Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson) have emerged for the job, but according to Marc Stein, the field is still a bit wider than that. Stein reported that the pool of viable candidates is “still wider” than just that trio, and that assistant coaches Charles Lee and Adrian Griffin would receive renewed consideration. 

One name the Lakers reportedly haven’t given up on? Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers. According to Stein, the Lakers “have not completely abandoned hope” that Rivers could unexpectedly become available, but nothing the 76ers have done suggests that is going to happen. 

“I just think he’s a great coach. I love working with him,” 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said of Rivers. “I feel like I’m learning from him. I think Elton [Brand] and I and him make a great team and we’re going to see where this journey takes us. But we feel very good about where it’s going to take us. It’s going to be where we have a very good chance to win a title.”  

Rivers would appeal to the Lakers for a number of reasons. He won a championship with the 2008 Celtics, and did so by beating the Lakers in the Finals. He also coached in Los Angeles from 2013-2020 with the Clippers, so he knows the market well. He is the sort of proven, veteran coach that could immediately command the respect of the roster regardless of who is ultimately on it. 

But for now, Rivers appears to be out of reach. Unless the Lakers are willing to offer draft compensation for the right to hire him, it seems as though he will stay that way, and with no other high-end coaches expected to hit the market any time soon, the Lakers are probably going to have to hire one of the other coaches they’ve already interviewed.



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