There’s no immediate favorite for the Lakers head coaching job, vacant following Mike D’Antoni‘s resignation Wednesday evening. The team hasn’t reached out to many potential candidates yet, tweets Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, and Bill Oram of the Orange County Register paints it as a wide open race (Twitter link). The Lakers aren’t in a hurry to choose D’Antoni’s replacement, unless they feel like they’re about to miss out on someone they really like, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, who says the draft and free agency are greater priorities for the team. Still, there’s news about a few intriguing candidates, as we detail:
- Kevin Ollie, Alvin Gentry, Mike Dunleavy Sr., George Karl, Kurt Rambis, Calipari, Scott, Fisher, and Jeff Van Gundy are on the Lakers’ initial list, Shelburne tweets.
- Kentucky coach John Calipari took himself out of the running via his own Twitter account (hat tip to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv). “Before it starts, I’m totally committed to helping this group of young men reach their dreams,” Calipari wrote. “I wouldn’t and couldn’t leave this group!”
- Byron Scott, in an interview with Time Warner Cable Sports Net, confirmed a report that he’s interested in the job (video link). He’s a favorite of the Buss family, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding notes.
- GM Mitch Kupchak and Kobe Bryant share respect for Hawks assistant Quin Snyder, Ding writes in the same piece.
- The Lakers have been fond of Jeff Van Gundy, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com points out (video link).
- The job holds “tremendous appeal” to Derek Fisher, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Thunder guard is likely to retire after the season.
- Bryant likes Scott, Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy and Ettore Messina, but the Lakers star won’t drive the team’s search, Wojnarowski writes in the same piece.
- Messina, the elite European coach who spent 2011/12 as a Lakers assistant, downplayed the idea that he’ll become coach, and he said the Lakers haven’t contacted him, Pincus reports.
- Lionel Hollins is among those interested in the job, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).